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Faustina Friday – the Trojan hero Hector on an issue from Ilium (Troy)

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Friday felicitations, fellow Faustina fanatics! Today we’re going to talk about an interesting coin featuring one of the main characters in Homer’s Iliad, Hector, the son of the Trojan king and queen, Priam and Hecuba. Hector was husband to Andromache and the father of Astyanax. Homer’s epic tells us he was the bravest of the Trojan heroes and a favorite of Apollo. During the Trojan War, Hector (with Apollo's help) killed Patroclus and so obliged Achilles to join the other Greeks in fighting the Trojans.

As one might imagine, the city of Ilium (Troy) issued a lot of coins referring to events of the Trojan war. This new acquisition is one of them. It features κορυθαίολος Ἕκτωρ – Hector of the shining helmet – holding a firebrand and shield.


Faustina II, 147-175 CE.
Roman provincial Æ 24.5 mm, 8.60 g, 7 h.
Troas, Ilium, issue 4, c. 164-166 CE.
Obv: ΦΑVϹΤΙΝΑ ϹΕΒΑϹΤ, bare-headed and draped bust, right.
Rev: ΕΚΤΩΡ ΙΛΙΕΩΝ, helmeted Hector advancing right, holding fire brand and shield.
Refs: RPC IV.2, 98 (temporary); SNG Munich 247; von Fritze Ilion 72.

This reverse type alludes to the events described in the Iliad XVI.112-124 (translation by Lattimore):

Tell me now, you Muses who have your homes on Olympos, how fire was first thrown upon the ships of the Achaians.

Hektor stood up close to Aias and hacked at the ash spear with his great sword, striking behind the socket of the spearhead, and slashed it clean away, so that Telamonian Aias shook there in his hand a lopped spear, while far away from him the bronze spearhead fell echoing to the ground; and Aias knew in his blameless heart, and shivered for knowing it, how this was gods' work, how Zeus high-thundering cut across the intention in all his battle, how he planned that the Trojans should conquer. He drew away out of the missiles, and the Trojans threw weariless fire on the fast ship, and suddenly the quenchless flame streamed over it.

This episode in the Iliad describes a shift in the tide of war when Zeus bestows favor on Hector and rallies the Trojans. Hector has driven the Greeks back to their ships and is determined to burn them. Ajax, in one of the poem's more memorable moments, seemingly single-handedly defends the ships against the Trojan forces with "a great sea-pike in his hands, twelve cubits long" (XV.823-824). But by the time Hector arrives, Ajax is exhausted, and the Trojan hero effortlessly strips him of his weapon. The Trojans burn one ship, but the fleet is saved when Patroclus takes to the battlefield disguised in the armor of Achilles, the most feared Greek warrior.

Do you have any coins related to the characters and events of the Trojan war? Any coins of Ilium? Let’s see them! Post anything you feel is relevant!


Edited by Roman Collector
Correcting formatting issues
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Great coin with a great mythical character!

Here is my only coin with one of the heroes of the Trojan war - Ulysses. This coin was on top of the wish list for me and I was happy to get an example that is quite decent (hunted this type for a while, 99% of the examples I found were either too expensive because of top condition or too worn/too many issues, especially on the reverse. 



C. Mamilius Limetanus, 82 BC. Serrate Denarius, Rome. 20 mm, 3,75 g.
Draped bust of Mercury to right, wearing winged petasus and with caduceus over his left shoulder; behind, S. Rev. C·MAMIL LIMET􀺏AN, Ulysses advancing right, holding walking stick in his left hand and extending his right towards his dog Argus, on the right, standing left.
Babelon (Mamilia) 6. Crawford 362/1. RBW 1370 var. (differing control-letter on the obverse). Sydenham 741.

The Mamilia gens derived its origin from Mamilia, the daughter of Telegonus, the reputed son of Ulysses and Circe, and thus C. Mamilius, as monetal triumvir, caused this subject to be adopted on his coins. The reverse shows Ulysses, after an absence of many years, returning in a mean and humble dress to the island of Ithaca, where he was at once recognized by his old dog Argus, who died of joy at seeing his former master.


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Terrific coin, @Roman Collector.  I do have one from Illium.  Athena Ilias is, I'm guessing, the version of Athena featured in Homer?  Mythology is not my strong suit.  In any case, it does have three emperors, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian.  The fellas on the reverse are rather hard to see...I didn't say this was a pretty one.  



Vespasian  Æ 24 Ilium, Troas           (69-79 A.D.) ΑΥΤΟΚ Κ ϹƐΒ[ΑϹ ΟΥƐϹΠΑϹΙΑΝΟϹ], laureate head right / [ΤΙ]ΤΩ ΚΑΙ[ϹΑΡΙ] ΔΟΜ[ΙΤΙΑΝΩ ΚΑΙ...Ι]ΛΙ, laureate heads of Titus left, Domitian right between, statue of Athena Ilias RPC II 893; BMC 46; Bellinger T127; SNG Cop. 392. (7.75 grams / 24 x 19 mm ) eBay April 2023  $15.00 BO

Provenance: Roma Numismatics Ltd E-Sale 59; Lot 622; 11.07.2019

Die-Match Obv. & Rev.: Coin no. 12 of RPC II, 893 American Numismatic Society 1944.100.43936

Die-Match Obverse:  Roma Numismatics Ltd  E-Sale 108; Lot 719; 13.04.2023 Lot number: 719


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Happy Faustina Friday, my man!!!

I'm so jealous of your new coins reverse! But you already knew that😏

Hektor is the real hero of the Trojan War saga and one of its saddest casualties. Here's some coins of him. Sorry no Faustinas.


Troas, Ophrynion

Æ13. Circa 350-300 BC. Bearded, three-quarter facing head of Hektor, turned slightly right, wearing triple crested helmet / OΦΡΥ, the infant Dionysos kneeling right, holding grape cluster in right hand. SNG Copenhagen 456ff; BMC 4-7; SNG von Aulock 1559; Laffaille 457.1,88gr. Purchased from Art & Coins May 2022


TROAS. Ophrynion

Ae (Circa 350-300 BC). Obv: Laureate head of Zeus right. Rev: OΦΡΥ. Warrior Hektor, wearing crested helmet, crouching left, holding shield and spear. BMC 8-9; SNG Copenhagen 460. Rare 1,57gr. Purchased from Art & Coins May 2022

Very Rare. "Ophrynion was the reputed burial place of the Trojan hero Hector. Strabo reports that the grove of Hector occupied a prominent place, and it is possible that a lost play of Sophocles referred to this tradition, which is also alluded to on an early 6th century vase by Onesimos that depicts the sack of Troy. The final lines of the Iliad are devoted to the funeral of Hector: 'Nine days long did they bring in great heaps of wood, and on the morning of the tenth day, with many tears they took brave Hector forth, laid his dead body upon the summit of the pile, and set the fire thereto. Then when the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared on the eleventh day, the people again assembled, round the pyre of mighty Hector. When they were got together, they first quenched the fire with wine wherever it was burning, and then his brothers and comrades with many a bitter tear gathered his white bones, wrapped them in soft robes of purple, and laid them in a golden urn, which they placed in a grave and covered over with large stones set close together. Then they built a barrow hurriedly over it keeping guard on every side lest the Achaeans should attack them before they had finished. When they had heaped up the barrow they went back again into the city, and being well assembled they held high feast in the house of Priam their king. Thus, then, did they celebrate the funeral of Hector, tamer of horses.'"

Edited by Ryro
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No Faustinas for me, but I do have a coin from Ilion and one with Hector.


Troas, Ilion (Troy)
301-281 BCE
AE 9mm 0.81g
Helmeted head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with a wreath /
IΛ-I; hydria.
Bellinger T3; SNG Cop 346


Troas. Ophrynion
circa 350-300 BCE
Æ 12 mm, 1,73 g
Bearded head of Hector of Troy facing, turned slightly to the right, wearing triple crested helmet /
ΟΦΡΥ, the infant Dionysos kneeling right atop ivy branch, holding grape cluster in right hand.
SNG Copenhagen 456; SNG von Aulock 1559.

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