Jump to content

Commodus Dionysos Satyr and Tripolis - I am fall in love


Prieure de Sion

Recommended Posts

image.png.fd99f1ffbd0387d779a74548ccf3c76b.png

Imperator Caesar Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus (Augustus) under Marcus Aurelius
Bronze of the Roman Imperial Period 177/180 AD; Material: AE; Diameter: 37mm; Weight: 23.53g; Mint: Tripolis ad Maeandrum, Lydia; Reference: RPC IV.2 17452; Rare: Specimens 1 (0 in the core collections); Obverse: Bare-headed bust of Commodus (youthful) wearing cuirass and paludamentum, right, seen from centre; Inscription: ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙϹ Λ ΑΥΡ ΚοΜΟΔΟϹ; Translate: Autokrator Kaisaros Lucios Aurelios Komodos; Translate: Imperator Caesar Lucius Aurelius Commodus; Reverse: Dionysus (youthful) standing, facing, head, right, placing hand on top of his head, being supported by Satyr; to left, panther jumping, left; Inscription: ΤΡΙΠΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ; Translate: Tripoleiton; Translate: City and People of Tripolis

 

18878550673_6b2ce3273c_b.jpg?w=1075

Tripolis on the Meander (Latin: Tripolis ad Maeandrum, named ca. 30 BC - AD 640) – also Apollonia (named ca. 330 BC - 30 BC), Antoniopolis (named ca. 330 BC - AD 300) and Neapolis – was an ancient city on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander, and on the road leading from Sardes by Philadelphia to Laodicea ad Lycum. It was situated 20 km to the northwest of Hierapolis. The earliest mention of Tripolis is by Pliny the Elder, who treats it as a Lydian town. Ptolemy and Stephanus of Byzantium describe it as a Carian town. Hierocles likewise calls it a Lydian town. Although the founding of the city of Tripoli is dated to the Hellenistic period, archaeological finds prove that the area was already inhabited from 4000 BC. It was conquered or settled by Hittites, Phrygians, Greeks, Romans, Seljuks and Mongols. Located at the crossroads of the ancient regions of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, the city was initially founded under the name Apollonia on Lydian territory. The name of the city changed over time; as people from all three regions settled in the city, it was renamed Tripolis (Tri-polis; three-city settlements) in the 1st century BC. This name remained until the city was abandoned in the 7th century AD. Tripoli reached its heyday and the height of its power in Roman times, especially in the period after the 2nd century AD. During this time, new public buildings were erected, including the city gates, streets, the baths, the stadium, as well as the theatre and the Bouleuterion. In 494 AD, the city was partially destroyed. This event began the gradual depopulation of the city, which culminated in the Sassanid raids in the sixth and seventh centuries. The inhabitants retreated to the city of Direbol, only 8 km north of Tripoli. Situated on a ridge, this place was better defended.

The coinage from Tripolis ad Maeandrum seems to have come to an end under Marcus Aurelius (with issues of Commodus as Caesar) - and was not resumed until the time of Caracalla or Severus Alexander. There are many coinages under Commodus from other cities in the Lydia region - but not from Tripolis ad Maeandrum.

 

lydien-sardis-persien-ach%C3%A4menidenre

Pliny the Elder gives a concise and equally vague description of the region of Lydia: the centre of the heartland was Mount Tmolos, where the capital Sardis was located, Lake Gygia (today: Marmara Gölü) and the surrounding fertile plain along the Hermos (today: Gediz). Lydia bordered Caria to the south, Phrygia to the east, Mysia to the north and extended beyond Ionia to the west. If one disregards the western border with Ionia, the description is considered correct. In concrete terms, there were no clear border lines, but border zones. In the late phase of Hellenism, the Roman Empire showed some activity in the Lydian area: after the victory over Antiochos III, negotiations were held with the Seleucids in Sardis, as they were later with the Galatians. With the victory over the Seleucids, Asia Minor remained quiet for a long time. When the Attalid dynasty ended with the death of Attalus III in 133 BC, the ruler bequeathed his empire - and with it the former Lydian territory - to the Romans. The Romans granted independence to Sardis and other Lydian cities. Despite the fact that the Lydian cities remained relatively untouched by the Vespers of Ephesus (88 BC) and the 1st Mithridatic War (89 to 84 BC), the area became part of the province of Asia as part of Sulla's reorganisation of Asia Minor (84 BC). In the course of the Diocletianic provincial reform in 297 AD, a province of Lydia was again created, which, however, only consisted of the barely expanded Hermos Valley, the heart of Lydian culture.

The Lydian religion is polytheistic, although it is not always clear, especially from the Late Lydian period onwards, how far one can speak of Lydian religion, because on the one hand there was considerable syncretism with Greek gods, many Greek gods were adopted and on the other hand, since the later period, many testimonies go back to the rapidly asserting Hellenistic culture. The central goddess was Kybele or Kuvava, who is closely linked to the Phrygian Kybele or Matar. She is usually depicted as a female figure with lion companions. Artemis also received great veneration, for example from Kroisos. The worship of male gods has left fewer remains. Bacchus or Dionysos is the Lydian Baki-, cited and implied in Lydian texts, which in nature and number suggest that Baki-’s cult existed in the Lydian era, although the date of the texts is Classical and Hellenistic. Satyrs, the followers of Dionysos, are depicted at Sardis in the sixth century BC on the marble naiskos of Cybele (No. 34, Figs. 1, 2) and make an active cult highly probable. Moreover, Lydia is mentioned as the place of birth in Euripides' play "The Bacchae", there are Roman coins that point to this idea.

The earliest depictions of Dionysus date back to the 7th century BC. On Attic vases in particular, this theme is one of the most frequently dealt with between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. The sight of predators in the vicinity of Dionysus is found above all in the depictions of Gigantomahky on Attic ceramics from 560 BC onwards. The most intense depictions are found within the Hellenistic and Roman periods. From the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD, especially between the 2nd-3rd century AD, the child Dionysus was depicted both with predators (panther, lion, tiger or leopard) and alone.

image.png.2e6683d78c03a4df022aab66ee9a711a.png

The "Statue of the Child Dionysus", which was found during the excavations in Tripoli (ad Maeandrum) in 2007, is well known. Dionysus is depicted here in a position facing the panther. Unfortunately, the statue has not been preserved above the waist. Equally well-known is the Eros relief of the child Dionysus discovered by G. Weber in Tripoli in the late 19th century. Further examples can be found on other statues, sarcophagi and mosaics, so that a lively cult and great popularity of Dionysus can be concluded. Around the ancient city of Tripoli are important centres of sculpture such as Tralleis, Aphrodisias, Hierapolis, Philadelphia and Dokimeion. Tripoli is probably a local centre inspired by these cities.

 

Dionysos-Greek-Wine-God.jpg

Dionysos (Latinised Dionysus) is the god of wine, joy, grapes, fertility, madness and ecstasy in the Greek world of the gods (compare the Dionysia). He was additionally called Bromios ("noisemaker"), Bacchus ("caller") or Bakchos by the Greeks and Romans because of the noise his entourage made. Dionysus was often equated with Iakchos and is the youngest of the great Greek gods. In literature and poetry he is often referred to as Lysios and as Lyaeus ("the Worry Breaker"), but also as Anthroporrhaistes ("Man Shatterer"). Dionysus is usually depicted with ivy or vine tendrils and grapes. His attributes are the thyrsos crowned with ivy and vines and the kantharos (drinking vessel for wine). He is also often depicted with panther or tiger skins. He was usually triumphantly accompanied by the Silene and satyrs (such as the Ampelos), who embody the fertility of untamed nature.

In his capacity as god of joy, the theatre was invented in Athens through the Dionysia and the prototype theatre was built, the Dionysus Theatre in Athens. As a solver (Lysios, Lyaios) he unleashed the people, freed them from worries and made walls collapse. Later in Rome, the Dionysia were celebrated as the Bacchanalia, because Dionysus in Latin means Bacchus. The festival was celebrated from the 2nd century BC and took place annually on 16 and 17 March on the hill of Aventine in Rome. In terms of religious psychology, Dionysia and Bacchanalia should be understood as an intoxicating cult of spring and fertility: The overcoming of the season of winter through the renewed growth of vegetation, which could be experienced by everyone, was related to the human joy of being and, not least, sexuality. Bacchanalia could have been excessive through the consumption of alcohol with psychedelic substances such as hallucinogenic mushrooms and even belladonna. In "Bacchae", Euripides describes the participants as revelers who put on skins and hides and assume animal roles.

 

Rome_Palazzo_Farnese_ceiling_Carracci_fr

Bacchanalia scandal 186 BC. In the 39th book of his Roman history Ab urbe condita ("From the Founding of the City"), the Roman historian Titus Livius gives a detailed and extremely dramatic account of the events. In addition, there are several mentions of the Bacchanalia scandal in the anecdotal collection of Valerius Maximus, from which, however, we learn nothing beyond what is reported by Livius. In the early 2nd century BC, the bacchanalia escalated into boisterous, licentious orgies. First of all, Livius reported that the spread of the form of the cult of Bacchus, ultimately suppressed by the Senate, started from a Greek priest of lesser rank who had resided for a time in Etruria, then turned to Rome and began to seek followers for his nocturnal rites. At first there were only a few whom he was able to initiate into his mysteries, but soon their number grew considerably, due to the attraction that the enjoyment of wine and sexual permissiveness, which occurred in the course of these Bacchic orgies, exerted on women as well as men. Every conceivable kind of licentiousness was practised there. In 186 BC, after a scandal, they were strictly regulated by the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, the "Senate Decree on the Bacchanalia". According to reports by the historians Flavius and Titus Livius, the scandal was uncovered by the consul Spurius Postumius Albinus. A total of 7000 women and men were executed and the bacchanalia became subject to approval.

 

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
  • Like 13
  • Heart Eyes 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

It's certainly a handsome coin.  Well done!

I am in negotiations with the owner. It is not yet certain. But I am in love. But instead of the coin, you could also buy a used small car in exchange. So I still have to convince my finances and get a good price. But I am in love - and had to present it...  😄 

  • Like 1
  • Cool Think 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that there is a confusion between the Lydian Tripolis - which is one city in the larger Asia proconsularis province, also possibly at one point called Apollonia or during the later Principate Tripolis ad Maeandrum - and the Libyan Tripolitania in Africa proconsularis on the Berber border. Thus the legend does not refer to Tripolitania but rather "of the Tripolitanians" who were mostly of Carian, Lydian and Phrygian origin in Asia proconsularis.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, seth77 said:

I think that there is a confusion between the Lydian Tripolis - which is one city in the larger Asia proconsularis province, also possibly at one point called Apollonia or during the later Principate Tripolis ad Maeandrum - and the Libyan Tripolitania in Africa proconsularis on the Berber border. Thus the legend does not refer to Tripolitania but rather "of the Tripolitanians" who were mostly of Carian, Lydian and Phrygian origin in Asia proconsularis.

Absolutely correct, a mix-up, thanks for pointing it out. I had confused ΤΡΙΠΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ (Tripoleiton) with the region in Lebanon in a hurry. I have corrected it immediately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, seth77 said:

There is a confusion again. Your Tripolis has nothing to do with the Syrian Tripolis either (Tripolis in nowadays Lebanon). Asia proconsularis was the western bit of Asia Minor, in what is now Turkey.

What Tripolis in Syria? Where do you read Tripoli in Syria? I have adjusted the first post. 

Tripolis ad Maeandrum was on the upper reaches of the Meander in Lydia. 

 

 

Edited by Prieure de Sion
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, JAZ Numismatics said:

It has the style and size of a medallion.

Thats was a good question - when was a coin a medallion or not?

A medallion shows not only the particularly beautiful bust of the emperor (or the important person) on the front, but also an important (historical) event or the special virtues of the ruler on the back. As far as I know, medallions were not intended for everyday payment transactions. Rather, they were used as gifts, donative payments, tribute payments to rulers of neighbouring nations, etc. 

So when you look at this bronze - was it intended as a coin for everyday monetary transactions at the end of the 2nd century? 

The young Caesar Commodus is particularly finely depicted and the reverse shows a not everyday fine depiction - at that time freshly minted this may have looked almost like an artistic statue group. Today one would say - much too pretty for the everyday purse. 

What perhaps also speaks for a medallion - or a gift coinage or a coinage to honour Caesar Commodus - is that this bronze is (as of today) unique. It is possible that there were not many issues in circulation. Perhaps too few for it to be an everyday coin for payment transactions? But of course this is all speculative.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Prieure de Sion said:

What Tripolis in Syria? Where do you read Tripoli in Syria? I have adjusted the first post. 

Tripolis ad Maeandrum was on the upper reaches of the Meander in Lydia. 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Absolutely correct, a mix-up, thanks for pointing it out. I had confused ΤΡΙΠΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ (Tripoleiton) with the region in Lebanon in a hurry. I have corrected it immediately.

That Tripolis from nowadays Lebanon that you mention was at the time of Commodus part of the province of Syria. Tripolitania has nothing to do with Lebanon, it was in Africa proconsularis, Libya today. And your Tripolis in Lydia has nothing to do with neither of the two. It seemed to me like you first thought that the Tripolis of your coin was in Tripolitania (Africa) and after my first intervention you went to the Syrian Tripolis (the one in Lebanon), hence my second intervention clarifying which Tripolis is the right one: the one in Lydia of Asia proconsularis (present day Turkey).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, seth77 said:

That Tripolis from nowadays Lebanon that you mention was at the time of Commodus part of the province of Syria. Tripolitania has nothing to do with Lebanon, it was in Africa proconsularis, Libya today. And your Tripolis in Lydia has nothing to do with neither of the two. It seemed to me like you first thought that the Tripolis of your coin was in Tripolitania (Africa) and after my first intervention you went to the Syrian Tripolis (the one in Lebanon), hence my second intervention clarifying which Tripolis is the right one: the one in Lydia of Asia proconsularis (present day Turkey).

Ah now I understand 🙂 

No - my first intention was Tripolis (Oea) / Lybia with the three city area „Tripolitania“ because I read the coin description „Lydia“ and search later for Lybia - because remember me false.

Lebanon I never want write - I want write I have a confusion with Lybia and Lydia - but after that confusion I mixed all L regions. But Lebanon Tripolis I never search… 

After you give me the Tip with Lydia - I change Lybia / Tripolis direct to Lydia / Tripolis. Lebanon was never a option. But too many L this evening 🙂 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

image.png.fd99f1ffbd0387d779a74548ccf3c76b.png

Imperator Caesar Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus (Augustus) under Marcus Aurelius
Bronze of the Roman Imperial Period 177/180 AD; Material: AE; Diameter: 37mm; Weight: 23.53g; Mint: Tripolis ad Maeandrum, Lydia; Reference: RPC IV.2 17452; Rare: Specimens 1 (0 in the core collections); Obverse: Bare-headed bust of Commodus (youthful) wearing cuirass and paludamentum, right, seen from centre; Inscription: ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙϹ Λ ΑΥΡ ΚοΜΟΔΟϹ; Translate: Autokrator Kaisaros Lucios Aurelios Komodos; Translate: Imperator Caesar Lucius Aurelius Commodus; Reverse: Dionysus (youthful) standing, facing, head, right, placing hand on top of his head, being supported by Satyr; to left, panther jumping, left; Inscription: ΤΡΙΠΟΛΕΙΤΩΝ; Translate: Tripoleiton; Translate: City and People of Tripolis

 

18878550673_6b2ce3273c_b.jpg?w=1075

Although the founding of the city of Tripoli is dated to the Hellenistic period, archaeological finds prove that the area was already inhabited from 4000 BC. It was conquered or settled by Hittites, Phrygians, Greeks, Romans, Seljuks and Mongols. Located at the crossroads of the ancient regions of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, the city was initially founded under the name Apollonia on Lydian territory. The name of the city changed over time to Antoninopolis, Neapolis. As people from all three regions settled in the city, it was renamed Tripolis in the 1st century BC. In 494 AD, the city was partially destroyed. With this event, the gradual depopulation of the city began until it was abandoned in the 7th century AD. The first records mentioning Tripoli are by Pliny the Elder (1st century AD), who described the city as a Lydian settlement on the river Meander. Claudius Ptolemy (2nd century AD) and Stephanus of Byzantium (6th century AD) described Tripoli as a Carian city. Tripoli reached its heyday and the height of its power in the Roman period, especially in the period after the 2nd century AD. During this time, new public buildings were constructed, including the city gates, streets, the baths, the stadium, as well as the theatre and the Bouleuterion. Most of the architectural structures visible today date from the Roman and Byzantine periods.

The coinage from Tripolis ad Maeandrum seems to have come to an end under Marcus Aurelius (with issues of Commodus as Caesar) - and was not resumed until the time of Caracalla or Severus Alexander. There are many coinages under Commodus from other cities in the Lydia region - but not from Tripolis ad Maeandrum.

 

Dionysos-Greek-Wine-God.jpg

Dionysos (Latinised Dionysus) is the god of wine, joy, grapes, fertility, madness and ecstasy in the Greek world of the gods (compare the Dionysia). He was additionally called Bromios ("noisemaker"), Bacchus ("caller") or Bakchos by the Greeks and Romans because of the noise his entourage made. Dionysus was often equated with Iakchos and is the youngest of the great Greek gods. In literature and poetry he is often referred to as Lysios and as Lyaeus ("the Worry Breaker"), but also as Anthroporrhaistes ("Man Shatterer"). Dionysus is usually depicted with ivy or vine tendrils and grapes. His attributes are the thyrsos crowned with ivy and vines and the kantharos (drinking vessel for wine). He is also often depicted with panther or tiger skins. He was usually triumphantly accompanied by the Silene and satyrs (such as the Ampelos), who embody the fertility of untamed nature.

In his capacity as god of joy, the theatre was invented in Athens through the Dionysia and the prototype theatre was built, the Dionysus Theatre in Athens. As a solver (Lysios, Lyaios) he unleashed the people, freed them from worries and made walls collapse. Later in Rome, the Dionysia were celebrated as the Bacchanalia, because Dionysus in Latin means Bacchus. The festival was celebrated from the 2nd century BC and took place annually on 16 and 17 March on the hill of Aventine in Rome. In terms of religious psychology, Dionysia and Bacchanalia should be understood as an intoxicating cult of spring and fertility: The overcoming of the season of winter through the renewed growth of vegetation, which could be experienced by everyone, was related to the human joy of being and, not least, sexuality. Bacchanalia could have been excessive through the consumption of alcohol with psychedelic substances such as hallucinogenic mushrooms and even belladonna. In "Bacchae", Euripides describes the participants as revelers who put on skins and hides and assume animal roles.

 

Rome_Palazzo_Farnese_ceiling_Carracci_fr

Bacchanalia scandal 186 BC. In the 39th book of his Roman history Ab urbe condita ("From the Founding of the City"), the Roman historian Titus Livius gives a detailed and extremely dramatic account of the events. In addition, there are several mentions of the Bacchanalia scandal in the anecdotal collection of Valerius Maximus, from which, however, we learn nothing beyond what is reported by Livius. In the early 2nd century BC, the bacchanalia escalated into boisterous, licentious orgies. First of all, Livius reported that the spread of the form of the cult of Bacchus, ultimately suppressed by the Senate, started from a Greek priest of lesser rank who had resided for a time in Etruria, then turned to Rome and began to seek followers for his nocturnal rites. At first there were only a few whom he was able to initiate into his mysteries, but soon their number grew considerably, due to the attraction that the enjoyment of wine and sexual permissiveness, which occurred in the course of these Bacchic orgies, exerted on women as well as men. Every conceivable kind of licentiousness was practised there. In 186 BC, after a scandal, they were strictly regulated by the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, the "Senate Decree on the Bacchanalia". According to reports by the historians Flavius and Titus Livius, the scandal was uncovered by the consul Spurius Postumius Albinus. A total of 7000 women and men were executed and the bacchanalia became subject to approval.

 

 

Cool coin, yours?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Ryro said:

That stunning reverse must be designed after a sculpture. Man, I would've loved to have seen it!

Inspired by your idea - and since nothing interesting was shown on TV yesterday - I tried to find something yesterday. With reservations, of course - I've only compiled what I've found. I couldn't really check anything in depth yet. It was just a matter of sifting through information.

Through Euripides' play "The Bacchae" there was a direct reference to Dionysus and the region of Lydia. The cult of Dionysus was probably very active - and there are numerous finds of the young Dionysus in the region, but especially also from Tripoli. There is also a famous statue that was found in Tripoli in 2007.

It is reported that there were many very famous sculptors' workshops around Tripoli. In any case, the reverse of the coin shows the connection between Dionysus and the region of Lydia - possibly an existing group of statues from one of the workshops around Tripoli.

I will add something to the text above.

https://www.academia.edu/36496419/Tripolis_de_Bulunmuş_Çocuk_Dionysos_Heykeli_Die_Statue_des_Kind_Dionysos_aus_Tripolis_Erdoğan_A_Arıcı_S

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Spaniard said:

Commodus is this your main collecting area?

Yes, although something like that can also change with me... 😄 

 

6 minutes ago, Spaniard said:

do you have a gallery somewhere?

Yes, but not all coins have been uploaded and published yet. I have started to make my own filing system and to catalogue the coins logically myself (because RIC is not always correct). So only the part I have catalogued is already uploaded. But I'm happy if you take a look.

https://yothr.me/ 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found a similar group of statues - Panther on the left - Dionysus in the middle with his arm raised backwards and his other arm around the Satyr - Satyr standing on the right.

It is a group of statues probably after Hellenistic model. 

I do not want to find anything right now - does anyone know which Hellenistic artistic work is meant as a model?
 

„Drunken Dionysos and satyr. Marble, Roman copy from the 2nd century CE after an Hellenistic original. Marble; original elements: heads, torsos and thighs of Dionysos and satyr, right arm of Dionysos; restored elements: legs of Dionysos and satyr, arms of the satyr.“

58831692-0F18-4C9F-901C-FB68FFC1107F.jpeg.c45ff6f62991d8f1326aee7c2b84cf8e.jpeg

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found a closer similar Statue Group - and it’s an Group at a Antoninian Fountain between 160-180 AD. A model for the coin? A temporal fashion of the representation of Dionysus? 
 

„Restored western tabernacle of the Antonian Nymphaeum with replica of the statue Dionysus and Satyr, erected ca. AD 160-180, Sagalassos Turkey.“

https://de.dreamstime.com/statue-dionysus-und-satyr-antoninus-brunnen-von-sagalassos-burdur-türkei-restaurierte-westliche-tabernacle-des-antoniner-image161694384

 

B68FA0E3-4BDB-49B8-B3A3-858F138BBD78.jpeg.1aa856034f1cfd046bbbcec4e3bd508f.jpeg

 

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...