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The birth of Pegasos and Moma-dusa: Perseus avoids getting stoned, only to get high on a magical flying pony


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This just came in the mail, along with a very rare MSC. An image so sweet (or is it?); mother and child. 


Alexander I Balas, 152-145 BC. Ae (bronze, 2.13 g, 13 mm), Antioch. Aegis with gorgoneion. Rev. BAΣIΛEΩΣ - AΛEΞANΔPOY Pegasos leaping right. SC 1792. Nearly very fine.


Ovid, Metamorphoses-

"While deep sleep held fast Medusa and her snakes, he [Perseus] severed her head clean from her neck; and from their mother's blood swift-flying Pegasus and his brother ,Chrysaor, sprang . . . she [Medusa], it's said, was violated in Minerva's shrine by the Lord of the Sea, Poseidon."


Birth of Pegasus and Chrysaor, beheaded Medusa, Perseus and the Gorgons, Athenian black-figure pyxis C6th B.C.

And some other coins of the two:



Corinthia, Corinth. AR Hemidrachm, 400-375 BC. Obv. Forepart of Pegasus left. Rev. Head of Aphrodite left. BMC pl. IX. fig. 13. AR. 1.23 g. 11.00 mm. About VF/VF.




Bronze Ae

Sicily, Syracuse, Agathokles, 317-289 BC

18 mm, 5,10 g


MYSIA. Parion. 5th century BC. Drachm (Silver, 11mm, 3.85 g). Facing gorgoneion with large ears and protruding tongue. Rev. Irregular pattern within quadripartite incuse square.




Pontos. Amisos circa 85-65 BC.

Bronze Æ, 30mm., 18,18g. Helmeted head of Athena right, helmet decorated with griffin / AMIΣOY, Perseus standing facing, holding harpa and head of Medusa, at feet, body of Medusa, monograms to both sides. very fine. Stancomb 683-86 (various monograms); SNG BM Black Sea 1166-76 (same).



And let's not forget Pegasos rapist god/father (not that kind of godfather):


You've got coins of these two mythical monsters. Let's see them!

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Man, what a great art-historical exploration of the mythology behind the coins!! I have a couple relevant coins.

It seems every ancient coin enthusiast has a few of these bronzes from Amisos featuring a facing Gorgoneion on the obverse.



And it seems most coins from Corinth have a Pegasus on them somewhere. Even into the Roman provincial period. You asked for "mythical monsters"; this one has has a real monster -- Caligula!


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Nice Pergasos, here is one of mine:


Akarnania, Leukas
Stater, ca. 405-345 BC
Obv.: Pegasos flying right, Λ below
Rev.: Head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet; caduceus behind
Ref.: Nicolet- Pierre and Kroll, AJN 2 (1990), pl. i, pi-1-pi-4. Svoronos pl. 20.



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Great post, @Ryro! I must say that I never knew that Pegasus had a human-appearing brother named Chrysaor, who never really did anything important as far as I can tell. "Obscure mythological figures for $50."

Here are my assorted Pegasi and Medusas/Gorgons.









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I’ve got nothing with Pegasus, but here’s Medusa on the reverse.


Mn Cordius Rufus, denarius, 46 BC, obverse - owl on Corinthian helmet                  
reverse - aegis of Minerva w/head of Medusa in center

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Here my latest additions of Medusa - newly acquired. 2 types that were already presented here on the thread, in great condition. Mine, not so much but this doesn't stop me from liking them. 


L. Plautius Plancus (47 BC) AR Denarius. 15,1 mm 3,58g
[L • PLAVTIVS] below, head of Medusa facing, with coiled snake on either side / PLAN[CV] (or PLANCVS), Victory (or Aurora) flying right, head slightly left, holding reins and conducting four rearing horses of the sun.
Crawford 453/1a or 1b (PLANCVS/PLANCV; BMC 4004/4008; Sydenham 959/959a; Plautia 15/15a; RBW 1583-4


Mn. Cordius Rufus 46 BC. Rome. AR Denarius. 17 mm, 3,35 g
Corinthian helmet with crest on which an owl stands; RVFVS left / The aegis of Minerva with head of Medusa in the centre; MN CORDIVS around.
Crawford 463/2; Sydenham 978; Cordia 4; BMC 4042.
This type is ascribed to Mn. Cordius Rufus, monetal triumvir under Julius Caesar, before or after the dictatorship. The owl refers to Caesar’s prudence and wisdom; the warlike helmet and the aegis to his valour. 

As for Pegasus, I am surprised nobody posted the most affordable Pegasus coin 


Gallienus AD 260-268. Rome
Antoninianus Æ silvered
20 mm, 2,88 g
Obv: GALLIENVS AVG, radiate head of Gallienus right / Rev: SOLI CONS AVG, Pegasus flying right. 
RIC V Gallienus 283, RSC IV 979

Others in my collection


Corinthia. Corinth circa 345-307 BC.  Drachm  AR 13 mm, 1,87 g
Pegasos flying left, wings curled, Koppa below. / Head of Aphrodite left, hair in a sakkos. ΠA monogram behind head.
BCD Corinth 162; SNG Fitzwilliam 3455-3456; SNG Cop. 136.



Q. Titius, Rome, 90 BC. AR Denarius. 19 mm, 3.51 g.
Head of young Bacchus right (or Liber) , wearing ivy wreath.
Rev: Pegasus springing right Q•TITI
Crawford 341/2; RBW 1275; RSC Titia 2.

The very popular Amisos (showing Pegasus on the helmet)


Pontos, Amisos. Ӕ 29 Time of Mithradates VI Eupator, ca 105-90 or 90-85 BC. 30 mm, 18,30 g.
Helmeted head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with Pegasos / AMI - ΣOY - Perseus standing left, holding harpa and head of Medusa, whose decapitated body lies at his feet; monogram to left and right.
SNG BM Black Sea 1169-72; HGC 7, 238.

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SELEUKID EMPIRE. Alexander I Balas. 152-145 BC. Æ (13mm, 2.13 g, 12h). Antioch on the Orontes mint. Struck circa 150-146 BC.
ex-Classical Numismatic Group, e-auction 426, August 2018, lot 228


The first published example of this type was by Pellerin in 1762. I was never able to figure out how he deduced the coin was Seleukid. It is now attributed to Antioch. No clue why; Newell did not include it in his book on Antioch.  Antioch is a bit like the junk or "odd sock" drawer; it accumulates types that don't clearly belong somewhere else.


Pegasos was mythologically the “child” of Medusa – born from her neck – and Alexander Balas claimed to be the child of Antiochos IV, a king who used the aegis as a coin type. It makes sense to strike types related to the types of the claimed father. Balas struck no other coins with Pegasos or the aegis, however. Houghton and Lorber note that thunderbolt iconography is prominent in Alexander Balas’ coinage and Athena is frequently represented on his bronze. The aegis could represent Athena, or thunder (or both I suppose!)


SAMARIA, “Middle Levantine” Series. Bedyehibel (or Beruhibel, or Yehibel). Circa 375-333 BC. AR Obol (8.7mm, 0.50 g, 11h).
Obv: Facing gorgoneion
Rev: ࠁࠃࠉࠇࠁࠋ (=BDYHBL); Forepart of Pegasos left.
CNG, auction 97, September 2014, lot 323 (Dr. Patrick H. C. Tan Collection)
Meshorer & Qedar 17; Sofaer 95
Meshorer and Qedar say the inscription BDYHBL should be read as the inscription BD YHBL “by the hand of Yehibel.”

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