Jump to content

Help with Peeing Marsyas?


Recommended Posts

  • Benefactor

I picked this up at one of the lower tier auctions recently (you know, the ones with no description, just a photo).  I thought I had recognized it but when I went to attribute it I cant seem to find anything similar.  I just dont know.  Looks a bit like Hadrian, but could be any of the bearded emperors.  I just cant read the reverse letters at all, so I dont know what city to look under.  It was sold as 'Vespasian, Aeolis Aigai, 24mm, 6.81 grams'.  The reverse seems to show Marsyas with wineskin over shoulder holding his penis and urinating.  Or maybe I am seeing things.  Often we look too hard at something that others will instantly recognize, even common coins.

Any suggestions?


  • Like 8
  • Big Smile 1
  • Laugh 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Difficulty with provincials is that the portraits can be anything from Augustus to one of the many so called soldier emperors.... But I dont think that is Vespasian. Maybe Claudius, or indeed Hadrian. 

The reverse could be Marsyas, but Ive never seen him without hand and head raised or the flutes. So either the arm is worn off, or its some variety, or it isnt Marsyas. Im thinking of the latter, also because the head of Marsyas seems to be not looking upwards. I also cant find coins from Aeolis Aigai with Marsyas on the reverse on a ACsearch.

Sorry, cant help any further with the pee pee mystery unfortunately. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried really hard but this was the closest reverse I found, Portrait isn't a good match.






URI https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/6/8155 json ttl rdf xml
Volume VI
Number 8155 (temporary)
Province Syria Coele
Region Syria
City Laodicea ad Mare
Reign Elagabalus
Person (obv.) Elagabalus (Augustus)
Issue Group 1b
Obverse inscription [...] M AV ANTONEINVS [...]
Obverse design laureate head of Elagabalus, r., with drapery
Reverse inscription COL LAOD C METROPOL [...] Δ Ɛ
Reverse design Marsyas standing, r., carrying wineskin on shoulder and raising hand in front of statue of goddess standing, l., wearing polos, hoding round shield and spear(?)
Edited by Steppenfool
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, AncientOne said:

Augustus from Mallos like this:


Great find!

The description of he reverse leaves much to speculate (and research):

figure standing r., holding branch; uncertain object at feet to r.

A Note is added:

2 is from a different reverse die from 1, but is perhaps from the same obverse die. Butcher suggests an attribution to Tiberius, but he notes that the style is very different from that of other coins of the Julio-Claudian period. He identifies the figure on the reverse as Amphilochus.

Never heard of Amphilochus before!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

I want to thank all who participated in the attribution of this very odd coin.  I have been so busy of late I just dont participate as much as I would like.  Anyway, as RPC only has 4 of these recorded I have submitted my example to the catalog.

  • 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.

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...