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Gigantomachy, when the giants came up from the Earth.


JayAg47

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According to myth, the giants, including Enceladus, rebelled against the gods, seeking to overthrow them and take control of Mount Olympus. The gods, led by Zeus, engaged in a fierce battle against the giants. In which, Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, played a significant role in the conflict. During the battle, Athena faced off against Enceladus, ultimately defeating the giant by burying him under the island of Sicily. People believed he was the cause of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

From Virgil:

Enceladus, his body lightning-scarred,
lies prisoned under all, so runs the tale:
o'er him gigantic Aetna breathes in fire
from crack and seam; and if he haply turn
to change his wearied side, Trinacria's isle
trembles and moans, and thick fumes mantle heaven.

giga.jpg.5bfdbd378f817470685e85a0e2b5b371.jpg

Valerian I
Seleucia ad Calycadnum 
Obv.    laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Valerian, ΑVΚ ΠΟ ΛΙΚ ΟΥΑΛƐΡΙΑΝΟϹ
Rev.    Athena Promachos l. spearing at anguiped Enceladus who raises hands in resistance- ϹƐΛΕΥΚƐΩΝ ΤΩΝ Π[ ]ΚΛΥ(?)
253-260 AD
6.3 g
SNG 1059

Luckily the chipping didn't take-away anything from the main elements and also left the bust of Valerian intact! Just for perspective, if Enceladus was supposed to be a giant, then how big Athena would've been as represented in the coin?!

I actually bought this as an unattributed coin on ebay, I assume its from @Harry G's shop, correct me if wrong (great dealer by the way). I bought it simply for the reverse showing a guy having tentacles for legs. Further research on provincial coins and topics on CT showed the coin actually depicts the battle scene of Athena spearing the Anguiped giant (serpent-legged) Enceladus. 

And I actually found a die match!

a.jpg.f2327a7b653f506a71d59956d203d762.jpg

 

Please share your Greek giants! 

Edited by JayAg47
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  • JayAg47 changed the title to Gigantomachy, when the giants came up from the Earth.

What a fun, action-packed reverse type, @JayAg47! When I first learned from @TIF about these Gigantomachy coins from Seleucia ad Calycadnum, I had to acquire one for my collection. And I did!!

VolusianSeleuceiaadCalycadnumGigantomachy.jpg.f7f550336608520b5fa197c96b1adb17.jpg

Volusian, AD 251-253.
Roman provincial Æ 29.1 mm, 11.2 g, 6 h.
Cilicia, Seleucia ad Calycadnum, AD 251-253.
Obv: ΑV Κ ΓΑ ΟVΙΒ ϹΑΒΙΝ ΓΑΛΛΟϹ, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
Rev: ϹЄΛЄΥΚЄ-ΩΝ ΤΩ Π|ΡΟϹ Κ-ΑΛV|ΔΝ, Athena advancing right, brandishing spear, holding shield, attacking serpent-footed giant hurling stone with right hand.
Refs: RPC IX, 1336; BMC 21.141,54; SNG von Aulock 5851; RG 4480 (SNG France 1055); SNG Levante 780.
Notes: Double die match to SNG Levante 780 and RG 4480=SNG France 1055 (BnF); obverse die match to BMC 54.

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32 minutes ago, JayAg47 said:

According to myth, the giants, including Enceladus, rebelled against the gods, seeking to overthrow them and take control of Mount Olympus. The gods, led by Zeus, engaged in a fierce battle against the giants. In which, Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, played a significant role in the conflict. During the battle, Athena faced off against Enceladus, ultimately defeating the giant by burying him under the island of Sicily. People believed he was the cause of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

From Virgil:

Enceladus, his body lightning-scarred,
lies prisoned under all, so runs the tale:
o'er him gigantic Aetna breathes in fire
from crack and seam; and if he haply turn
to change his wearied side, Trinacria's isle
trembles and moans, and thick fumes mantle heaven.

giga.jpg.5bfdbd378f817470685e85a0e2b5b371.jpg

Valerian I
Seleucia ad Calycadnum 
Obv.    laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Valerian, ΑVΚ ΠΟ ΛΙΚ ΟΥΑΛƐΡΙΑΝΟϹ
Rev.    Athena Promachos l. spearing at anguiped Enceladus who raises hands in resistance- ϹƐΛΕΥΚƐΩΝ ΤΩΝ Π[ ]ΚΛΥ(?)
253-260 AD
6.3 g
SNG 1059

Luckily the chipping didn't take-away anything from the main elements and also left the bust of Valerian intact! Just for perspective, if Enceladus was supposed to be a giant, then how big Athena would've been as represented in the coin?!

I actually bought this as an unattributed coin on ebay, I assume its from @Harry G's shop, correct me if wrong (great dealer by the way). I bought it simply for the reverse showing a guy having tentacles for legs. Further research on provincial coins and topics on CT showed the coin actually depicts the battle scene of Athena spearing the Anguiped giant (serpent-legged) Enceladus. 

And I actually found a die match!

a.jpg.f2327a7b653f506a71d59956d203d762.jpg

 

Please share your Greek giants! 

Yes, I was the seller! 

Great write up - that's some fascinating mythology. I'm glad you like the coin!

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That's a cool coin @JayAg47! I really like the ancient mythology stories, about the Olympians, and the Titans and Giants. Food for some holywood movies too. Not many Roman issues - besides the provincial coinage - show the Giants. There's one very rare issue, of which below you may find a specimen. It was hammered at Roma, in 2022, for 11.000 GBP. And to be perfectly clear, this is not my coin 🙂

gigantomachy.jpg.8c216a431b64718b2b079ea050809ec8.jpg

I have an Imperial issue, showing the monument entry gate to the Capitoline. On one of the panels, there appears to be a scene of the Gigantomachy. My coin is a bit too worn to properly see it. So below is a photo of a better issue, where the panel is more visible. 

My coin:

18.5.png.f821b00c464281bf31e9536310f4c09a.png

NOT my coin (Gigantomachy panel marked):

Trajan_Arch_2_Bertolami_GIGANTOMACHY.jpg.bad477c89ca9e781a523feda77b7e71a.jpg

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