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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     77000477
Type:     Roman Provincial
Region:     TROAS
City:     Abydus
Issuer:     Caracalla
Date Ruled:     AD 198-217
Metal:     Bronze
Denomination:     AE 38
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     AD 215-217
Diameter:     38 mm
Weight:     26.29 g
Die Axis:     6 h
Obverse Legend:     AV K M AVPH ANTΩNEINO C
Obverse Description:     Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right
Reverse Description:     Leander swimming right across Hellespont toward tower containing Hero standing left, who holds a lighted lamp in extended right hand; to left, sheathed sword set on rock outcropping; above, Eros flying right, holding wedding torch
Primary Reference:     M. Price, “Greek Imperial Coins,” NC (1971), P. 129 and note 4
Reference2:     BMC P. 7 note
Reference3:     SNG MÜnchen -
Reference4:     SNG VA -; SNG Cop -; Mionnet II 58
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     EF, black-brown patina with some green and lighter brown overones, hairline flan crack
Notes:     Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 477 Extremely rare. The tragic love-story of Hero and Leander was a popular theme with Classical and Renaissance poets and playwrights. Leander was a young man from Abydus, located on the Asian side of the Hellespont. Across the water in Sestus lived Hero, a virgin and priestess of Aphrodite. Enamored of Hero, Leander would swim each night two miles across the strait to woo her and would swim back to Abydus in the early morning. To guide him in this dangerous journey, Hero would climb a tower on the shore near Sestus with a lamp. One stormy night, however, Leander, drowned when the storm put out the light. When Hero became aware of his death, she cast herself in despair from the tower into the waters below, and she too drowned.