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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     73000243
Type:     Greek
Region:     BOEOTIA
City:     Thebes
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Stater
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC Circa 450-425
Weight:     12.02 g
Obverse Description:     Boeotian shield
Reverse Legend:     ΘΣΒΑΙΟ−Ν
Reverse Description:     Dionysos, wearing short chiton and himation flowing behind, running-dancing right, head turned left, holding thyrsos in right hand above his head and kantharos in left hand; archaic ΘΣΒΑΙΟ−Ν downward on right; all within incuse square
Primary Reference:     BCD Boiotia 419 (same dies)
Reference2:     Myron Hoard pl. A, 30 (same dies)
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF, minor die wear on obverse
Notes:     Sale: CNG 73, Lot: 243 Extremely rare. Dionysos seems to be both running and dancing on the reverse of this powerfully engraved coin. Although the coin he could examine at the time was so worn that he saw a Herakles holding a club instead of Dionysos holding a thyrsos, Head (Boeotia, p. 32) described the scene as "kneeling right and looking back" rather than "running". The writer prefers to see this posture as having some ritualistic significance connected with Dionysiac dancing, known for its controlled and syncopated movements; something like watching a movie with only a couple of frames per second. This style of dancing, always accompanied by a trance-like state (something between ecstasy and a feeling of mental and physical abandon) has been carried over to our times and can still be witnessed occasionally in today's solo male dancing at the various bouzouki places in the outskirts of Athens and other Greek cities.