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12 Olympian Portraits: Zeus


Curtisimo

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Syracuse_Zeus_Timo.jpeg.71d3bd35c66078ec170bb69ec47ba081.jpegSICILY, Syracuse
Time of Timoleon or the Third Democracy 
AE Hemidrachm (?) struck ca. 343-317 BC
(24.00 mm, 14.35 g)
Obv.: IEYΣ EΛΕΥ-ΘΕ-ΡΙΟΣ Laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right
Rev.: ΣYPAK-OΣIΩN Τhunderbolt upright; barley
Ref.: HGC 1440 (Vol. 2); Calciati 71
Sometimes attributed to the time of Dion (357-354 BC)
From the collection of a Mentor (George E. Muller, Dir. of ancient coins at Spink from 1953-1982), ex Naville Numismatics 74, lot 42 (June 2022)

I have been working on a project to collect interesting Greek portrait coins of the 12 Olympian Gods. For this sub-collection I’ve set myself a few parameters:

  • Coins must represent the Greek god or goddess (not the Roman equivalent)
  • Coins must be a portrait coin of the god or goddess (as opposed to a full figure)
  • The coin must an exceptional portrait or be interesting in some other meaningful way

You can track my progress on write ups for this sub-collection below:

Curtisimo’s 12 Olympian Portraits

How Ancient is Zeus?
As the study of language became more sophisticated in the 18th and 19th centuries, linguists began to notice striking similarities in words from languages that were separated in both time and space. One of these words was the name for the Greek god: Zeus. Sanskrit Dyaús Pitṛ́, Roman Iuppiter, Greek Zeus Pater and Hittite šīuš are all clearly related. Based on a comparative analysis of such related words, linguists reconstructed a hypothetical ancestor language to many ancient and modern Eurasian languages called Proto-Indo-European (PIE).

The leading theory (the Kurgan Hypothesis) is that the people speaking PIE lived in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe which is centered on modern Ukraine. The Anatolian languages, such as Hittite, split from PIE around 4000-3500 BC. Considering the commonality between Zeus and šīuš, this suggests that an early version of Zeus predates this split and therefore may have been worshipped as early as the 4th and 5th millennium BC. 

The Sky Father and the Thunder Shaker
The PIE prototype of Zeus has been reconstructed as the god Dyḗus ph₂tḗr. This translates roughly to “Sky Father” or “Daytime-Sky Father.” As the name suggests, Dyḗus was the god of the daytime sky. In many of his surviving reflexes (ie descendent forms), his consort is an earth goddess. For instance, in the Sanskrit tradition of the Rig Vedas, his consort is Prithvi and together their primary function is as parents to the other gods. The original conception of Zeus’ (Dyḗus) was probably analogous to the role Uranus took in later Greek myth as the primordial sky and consort of Gaia.

For nomadic people on the endless grasslands of the Eurasian steppe it is not hard to see why the sky and earth would come to be worshiped as important and related deities.

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The Pontic-Caspian Steppe of modern Ukraine. It is likely that it was in this environment that Zeus was really “born.”

What is surprising, is that Dyḗus was not originally a god of storms and thunder. This seems to be a feature of the tradition that moved west into Europe, and particularly the Mediterranean. Zues taking on this association with storms may have been a function of him subsuming the responsibility of another god or perhaps it was just a natural outgrowth of sky worship. Having grown up on the Great Plains of North America, it is not hard for me to understand how propitiating a god of storms would be important for people living on the steppe.

Even in Europe today, the name of this ancient god can still be heard in modern words for the Christian God, such as Dios in Spanish.

Zeus and Human Sacrifice?
Written reference to Zeus begins around the 13th century BC during the Mycenaean age. There are two Linear B tablets that are worth mentioning.

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KN Fp 1

Tablet KN Fp 1 was found at Knossos and refers to Zeus as Zeus Diktaios (di-ka-to-jo di-we). This is significant when we consider what Hesiod has to say about the birthplace of Zeus in Theogony ca. 750-650 BC.

“So they sent her to Lyctus, to the rich land of Crete, when she was ready to bear great Zeus… and hid him in a remote cave beneath the secret places of the holy earth on thick-wooded Mount Aegeum” [2]

Both the place where Zeus was born (Lyctus) and where he was hidden (Mount Aegeum) as told by Hesiod are located within the Dikti Mountains of Crete. The fact that Zeus was already associated with this area by ca. 1200 BC may suggest that some recognizable version of his myth had already started to form, or else his later myth was influenced by the Cretan traditions.

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I took this photo in the ancient city of Lato in the eastern foothills of the Dikti Mountains. You can see the mountains begin to rise over the ruins in the distance.

The next tablet, PY Tn 316, was found at Pylos on the mainland and has been far more controversial. 

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PY Tn 316

The top line I transliterated above is formulaic and occurs repeatedly throughout the document. A direct translation is made difficult due to the controversy surrounding what po-re-na means. It the broadest sense, the top line says that sacrifice and gifts are being offered at the shrine (or sacred place) of Zeus. The bottom line says that Zeus is to receive 1 gold cup and one man, while Hera is to receive one gold cup and one woman. 

As to the significance of the word po-re-na, the leading scholar on Linear B, John Chadwick, had the following to say.

“It is impossible to resist the conclusion that the obscure word po-re-na in the introductory formula refers to the human beings, and, despite initial reluctance to accept the unpalatable fact, that these unfortunate people were to become sacrificial victims.” [1]

The tablets provide more questions than answers but it is interesting to reflect that Mycenaean Zues may have been both familiar and incredibly unfamiliar to the god we see by the Classical age.

King of the Olympians
It isn’t clear whether Zeus was king of the gods in the Mycenaean Era but he definitely was by the Homeric age.

The oldest surviving narrative of the myths associated with Zeus are from Hesiod, who I quoted above in relation to Zeus’s birthplace. Hesiod relates how Zeus’s father Kronos swallowed all of his children by Rhea so that none could ever overthrow him. Rhea asks her parents Gaia and Uranus to help her save Zeus from this fate. Gaia hides Zeus in a cave and Rhea gives Kronos a stone wrapped in swaddling cloths which he swallows instead. Zeus grows up to rescue his siblings before overthrowing his father and the other titans. Much of his myth is concerned with the struggle to bring a “final” order to the cosmos as the Greeks understood it. 

He is also well known for his unseemly philandering with both women and goddesses. I think some of this can be explained by Zeus taking on functions of local gods as his cult gained in importance. If you have two versions of Zeus that need to be synchronized and each version has a different wife, then one of them is likely to get demoted in status. This has resulted in some rather famous stories to explain his continued association with these original goddesses. For example, it has been suggested that Europa may have originally been a goddess who was later reimagined as a human woman.

The various stories about Zeus are too many to list here. Most of the stories requiring him to take direct action not related to his amorous pursuits take place in the archaic past when the world was still unsettled. By the time of the Homeric stories, Zeus is a supremely powerful ruler who passes judgement on the actions taking place.

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The Temple of Olympian Zeus at Athens (Author’s photo)

Why I Chose this Coin to Represent Zeus
The portrait is great to my eyes. Additionally, I wanted to have at least one coin of the 12 from Sicily in order to pay homage to the great artistry of that island.

More important to me though was that the name Zeus (IEYΣ) appears clearly spelled out on the obverse.

Finally, I really enjoy the story of Timoleon and his exploits in Sicily. It is nice to know as much about a Greek of this era that who wasn’t Athenian or royalty. His biography in Plutarch is a great read which I highly recommend.

References 
[1] Chadwick, John, The Mycenaean World, Cambridge University Press, 1976 (p 92)

[2] http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0130%3Acard%3D453

[3] Duhoux, Y. & Davies, A.M., A Companion to Linear B Mycenaean Greek Texts and their World Vol 2, PEETERS LOUVAIN-LA-NEUVE - WALPOLE, MA 2011

Do you have a coin you would pick as your representative portrait for Zeus? Let’s see it!

Also, please post your

  • Coins of Zeus
  • Coins of Jupiter
  • Full figure Zeus / Jupiter
  • Favorite Portrait from Sicily
  • Coins with Zeus’s thunderbolt
  • Coins with the gods name spelled out
  • Any categories I might have missed… surprise me!
     
Edited by Curtisimo
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My man! LOVING these Curtisimo's 12 and your wonderfully written and well researched write ups. 

I can see why you chose that coin to represent the king of Gods. Truly excellently artistry, in pristine condition,  from an amazing point in Greek history. 

I'll go the opposite direction in regards to condition, though I do love the artistry and style of the type, to post a coin of a highly historical and mythological significance, from a possible birthplace of the mighty hurler of lightening and farter😉 of thunder:

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CRETE, KNOSSOS.

AE (2.54 g), approx. 200-67 BC BC: head of the bearded Zeus to the right. Back: Labyrinth between ΚΝΩΣΙ / ΩΝ. Svoronos, Crete 116.2.00, Lindgren. Nice. Ex BAC Numismatics 2/9/20201

A few other fun Zeus portraits:

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Philip II AR Tetradrachm. Pella, 342-336 BC. Lifetime issue. Laureate head of Zeus right / Youth on horseback right, holding palm and reins; thunderbolt below, [N in exergue]. Le Rider 222-306. 14.22g, 24mm, 7h. VF. Purchased from Savoca July 2021

The Celtic version:

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and I'll end with a Pyrrhic Zeus:

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Pyrrhus

EPIRUS. AMBRAKIA. Kings of Epirus., 297-272 BCE AE (5.15g, 20 mm). Obv .: Head of Zeus left Reverse: lightening bundle in oak wreath between B and Pyrrhus monogram. SNG Cop. 102; BMC 44; HGC 3.1 271.

"One more Zeus like that and we're done for!"

Ps, I too love the time of Timoleon... but am holding my best coin of his for another of your 12

Edited by Ryro
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Another wonderful post, @Curtisimo. I'll pick out a few coins to post later. But I did want to mention how fascinated I am by all the etymological aspects. Such as the fact that the names Zeus, Jupiter, and Jove, as well as the Latin and Greek words Deus and Theos, are all related and all ultimately derive from the same PIE root. So, I believe, does the name of the Germanic/Norse warrior &/or sky god Tiw or Tyr (after whom Tuesday is named by analogy to Mars and Mardi), as well as the name of the thunder god Thor (after whom Thursday is named by analogy to Jove and Jeudi). 

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Hmmm... it seems I'm a bit shy when it comes to Zeus. I'll repost this one, though it's a little rough...

Syracuse, Timoleon and the Third Democracy

344-336 BC
AE Hemidrachm (23mm, 12.40g)
O: Laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right, hair short; ZEYΣEA EΛE-YΘEPIOΣ
to right.
R: Thunderbolt; eagle with closed wings standing to right; ΣYPAKOΣIΩN around.
HGC 2, 1440; Calciati II p. 167, 72; SNG ANS 477ff; SNG Cop 727; Sear 1192
ex Forvm Ancient Coins

~ Peter 

SyraTimoleon.jpeg~2.jpg

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Since the Timoleon and the Third Democracy is this popular here is mine 

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22 mm, 4,78 g.
Akarnania, Oeniadae. Ӕ. Circa 219-211 BC.
Laureate head of Zeus right, Λ below, eagle behind head / OINIAΔAN, head of the river-god Acheloös right, trident above.
BCD Akarnania 349; BMC 12; SNG Copenhagen 403.

 

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24 mm, 10,62 g.
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Tyre. Ptolemy III Euergetes 246-221 BC. Ӕ.
Diademed head of Zeus Ammon to right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle with closed wings standing to left on thunderbolt; club to left.
CPE B468; Svoronos 708; SNG Copenhagen 495.

 

Some Jupiter versions - my first Jupiter coin:

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19,9 mm, 2,38 g.
Postumus. Usurper in Gaul 260-269. Billon antoninianus. Colonia Agrippina (Cologne, Germany). 260-261 AD.
IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Postumus right / IOVI VICTORI, Jupiter walking right, hurling a thunderbolt.
RIC V Postumus 311.

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14 mm, 1,65 g.
Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus. AR quinarius. Rome. 88 BC.
Laureate head of Jupiter r. / Victory r. crowning trophy; in exergue, CN LENT.
Crawford 345/2; RSC I Cornelia 51a (ill.); BMCRR 2443-2444; Sear RCV I 255 (ill.); Sydenham 703; RBW Collection 1313.

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18,9 mm, 3,66 g.
C. Vibius C.f. Cn. Pansa Caetronianus. AR denarius. Rome. 48 BC.
[PANSA], mask of Pan right / [C VIBIVS C F CN] IOVIS AXVR, Jupiter Axurus seated left on throne, holding patera and sceptre.
Crawford 449/1a; RSC Vibia 18; BMC 3978; Syd. 947.

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When the whole series is completed, it will be one of the gems of this forum, I guess !
A beautiful coin and a very informative post. 

Zeus Hellanios from Syracuse. A most handsome SOB on this one : a pity I'm straight !!

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Syracuse Hiketas 288-279 BC

Head of Zeus hellanios right
ΣΙΡΑΚ ΟΣΙΩΝ. Eagle left, wings open, star and A in field
8.95 gr, 23 mm
Ref : Sear # 1212

 

A ptolemaic Zeus :

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Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemee IV

Head of Zeus right
PTOLEMAIOY BASILEOS, eagle left, cornucopia in field
36.11 gr, 34 mm
Ref : Sear #7841

 

Jupiter in full figure showing off his sixpack :

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Severus Alexander, Denarius - Rome mint, 225 CE 
IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, Laureate head of Severus Alexander right
IOVI VLTORI, Jupiter seated left holding victory and spear
3.26 gr
Ref : RCV #7873 (75), Cohen #97

Q

Edited by Qcumbor
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16 minutes ago, Qcumbor said:

When the whole series is completed, it will be one of the gems of this forum, I guess !

I remember @Ryro completed the set and some colleagues realized we have it too. For me it was a little forced - my only Hephaistos or Vulcan coin is a RR showing the anvil and tongs / Vulcan;'s cap. For me, that's not a Vulcan coin 😐

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9 hours ago, Curtisimo said:
  • Coins of Zeus
  • Coins of Jupiter

 

It is "difficult" to concentrate on certain coins now, since the theme of Zeus / Jupiter was used quite often as a motif. I have therefore decided on two of my "favourite coins" - in order not to post hundreds of coins with Zeus / Jupiter here.

First of all, a non-typical representation of Jupiter by Domitianus - not as a typical figure of the gods - but consecrated as an eagle. @David Atherton writes: "A denarius which possibly commemorates Domitian's escape from Vitellian forces after hiding in the Temple of Jupiter during the last days of the Civil War of 69 AD. The coin was also part of an issue that began Domitian's refinement of the coinage."

And the second coin then nevertheless the typical representation of the god Jupiter (standing). Here it is simply the optics - and that this type is rarely found under Gordianus in this "Mint-State-Condition". I simply like the coin.

 

DOMITRIC144b.jpg.2cb2402b296a0c55206de734033df54d.jpg

Titus Flavius Domitianus, Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus; Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 82/83 AD; Material: Silver; Diameter: 19mm; Weight: 3.79g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC II, Part 1 (second edition) Domitian 144b; Provenance: Ex Tauler & Fau Numismatics Madrid Spain include Certificate of Authenticity; Provenance: Ex Jean Gustav Prudent Collection; Obverse: Head of Domitian, laureate, right. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M for Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus, Pontifex Maximus (Imperator, Caesar, Domitian, Augustus, high priest); Reverse: Eagle standing front on thunderbolt, head left, wings spread. The Inscription reads: IVPPITER CONSERVATOR for Iuppiter Conservator (Jupiter, the protector).

 

 

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Marcus Antonius Gordianus IIIAntoninianus of the Roman Imperial Period 238 AD; Material: Silver; Diameter: 23mm; Weight: 4.3g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC IV Gordian III 2; Provenance: Superior Galleries Numismatics New York; Obverse: Bust of Gordian III, radiate, draped, cuirassed, right. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG for Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus Augustus; Reverse: Jupiter, nude except for cloak on shoulders, standing front, head left, holding vertical sceptre in left hand and thunderbolt in right hand over Gordian III, togate, standing left and raising right hand. The Inscription reads: IOVI CONSERVATORI for Jovi Conservatori (To Jupiter the Protector).

 

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Zeus:

GriechenAchaiischerBundArkadienPallantionHemidrachme.png.8cdb50a2c29f739d2167b14d2eee491a.png

Achaian League (Arcadia, Pallantion), AR hemidrachm, early 1st century BC. Obv: head of Zeus r. Rev: AX (Achaian League) monogram; Π-A-Λ in fields, upright trident below; all within wreath. 16mm, 2.20g Ref: Clerk 217; BCD Peloponnesos 1592; Benner 1.

Jupiter:

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Macrinus, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 217–218 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG; laureate and cuirassed short-bearded bust of Macrinus r. Rev: IOVI CONSERVATORI; Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and sceptre; to left, small figure of Macrinus standing r. 20mm, 3.21g. Ref: RIC IV Macrinus 76b.

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Great writeup with a lot of details I didn't know.

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Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II AR Tetradrachm.
Pella mint, ca 354-349 BCE
22-24 mm., 13.68g.
Laureate head of Zeus right / ΦIΛΛIΠOY, Philip II, diademed & in kausia, on horseback left, raising right hand

 

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Seleukos I Nikator
Tetradrachm (Silver, 26 mm, 17.08 g, 8 h)
Susa, circa 296/5-281.
Laureate head of Zeus to right. Rev. BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΣEΛEΥKOΥ Athena, brandishing spear overhead in her right hand and holding shield in her left, standing right in quadriga of elephants moving to right; above to right, spearhead; before elephants, monogram of MΩ. SC 177.2. 

 

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Mytilene EL Hekte c. 332 BCE
10.5mm 2.57g 12h
Avers : Tête laurée et barbue de Zeus à droite (Philippe II de Macédoine).
Revers : Tête imberbe d’Héraklès à droite coiffée de la léonté dans un carré linéaire (Alexandre III le Grand).
Bod.103 - B. traité- - Aulock1711 - P.- - BMC.- - Cop.- - HGCS. 5/1029 (R2)

 

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Satraps of Karia, Pixodaros AR Didrachm.
Halikarnassos, circa 341/0-336/5 BCE
Laureate head of Apollo facing, turned slightly to right / Zeus Labraundos standing to right, holding double-axe (labrys) over shoulder and lotus-tipped sceptre; ΠIΞΩΔAPOY to right.
HNO 241 (temporary); SNG Copenhagen 596-7; SNG Kayhan 891; SNG Von Aulock 2375-6;
6.53g, 19mm, 1h.

 

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens - view from my hotel

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It seems that I have only three coins with portraits of Zeus:

Thessalian League (under Roman Republic from 146 BCE, Province of Macedonia). Late 2nd-mid 1st centuries BCE, AR Stater ( = Double Victoriatus* = 1.5 denarius), Magistrates Sosipatros and Gorgopas. Obv. Laureate head of Zeus right / Rev. Helmeted Athena Itonia advancing right, holding shield with left hand and preparing to hurl spear with right hand; vertical legend ΘΕΣΣΑ-ΛΩN to left and right of Athena; [ΣΩ]ΣIΠ-ATPOΣ above spear; ΓOPΓΩΠΑΣ in exergue. BCD** Thessaly II 861.2 [CNG, The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly, Triton XV Auction, Jan. 3, 2012, Lot 861.2 (this coin)]; HGC 4, 209 [Hoover, Oliver, Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: . . . Thessaly . . . ., Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Thessaly Series,Vol. 4 (2014)]; SNG Soutzos 397 [Tsourti, E. and Trifiro, M.D., Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 5: Numismatic Museum, Athens, The A. G. Soutzos Collection (Athens, 2007)]; Klose pp. 339 & 346, 2 (same dies) [Klose, D.O.A, "Zur Chronologie der thessalischen Koinonprägungen im 2. und 1. Jh. v. Chr., Ein weiterer Schatzfund aus Südthessalien," in Peter, Ulrike. ed., Stephanos nomismatikos: Edith Schönert-Geiss zum 65. Geburtstag (Berlin, 1998), at pp. 333-350]. 22 mm., 6.08 g., 2 h. [According to Basil C. Demetriadi: From Franke Hoard, Greece, found Summer 1983.]

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Thessaly, Thessalian League (under Roman Republic from 146 BCE, Province of Macedonia). Mid-late 1st century BCE, AR Stater ( = Double Victoriatus* = 1.5 denarius), Magistrates Italos and Diokles. Obv. Head of Zeus right, wearing oak wreath, [ITAΛOY] [behind headoff flan] / Rev. Helmeted Athena Itonia advancing right, holding shield with left hand and preparing to hurl spear with right hand; vertical legend ΘΕΣΣΑ-ΛΩN to left and right of Athena; ΔIO-KΛHΣ above spear, N-I across field. BCD** Thessaly II 874.4 [CNG, The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly, Triton XV Auction, Jan. 3, 2012, Lot 874.4 (this coin)]; HGC 4, 210 [Hoover, Oliver, Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: . . . Thessaly . . . ., Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series,Vol. 4 (2014)]; McClean II 4797-4798 [Grose, S., Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. II, The Greek Mainland, the Aegean islands, Crete (Cambridge, 1926)]. 20 mm., 6.09 g., 12 h. [According to Basil C. Demetriadi: From Hoard found Dec. 1996, West of Karditsa, Thessaly, Greece.]

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* [Applicable to both Thessalian coins] CNG did not use the term “Double Victoriatus” in the Triton XV catalog, and apparently has not used it in general since at least 2006, because of the absence of evidence that that term, rather than simply "stater," was used contemporaneously in Thessaly.

 **[Applicable to both Thessaly coins.] BCD = Basil [a/k/a Vassili] C. Demetriadi.

I think my third Zeus portrait is unusually well-done for a Roman Alexandrian coin portrait:

Hadrian, Billon Tetradrachm, Year 10 (125/126 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right wearing paladumentum and aegis, seen from rear; around from 7:00, ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ - ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ ϹƐΒ [translation: Imperator Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus] / Rev. Laureate and draped bust of Zeus right, wearing himation; around, L ΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ [Year 10, spelled out]. RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. III 5598 (2015); RPC III Online 5598 at https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/5598; Emmett 903.10 (R2) [Emmett, Keith, Alexandrian Coins (Lodi, WI, 2001)]; BMC 16 Alexandria 571 at p. 70 [Poole, Reginald Stuart, A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 16, Alexandria (London, 1892)] [ill. RPC III Online 5598, Specimen 2 (primary illustration of type)] [same rev. leg.]; Milne 1100 at p. 28 [Milne, J.G., Catalogue of Alexandrian Coins in Ashmolean Museum (Oxford 1933, reprint with supplement by Colin M. Kraay, 1971)] [ill. RPC III Online 5598, Specimen 7] [same rev. leg.]; Curtis 555 at p. 22 [James W. Curtis, The Tetradrachms of Roman Egypt (1969)] [same rev. leg.]; K&G 32.362 [Kampmann, Ursula & Ganschow, Thomas, Die Münzen der römischen Münzstätte Alexandria  (2008)] [rev. leg. var.]; SNG France 4, Alexandrie II 1474 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France Vol. 4, Alexandrie II, Hadrien – Antonin le Pieux – Nomes (Zurich 2018)] [rev. leg. var.] 26 mm., 13.30 g., 11 h. Purchased from Classical Numismatic Group, LLC [CNG] Electronic Auction 524, 28 Sep 2022, Lot 388. [Note: 5 of 7 illustrated examples at RPC show Zeus wearing taenia instead of laurel wreath.]

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As for Jupiter, I have only two. He seems to be portrayed as noticeably more neatly-groomed, with shorter and less shaggy hair and beard, than my portraits of Zeus. I wonder if that's true generally, or just happenstance for my particular examples:

Roman Republic, L. Procilius L.f., AR Denarius, 80 BCE. Obv. Laureate head of Jupiter R., S C behind/ Rev. Juno Sospita advancing R., wearing Etruscan shoes turned up at the toe, holding figure-eight shield [prob. an allusion to the mythological Shield of the Salii priests, or ancilia] in left hand and hurling spear with right hand; snake before; behind, L. PROCILI/F downwards.  RSC I Procilia 1 (ill.), Crawford 379/1, Sydenham 771, Sear RCV I 306 (ill.), Harlan, RRM I Ch. 4 at pp. 19-22 [Michael Harlan, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012)], BMCRR Rome 3147. 19.5 mm., 3.6 g. (Purchased from Harlan J. Berk, Ltd., NYINC Jan. 2020.) [Footnote omitted.]

image.png.734f5dba033679b84b22856b2743cb95.png

Roman Republic, M. [Marcus] Volteius M.f., AR Denarius, 78 BCE (Crawford) or 75 BCE (Harlan). Obv. Laureate head of Jupiter right (anepigraphic) / Rev. Capitoline Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, tetrastyle (four columns flanking three cella [inner chamber] double-doors, one each for Jupiter in center [with lock or handle] & Minerva and Juno on sides), with Jupiter’s thunderbolt in pediment and prominent acroteria [roof decorations usually consisting of sculptures]; in exergue, M•VOLTEI•M•F. 18 mm., 3.84 g. Crawford 385/1; RSC I Volteia 1 (ill. p. 100); BMCRR I 3154 (ill. BMCRR III Pl. XLII No. 1); Sear RCV I 312 (ill. p. 131); Harlan, RRM I Ch. 12 pp. 70-73 [Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012)]; Yarrow, pp. 168-169 (ill. p. 169 Fig. 4.6) ) [Yarrow, Liv Mariah, The Roman Republic to 49 BCE: Using Coins as Sources (2021)]; Hollstein pp. 11-13 (ill. Tafel 1) [Hollstein, Wilhelm, Roman Coinage in the years 78-50 BC, etc. [Die stadtrömische Münzprägung der Jahre 78-50 v. Chr., zwischen politischer Aktualität und Familienthematik (Munich 1993)]; Albert 1280 (ill. p. 178) [Albert, Rainer, Die Münzen der Römischen Republik (2011)]; RBW Collection 1414 (ill. p. 291); E.E. Clain-Stefanelli, Life in Republican Rome on its Coinage (Smithsonian 1999), p. 87 (ill. at same page). Purchased from Lucernae Numismatics, Alcalá la Real, Jaén, Spain, Auction XIV, 25 May 2023, Lot 137.*

[For unknown reasons, seller's photo has reverse to left and obverse to right]

 image.png.80b03e8d0c3675373c6c969384cbaae0.png

*The depiction of the Capitoline Temple of Jupiter on the reverse of this coin is not only “the earliest representation of a temple on the Roman coin series” (Yarrow p. 169), but, according to Hollstein (p. 11) is actually “der ersten Abbildung eines Gebäudes auf römischen Münzen” (the first depiction of a building [of any kind] on Roman coins). [Remainder of fn. omitted.]

Finally, here are two standing Jupiters -- also shown with closely-cropped beards -- holding Victory on the reverses of a Licinius I from Siscia and a Licinius II from Cyzicus:

 

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19 hours ago, Ryro said:

My man! LOVING these Curtisimo's 12 and your wonderfully written and well researched write ups. 

I can see why you chose that coin to represent the king of Gods. Truly excellently artistry, in pristine condition,  from an amazing point in Greek history. 

I'll go the opposite direction in regards to condition, though I do love the artistry and style of the type, to post a coin of a highly historical and mythological significance, from a possible birthplace of the mighty hurler of lightening and farter😉 of thunder:

1645638_1611569933.l-removebg-preview.png.4d5a2ad757dafef165bbe0ec9852546d(1).png.326ee4ba4d4a6d3d462eb2091d883002.png

CRETE, KNOSSOS.

AE (2.54 g), approx. 200-67 BC BC: head of the bearded Zeus to the right. Back: Labyrinth between ΚΝΩΣΙ / ΩΝ. Svoronos, Crete 116.2.00, Lindgren. Nice. Ex BAC Numismatics 2/9/20201

A few other fun Zeus portraits:

2017359_1624822945.l-removebg-preview.png.e8c2c0f3b3a5ad0b4d77b4ecb0a666c4.png.b5058ce10b5705312d190ac276c969d8.png

Philip II AR Tetradrachm. Pella, 342-336 BC. Lifetime issue. Laureate head of Zeus right / Youth on horseback right, holding palm and reins; thunderbolt below, [N in exergue]. Le Rider 222-306. 14.22g, 24mm, 7h. VF. Purchased from Savoca July 2021

The Celtic version:

IMG_0808.PNG.1d65c791d13ede921601f15291680cca.png.73d09c20c5dd36e6d397fbd1dc66b0f3.png.e880f75be578ac686df94891b65541be.png

and I'll end with a Pyrrhic Zeus:

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Pyrrhus

EPIRUS. AMBRAKIA. Kings of Epirus., 297-272 BCE AE (5.15g, 20 mm). Obv .: Head of Zeus left Reverse: lightening bundle in oak wreath between B and Pyrrhus monogram. SNG Cop. 102; BMC 44; HGC 3.1 271.

"One more Zeus like that and we're done for!"

Ps, I too love the time of Timoleon... but am holding my best coin of his for another of your 12

I never get tired of seeing your labyrinth coins Ryan.

I am also glad you posted your Philip II lifetime tet. That is an iconic coin. I don’t have one of these yet and it is the only other coin I considered going after for my representative Zeus. We will have to see if I change my mind whenever I get one.

Great post as always. I am looking forward to seeing your examples of the other Olympians and especially the Sicilian you allude to. 🙂 

18 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Another wonderful post, @Curtisimo. I'll pick out a few coins to post later. But I did want to mention how fascinated I am by all the etymological aspects. Such as the fact that the names Zeus, Jupiter, and Jove, as well as the Latin and Greek words Deus and Theos, are all related and all ultimately derive from the same PIE root. So, I believe, does the name of the Germanic/Norse warrior &/or sky god Tiw or Tyr (after whom Tuesday is named by analogy to Mars and Mardi), as well as the name of the thunder god Thor (after whom Thursday is named by analogy to Jove and Jeudi). 

Thanks Donna. I agree that the etymology is fascinating. When I was researching I was shocked at how many cultures had a Dyeus derivative. I only listed a few of the ones that were most relevant to my explanation of Zeus but you could really get into the weeds on some interesting study in this field.

18 hours ago, Phil Anthos said:

Hmmm... it seems I'm a bit shy when it comes to Zeus. I'll repost this one, though it's a little rough...

Syracuse, Timoleon and the Third Democracy

344-336 BC
AE Hemidrachm (23mm, 12.40g)
O: Laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right, hair short; ZEYΣEA EΛE-YΘEPIOΣ
to right.
R: Thunderbolt; eagle with closed wings standing to right; ΣYPAKOΣIΩN around.
HGC 2, 1440; Calciati II p. 167, 72; SNG ANS 477ff; SNG Cop 727; Sear 1192
ex Forvm Ancient Coins

~ Peter 

SyraTimoleon.jpeg~2.jpg

Nice example Phil. Thanks for posting.

14 hours ago, ambr0zie said:

Since the Timoleon and the Third Democracy is this popular here is mine 

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22 mm, 4,78 g.
Akarnania, Oeniadae. Ӕ. Circa 219-211 BC.
Laureate head of Zeus right, Λ below, eagle behind head / OINIAΔAN, head of the river-god Acheloös right, trident above.
BCD Akarnania 349; BMC 12; SNG Copenhagen 403.

 

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24 mm, 10,62 g.
Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Tyre. Ptolemy III Euergetes 246-221 BC. Ӕ.
Diademed head of Zeus Ammon to right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle with closed wings standing to left on thunderbolt; club to left.
CPE B468; Svoronos 708; SNG Copenhagen 495.

 

Some Jupiter versions - my first Jupiter coin:

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19,9 mm, 2,38 g.
Postumus. Usurper in Gaul 260-269. Billon antoninianus. Colonia Agrippina (Cologne, Germany). 260-261 AD.
IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust of Postumus right / IOVI VICTORI, Jupiter walking right, hurling a thunderbolt.
RIC V Postumus 311.

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14 mm, 1,65 g.
Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Clodianus. AR quinarius. Rome. 88 BC.
Laureate head of Jupiter r. / Victory r. crowning trophy; in exergue, CN LENT.
Crawford 345/2; RSC I Cornelia 51a (ill.); BMCRR 2443-2444; Sear RCV I 255 (ill.); Sydenham 703; RBW Collection 1313.

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18,9 mm, 3,66 g.
C. Vibius C.f. Cn. Pansa Caetronianus. AR denarius. Rome. 48 BC.
[PANSA], mask of Pan right / [C VIBIVS C F CN] IOVIS AXVR, Jupiter Axurus seated left on throne, holding patera and sceptre.
Crawford 449/1a; RSC Vibia 18; BMC 3978; Syd. 947.

Nice examples @ambr0zie. Thanks for sharing.

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12 hours ago, Qcumbor said:

When the whole series is completed, it will be one of the gems of this forum, I guess !
A beautiful coin and a very informative post. 

Zeus Hellanios from Syracuse. A most handsome SOB on this one : a pity I'm straight !!

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Syracuse Hiketas 288-279 BC

Head of Zeus hellanios right
ΣΙΡΑΚ ΟΣΙΩΝ. Eagle left, wings open, star and A in field
8.95 gr, 23 mm
Ref : Sear # 1212

 

A ptolemaic Zeus :

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Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemee IV

Head of Zeus right
PTOLEMAIOY BASILEOS, eagle left, cornucopia in field
36.11 gr, 34 mm
Ref : Sear #7841

 

Jupiter in full figure showing off his sixpack :

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Severus Alexander, Denarius - Rome mint, 225 CE 
IMP C M AVR SEV ALEXAND AVG, Laureate head of Severus Alexander right
IOVI VLTORI, Jupiter seated left holding victory and spear
3.26 gr
Ref : RCV #7873 (75), Cohen #97

Q

You are too kind my friend! 🙂

What a spectacular Hiketas! I would have mistaken that portrait for Apollo if I wasn’t aware it is Zeus. You can clearly see ΔΙΟΣ in front of the portrait however. It is interesting how the spelling changes even in the same city over a period of 50+ years.

All great coins!

11 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

 

It is "difficult" to concentrate on certain coins now, since the theme of Zeus / Jupiter was used quite often as a motif. I have therefore decided on two of my "favourite coins" - in order not to post hundreds of coins with Zeus / Jupiter here.

First of all, a non-typical representation of Jupiter by Domitianus - not as a typical figure of the gods - but consecrated as an eagle. @David Atherton writes: "A denarius which possibly commemorates Domitian's escape from Vitellian forces after hiding in the Temple of Jupiter during the last days of the Civil War of 69 AD. The coin was also part of an issue that began Domitian's refinement of the coinage."

And the second coin then nevertheless the typical representation of the god Jupiter (standing). Here it is simply the optics - and that this type is rarely found under Gordianus in this "Mint-State-Condition". I simply like the coin.

 

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Titus Flavius Domitianus, Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus; Denarius of the Roman Imperial Period 82/83 AD; Material: Silver; Diameter: 19mm; Weight: 3.79g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC II, Part 1 (second edition) Domitian 144b; Provenance: Ex Tauler & Fau Numismatics Madrid Spain include Certificate of Authenticity; Provenance: Ex Jean Gustav Prudent Collection; Obverse: Head of Domitian, laureate, right. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES DOMITIANVS AVG P M for Imperator Caesar Domitianus Augustus, Pontifex Maximus (Imperator, Caesar, Domitian, Augustus, high priest); Reverse: Eagle standing front on thunderbolt, head left, wings spread. The Inscription reads: IVPPITER CONSERVATOR for Iuppiter Conservator (Jupiter, the protector).

 

 

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Marcus Antonius Gordianus IIIAntoninianus of the Roman Imperial Period 238 AD; Material: Silver; Diameter: 23mm; Weight: 4.3g; Mint: Rome; Reference: RIC IV Gordian III 2; Provenance: Superior Galleries Numismatics New York; Obverse: Bust of Gordian III, radiate, draped, cuirassed, right. The Inscription reads: IMP CAES M ANT GORDIANVS AVG for Imperator Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordianus Augustus; Reverse: Jupiter, nude except for cloak on shoulders, standing front, head left, holding vertical sceptre in left hand and thunderbolt in right hand over Gordian III, togate, standing left and raising right hand. The Inscription reads: IOVI CONSERVATORI for Jovi Conservatori (To Jupiter the Protector).

 

Great coins @Prieure de Sion. I especially like your IOVI CONSERVATORI example. One of my favorite Jupiter reverse coins is a similar IOVI CONSERVAT AVG and is important for being one of Diocletian’s sole rule issues.

Diocletian_Ant_Sole_Rule.jpeg.836bc23a4af8b873fc45190a3a253a0c.jpeg
Roman Empire
Diocletian, AD 284-305
AE Antoninianus, Rome mint, 6th officina, struck AD 285-286 (sole reign issue)
Dia.: 24.73 mm
Wt.: 3.55 g
Obv.: IMP DIOCLETIANVS AVG. Diocletian radiate bust right.
Rev.: IOVI CONSER-VAT AVG. Jupiter standing holding thunder bolt and scepter. XXIZ below.
Ref.: RIC V:II 161
Ex Dr. Walter Neussel Collection, aquired from Auktion GM 92, Lot 365 (Nov. 1998), Dr. Busseo Peus Nachf. Auktion 420, Lot 6051 (Nov. 2017)

11 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

NGC6327501-017AWKCollection.jpg.d72e4f65528f9f2eb18e54f2fdfc6234.jpg

 

SerrateDenariusAR4.07gm19mmCrawford364-1d.jpg.6ddc4b8b5e0406933b5edebda73aff16.jpg

Roman Republic, 83-82 BC, AR Denarius Serratus: 4.07 gm, 19 mm, 5 h. Obverse: Head of Jupiter.

You have a real eye for tremendous portraits Al. Wonderful examples!

9 hours ago, Ursus said:

Zeus:

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Achaian League (Arcadia, Pallantion), AR hemidrachm, early 1st century BC. Obv: head of Zeus r. Rev: AX (Achaian League) monogram; Π-A-Λ in fields, upright trident below; all within wreath. 16mm, 2.20g Ref: Clerk 217; BCD Peloponnesos 1592; Benner 1.

Jupiter:

RomMacrinusDenarJupiterRIC76b.png.ecb4b6868b8bc8341e3cb635626464af.png

Macrinus, Roman Empire, AR denarius, 217–218 AD, Rome mint. Obv: IMP C M OPEL SEV MACRINVS AVG; laureate and cuirassed short-bearded bust of Macrinus r. Rev: IOVI CONSERVATORI; Jupiter standing left, holding thunderbolt and sceptre; to left, small figure of Macrinus standing r. 20mm, 3.21g. Ref: RIC IV Macrinus 76b.

Nice examples @Ursus! Your full figure Jupiter has an impressive portrait in its own right. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 

4 hours ago, kirispupis said:

Great writeup with a lot of details I didn't know.

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Macedonian Kingdom, Philip II AR Tetradrachm.
Pella mint, ca 354-349 BCE
22-24 mm., 13.68g.
Laureate head of Zeus right / ΦIΛΛIΠOY, Philip II, diademed & in kausia, on horseback left, raising right hand

 

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Seleukos I Nikator
Tetradrachm (Silver, 26 mm, 17.08 g, 8 h)
Susa, circa 296/5-281.
Laureate head of Zeus to right. Rev. BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΣEΛEΥKOΥ Athena, brandishing spear overhead in her right hand and holding shield in her left, standing right in quadriga of elephants moving to right; above to right, spearhead; before elephants, monogram of MΩ. SC 177.2. 

 

mytilene.jpg.a4904a0780feb1a25c89b63bd9b7878e.jpg

Mytilene EL Hekte c. 332 BCE
10.5mm 2.57g 12h
Avers : Tête laurée et barbue de Zeus à droite (Philippe II de Macédoine).
Revers : Tête imberbe d’Héraklès à droite coiffée de la léonté dans un carré linéaire (Alexandre III le Grand).
Bod.103 - B. traité- - Aulock1711 - P.- - BMC.- - Cop.- - HGCS. 5/1029 (R2)

 

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Satraps of Karia, Pixodaros AR Didrachm.
Halikarnassos, circa 341/0-336/5 BCE
Laureate head of Apollo facing, turned slightly to right / Zeus Labraundos standing to right, holding double-axe (labrys) over shoulder and lotus-tipped sceptre; ΠIΞΩΔAPOY to right.
HNO 241 (temporary); SNG Copenhagen 596-7; SNG Kayhan 891; SNG Von Aulock 2375-6;
6.53g, 19mm, 1h.

 

Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens - view from my hotel

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These are all great portraits of Zeus Kiris. Your electrum hekte is especially worthy of praise.

Great evening shot of the temple of Olympian Zeus. That vantage point really helps give a sense of scale to the temple. It must have been quite impressive.

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Great write up once again and many attractive coins. My favourite coin of Zeus in my collection is this hemidrachm from Kyrene. Technically it's Zeus-Ammon, a mix of the great Greek and Egyptian gods. Struck c. 500 - 490 BC.

* Apologies for showing this coin again- if you think you've seen it before - you have!

image00265-removebg-preview.png.5fb662461d7b58c841f0f9a4ac70ba2d.png

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Wonderful coins !

 

I like this friendly looking Zeus portrait:

normal_Anazarbos_1.jpg.3ccef9a7dbc928f222d59cd50175e65f.jpg

Cilicia, Anazarbos
Pseudo-autonomous issue
Time of Trajan, 113 - 114 AD
Obv.: KAICAPEΩN ΠP ANAZAPBΩ laureate head of Zeus right
Rev.: ETOVC BΛP, veiled and turreted bust of Tyche right
BΛP = local year 132
AE, 21.85 mm, 7.74g
Ref.: SNG Levante 1379

 

and one that is NOT represantative:

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SICILY, Syracuse.
Hiketas II. 287-278 BCE
Æ Litra
Struck circa 283-279 BCE
Obv: [ΔIOΣ EΛΛANIOY], laureate head of Zeus Hellanios
Rev: ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, eagle standing left left on thunderbolt, with wings spread, A and star left
good VF
AE, 19x23 mm, 7.5g
Ref.: CNS II, 168

 

 

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Another Zeus Eleutherios and a "Rizzo plate coin"

TimoleonFinal.jpg.b046f24dcbb491e7277bef9cae00e8d8.jpg

Sicily, Syracuse Æ 26mm. Time of Timoleon and the Third Democracy, circa 339/8-334 BC. ΖΕΥΣ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΟΣ, laureate head of Zeus to left / ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ, free horse prancing to left. CNS 80 st 8/1 (this coin); SNG Spencer-Churchill 62 (this coin); Rizzo pl. LVIII 6 (this coin); HGC 2, 1439. 21.22g,

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  • 2 weeks later...

Apologies for my late response on this thread, I’ve been meaning to finish reading through and responding to everyone but I kept getting distracted!

On 10/23/2023 at 11:34 AM, DonnaML said:

It seems that I have only three coins with portraits of Zeus:

Thessalian League (under Roman Republic from 146 BCE, Province of Macedonia). Late 2nd-mid 1st centuries BCE, AR Stater ( = Double Victoriatus* = 1.5 denarius), Magistrates Sosipatros and Gorgopas. Obv. Laureate head of Zeus right / Rev. Helmeted Athena Itonia advancing right, holding shield with left hand and preparing to hurl spear with right hand; vertical legend ΘΕΣΣΑ-ΛΩN to left and right of Athena; [ΣΩ]ΣIΠ-ATPOΣ above spear; ΓOPΓΩΠΑΣ in exergue. BCD** Thessaly II 861.2 [CNG, The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly, Triton XV Auction, Jan. 3, 2012, Lot 861.2 (this coin)]; HGC 4, 209 [Hoover, Oliver, Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: . . . Thessaly . . . ., Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Thessaly Series,Vol. 4 (2014)]; SNG Soutzos 397 [Tsourti, E. and Trifiro, M.D., Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 5: Numismatic Museum, Athens, The A. G. Soutzos Collection (Athens, 2007)]; Klose pp. 339 & 346, 2 (same dies) [Klose, D.O.A, "Zur Chronologie der thessalischen Koinonprägungen im 2. und 1. Jh. v. Chr., Ein weiterer Schatzfund aus Südthessalien," in Peter, Ulrike. ed., Stephanos nomismatikos: Edith Schönert-Geiss zum 65. Geburtstag (Berlin, 1998), at pp. 333-350]. 22 mm., 6.08 g., 2 h. [According to Basil C. Demetriadi: From Franke Hoard, Greece, found Summer 1983.]

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Thessaly, Thessalian League (under Roman Republic from 146 BCE, Province of Macedonia). Mid-late 1st century BCE, AR Stater ( = Double Victoriatus* = 1.5 denarius), Magistrates Italos and Diokles. Obv. Head of Zeus right, wearing oak wreath, [ITAΛOY] [behind headoff flan] / Rev. Helmeted Athena Itonia advancing right, holding shield with left hand and preparing to hurl spear with right hand; vertical legend ΘΕΣΣΑ-ΛΩN to left and right of Athena; ΔIO-KΛHΣ above spear, N-I across field. BCD** Thessaly II 874.4 [CNG, The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly, Triton XV Auction, Jan. 3, 2012, Lot 874.4 (this coin)]; HGC 4, 210 [Hoover, Oliver, Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: . . . Thessaly . . . ., Sixth to First Centuries BC, The Handbook of Greek Coinage Series,Vol. 4 (2014)]; McClean II 4797-4798 [Grose, S., Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. II, The Greek Mainland, the Aegean islands, Crete (Cambridge, 1926)]. 20 mm., 6.09 g., 12 h. [According to Basil C. Demetriadi: From Hoard found Dec. 1996, West of Karditsa, Thessaly, Greece.]

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* [Applicable to both Thessalian coins] CNG did not use the term “Double Victoriatus” in the Triton XV catalog, and apparently has not used it in general since at least 2006, because of the absence of evidence that that term, rather than simply "stater," was used contemporaneously in Thessaly.

 **[Applicable to both Thessaly coins.] BCD = Basil [a/k/a Vassili] C. Demetriadi.

I think my third Zeus portrait is unusually well-done for a Roman Alexandrian coin portrait:

Hadrian, Billon Tetradrachm, Year 10 (125/126 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right wearing paladumentum and aegis, seen from rear; around from 7:00, ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ - ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑ ϹƐΒ [translation: Imperator Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus] / Rev. Laureate and draped bust of Zeus right, wearing himation; around, L ΔΕΚΑΤΟΥ [Year 10, spelled out]. RPC [Roman Provincial Coinage] Vol. III 5598 (2015); RPC III Online 5598 at https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/5598; Emmett 903.10 (R2) [Emmett, Keith, Alexandrian Coins (Lodi, WI, 2001)]; BMC 16 Alexandria 571 at p. 70 [Poole, Reginald Stuart, A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 16, Alexandria (London, 1892)] [ill. RPC III Online 5598, Specimen 2 (primary illustration of type)] [same rev. leg.]; Milne 1100 at p. 28 [Milne, J.G., Catalogue of Alexandrian Coins in Ashmolean Museum (Oxford 1933, reprint with supplement by Colin M. Kraay, 1971)] [ill. RPC III Online 5598, Specimen 7] [same rev. leg.]; Curtis 555 at p. 22 [James W. Curtis, The Tetradrachms of Roman Egypt (1969)] [same rev. leg.]; K&G 32.362 [Kampmann, Ursula & Ganschow, Thomas, Die Münzen der römischen Münzstätte Alexandria  (2008)] [rev. leg. var.]; SNG France 4, Alexandrie II 1474 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France Vol. 4, Alexandrie II, Hadrien – Antonin le Pieux – Nomes (Zurich 2018)] [rev. leg. var.] 26 mm., 13.30 g., 11 h. Purchased from Classical Numismatic Group, LLC [CNG] Electronic Auction 524, 28 Sep 2022, Lot 388. [Note: 5 of 7 illustrated examples at RPC show Zeus wearing taenia instead of laurel wreath.]

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As for Jupiter, I have only two. He seems to be portrayed as noticeably more neatly-groomed, with shorter and less shaggy hair and beard, than my portraits of Zeus. I wonder if that's true generally, or just happenstance for my particular examples:

Roman Republic, L. Procilius L.f., AR Denarius, 80 BCE. Obv. Laureate head of Jupiter R., S C behind/ Rev. Juno Sospita advancing R., wearing Etruscan shoes turned up at the toe, holding figure-eight shield [prob. an allusion to the mythological Shield of the Salii priests, or ancilia] in left hand and hurling spear with right hand; snake before; behind, L. PROCILI/F downwards.  RSC I Procilia 1 (ill.), Crawford 379/1, Sydenham 771, Sear RCV I 306 (ill.), Harlan, RRM I Ch. 4 at pp. 19-22 [Michael Harlan, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012)], BMCRR Rome 3147. 19.5 mm., 3.6 g. (Purchased from Harlan J. Berk, Ltd., NYINC Jan. 2020.) [Footnote omitted.]

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Roman Republic, M. [Marcus] Volteius M.f., AR Denarius, 78 BCE (Crawford) or 75 BCE (Harlan). Obv. Laureate head of Jupiter right (anepigraphic) / Rev. Capitoline Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, tetrastyle (four columns flanking three cella [inner chamber] double-doors, one each for Jupiter in center [with lock or handle] & Minerva and Juno on sides), with Jupiter’s thunderbolt in pediment and prominent acroteria [roof decorations usually consisting of sculptures]; in exergue, M•VOLTEI•M•F. 18 mm., 3.84 g. Crawford 385/1; RSC I Volteia 1 (ill. p. 100); BMCRR I 3154 (ill. BMCRR III Pl. XLII No. 1); Sear RCV I 312 (ill. p. 131); Harlan, RRM I Ch. 12 pp. 70-73 [Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins, 81 BCE-64 BCE (2012)]; Yarrow, pp. 168-169 (ill. p. 169 Fig. 4.6) ) [Yarrow, Liv Mariah, The Roman Republic to 49 BCE: Using Coins as Sources (2021)]; Hollstein pp. 11-13 (ill. Tafel 1) [Hollstein, Wilhelm, Roman Coinage in the years 78-50 BC, etc. [Die stadtrömische Münzprägung der Jahre 78-50 v. Chr., zwischen politischer Aktualität und Familienthematik (Munich 1993)]; Albert 1280 (ill. p. 178) [Albert, Rainer, Die Münzen der Römischen Republik (2011)]; RBW Collection 1414 (ill. p. 291); E.E. Clain-Stefanelli, Life in Republican Rome on its Coinage (Smithsonian 1999), p. 87 (ill. at same page). Purchased from Lucernae Numismatics, Alcalá la Real, Jaén, Spain, Auction XIV, 25 May 2023, Lot 137.*

[For unknown reasons, seller's photo has reverse to left and obverse to right]

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*The depiction of the Capitoline Temple of Jupiter on the reverse of this coin is not only “the earliest representation of a temple on the Roman coin series” (Yarrow p. 169), but, according to Hollstein (p. 11) is actually “der ersten Abbildung eines Gebäudes auf römischen Münzen” (the first depiction of a building [of any kind] on Roman coins). [Remainder of fn. omitted.]

Finally, here are two standing Jupiters -- also shown with closely-cropped beards -- holding Victory on the reverses of a Licinius I from Siscia and a Licinius II from Cyzicus:

 

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Great coins @DonnaML. I really the Thessalian League portraits. Those are good options for a Zeus portrait coin. There are, surprisingly, not as many options for Zeus as there are for some of the other Olympians, such as Apollo or Athena.

...and of course I like your Temple of Jupiter OMC. Any excuse for me to post mine again is a good excuse. 😉 

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On 10/24/2023 at 2:28 AM, Di Nomos said:

Great write up once again and many attractive coins. My favourite coin of Zeus in my collection is this hemidrachm from Kyrene. Technically it's Zeus-Ammon, a mix of the great Greek and Egyptian gods. Struck c. 500 - 490 BC.

* Apologies for showing this coin again- if you think you've seen it before - you have!

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I’ll look at it as many times as you feel like posting it! 🙂 

I love the unapologetically Archaic portrait! This would have to be one of the earliest portraits of Zeus. I wonder if it is the earliest?

On 10/25/2023 at 12:51 AM, shanxi said:

Wonderful coins !

 

I like this friendly looking Zeus portrait:

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Cilicia, Anazarbos
Pseudo-autonomous issue
Time of Trajan, 113 - 114 AD
Obv.: KAICAPEΩN ΠP ANAZAPBΩ laureate head of Zeus right
Rev.: ETOVC BΛP, veiled and turreted bust of Tyche right
BΛP = local year 132
AE, 21.85 mm, 7.74g
Ref.: SNG Levante 1379

 

and one that is NOT represantative:

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SICILY, Syracuse.
Hiketas II. 287-278 BCE
Æ Litra
Struck circa 283-279 BCE
Obv: [ΔIOΣ EΛΛANIOY], laureate head of Zeus Hellanios
Rev: ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, eagle standing left left on thunderbolt, with wings spread, A and star left
good VF
AE, 19x23 mm, 7.5g
Ref.: CNS II, 168

 

 

Interesting contrast of styles! I agree that the top portrait looks rather jolly. The bottom portrait looks like Zeus still has a bedtime!  🙂

Thanks for sharing these.

On 10/25/2023 at 11:13 AM, Brennos said:

Another Zeus Eleutherios and a "Rizzo plate coin"

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Sicily, Syracuse Æ 26mm. Time of Timoleon and the Third Democracy, circa 339/8-334 BC. ΖΕΥΣ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΟΣ, laureate head of Zeus to left / ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ, free horse prancing to left. CNS 80 st 8/1 (this coin); SNG Spencer-Churchill 62 (this coin); Rizzo pl. LVIII 6 (this coin); HGC 2, 1439. 21.22g,

Beautiful coin with a wonderful portrait! That is definitely a worthy choice for a representative portrait! Thanks for sharing.

………………………………………

I just finished compiling my notes on my Septimius Severus / Circus Maximus denarius and getting the first round of Secret Saturnalia completed. Therefore I should have some time soon to put together my notes on the next Olympian. Right now I am thinking either Apollo or Poseidon. Thanks to everyone for showing your Zeus’s! 🙂 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another magnificent post by Curtis😇

 

I have a few with Zeus/ Jupiter/ one just recent win!

Kyrenaica/ Kyrene

AV Obol ND

Kyrene Mint

Struck under Ptolemaic Governor Magas 308-05BC

obv: Zeus Ammon

rev: Artemis

 

Ionia/ Phokaia

City State

EL Hekte ND 500-450BC

Phokaia Mint

Zeus Left/ Seal

Quadripartite Incuse Square

 

Imperial Rome

Diocletain

AV Aureus ND (286AD)

Cyzicus Mint

Laureate/ draped/ cuirassed bust R

Jupiter standing holding lightening bolt

 

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48 minutes ago, panzerman said:

Another magnificent post by Curtis😇

 

I have a few with Zeus/ Jupiter/ one just recent win!

Kyrenaica/ Kyrene

AV Obol ND

Kyrene Mint

Struck under Ptolemaic Governor Magas 308-05BC

obv: Zeus Ammon

rev: Artemis

 

Ionia/ Phokaia

City State

EL Hekte ND 500-450BC

Phokaia Mint

Zeus Left/ Seal

Quadripartite Incuse Square

 

Imperial Rome

Diocletain

AV Aureus ND (286AD)

Cyzicus Mint

Laureate/ draped/ cuirassed bust R

Jupiter standing holding lightening bolt

 

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IMG_0021.JPG

IMG_0023.JPG

e958770a0c7f80ad79f10acf444a847e (1).jpg

Thanks John!

As always, your coins are nothing short of stunning, my friend. 

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Oh, if Zeus would give me back the past years! But in the meantime, irreplaceable time flees, flees.
Vergil Aeneis VIII,560

 

Greek Coins, In the name and types of Alexander III the Great; Reign: Magistrate Stasion; Mint: Rhodos, Islands of Caria; Date: ca. 205/190 BC; Nominal: Tetradrachm; Material: Silver; Diameter: 32mm; Weight: 17.06g; Reference: Price 2517; Reference: HGC 6 1455; Reference: Ashton 250; Obverse: Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin; Reverse: Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; in left field, ΣΤΑΣΙΩΝ above rose; PO below throne; Inscription: ΣΤΑΣΙΩΝ AΛEΞANΔPOY; Translation: Stasion Alexandrou; Translation: [Magistrate] Stasion, in the name of Alexander the Great.

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