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Domitian Zeus-Ammon Diobol

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Lately, I've been on somewhat of a Egyptian tangent and this recent Domitian diobol from Alexandria fits right in.


Æ Diobol, 8.61g
Alexandria Mint, 86-87 AD
Obv: ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙΣΑΡ ΔΟΜΙΤΙΑΝΟΣ ΣΕΒ ΓΕΡΜ; Head of Domitian, laureate, r.
Rev: ΕΤΟΥΣ ΕΚΤΟΥ; Bust of Ammon, r.
RPC 2529 (4 spec.). Emmett 299.6. Dattari-Savio 6763.
Acquired from CGB, April 2024.

Struck in regnal year six, the reverse of this diobol features a bust of Zeus-Ammon. Zeus-Ammon was a syncretic god combining the features of a bearded Zeus with the ram's horn of the Egyptian god Ammon. His principle shrine was the vast Karnak temple complex near Thebes.

In hand.


Thank you for looking!

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Posted · Benefactor
Posted (edited)

A beautiful coin, @David Atherton

Out of all my Roman Alexandrian coins, I have only one depicting Zeus Ammon:

Antoninus Pius Billon Tetradrachm, Year 12 (148-149 AD), Alexandria, Egypt Mint. Obv. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, ΑΝΤѠΝ(Ɛ)ΙΝΟϹ ϹƐΒ ƐVϹƐΒ (beginning at 2:00) / Draped bust of Zeus-Ammon right, crowned with disk [partially off flan], L ΔѠΔƐ - ΚΑΤΟV [Year 12 spelled out] (clockwise from lower left). RPC IV.4 Online 13625 [temporary number] (see https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/13625) [this coin is Specimen 13, ex Emporium Hamburg 71, 8 May 2014, lot 186; see https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coin/112517] ; Emmett 1442.12; Milne 1972  at p. 47 [Milne, J.G., Catalogue of Alexandrian Coins (Oxford 1933, reprint with supplement by Colin M. Kraay, 1971)]; Dattari (Savio) 2408; Köln (Geissen) 1588; Sear RCV II 4360.  23 mm., 12.60 g. Purchased from Herakles Numismatics, Sep 2020; ex Emporium Hamburg 2014 [see above].



Edited by DonnaML
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Posted (edited)

Wow.  ...From here, the horns of Amon summarily dominate both (um, brilliant) examples.

Mainly thanks to @David Atherton's illuminating background on Zeus-Amon as a Hellenistic syncretization, specifically of Zeus and Amun /Amon.  Huge thanks, David; I'd never managed to make the connection with Amun, despite his having been as prominent in the Pharaonic pantheon as Zeus was in the Greek one.  ...And here are the horns of Amon /Amun, big as life!

Meanwhile, to the south, the Nubian empire of (Napata/) Meroe, who had ruled Pharaonic Egypt as its 25th Dynasty (mid-8th - mid-7th c. BCE), more consistently perpetuated the original Pharaonic cosmology.  ...At least of the two; not unlike the persistance of traditional religion in, say, Mali after the adoption of (an otherwise notably chill version of) Islam.  The official line coexisted with exceptions among the populace, but more as a demographic dichotomy than as an ongoing, syncretic influence.

Here's yet another repost (--Groan), of a Meroitic amulet, c. 3rd c. BCE, with stylized horns of Amun.  Tiny, but all of have from Meroe; replete with provenance from Christie's.



Edited by JeandAcre
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