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Silphium is extinct. Or is it?


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Here's my silphium. Mine has a crab, and I've wondered whether they were involved in its propagation.

It's sad that a plant that gave us so much (literally the symbol for love) is no longer with us. Of course, if silphium were actually capable of achieving what ancient writers asserted, then a number of rulers would have sought to snuff it out.


Kyrene, Magas
Ptolemaic governor, c. 300-282/75 BC
AR Didrachm 20mm, 7.30g, 12h
Head of Karneios r. R/ Silphion plant; ZE monogram to upper l., crab to upper r., KY-PA across lower field.
BMC 256; cf. SNG Copenhagen 1243
Ex London Ancient Coins

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4 hours ago, David Atherton said:

Bummer, the article is behind a paywall.

I get a notice that I'm allowed 3 free articles without subscribing. Personally, I would never advocate going around a paywall but those who would might suggest clearing your browser cache.

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