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A little coin from a center of Greek mythology that I obtained on a second try


kirispupis

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Troizen is one of the most ancient cities in Greece. It was mentioned by Homer and sent many soldiers to Troy.

Supposedly, the first king of Troizen was Oros, who named the city Oraia because he felt he was awesome. His daughter was Leis, who got busy with Poseidon one day after he asked her name and had a son named Althepos, who eventually became king. During his reign, there was a dispute between Poseidon and Athena, who stated in her lawsuit that just because Poseidon seduced a maiden of the land didn't give him the right to command worship. Zeus, every tired of family feuds, suggested they just share the city. That's why my coin has Athena on the obverse and Poseidon's trident on the reverse, because such a compromise was dictated in the settlement. In the meantime, Althepos renamed the city Althepia, because he was also awesome.

troizen.jpg.b652115c6fc200362c26148fa67021eb.jpg

Argolis, Troizen
Circa 330-300 BCE
Æ 1.37g, 13mm, 12h
Head of Athena to left, wearing taenia /
Ornate trident head; dolphin upwards to left, TPO downwards to right
BCD Peloponnesos 1338 and 1339.2; Traité III, 703; HGC 5, 804

After Althepos came Saron, who was on the verge of a tremendous upheaval to ancient mythology when he asked Hephaistos to forge nine rings of power. However, what Saron had in cunning, he lacked in common sense. One day while hunting a doe, it ran into the water and Saron gave chase. The doe kept going farther and farther, so Saron drowned and Hephaistos didn't know what to do with all those rings, especially since he'd completed all the engravings, so he just found the guy with the closest name. 

We now reach a yada yada point of Troizen's history, after which it was ruled by three kings - Aitios, Troizen, and Pitthios. Here's a quick trivia question: which one do you think survived? Ah, you're wrong if you chose Troizen. He didn't make it, but when Pitthios became the sole king, he renamed it after his brother Troizen. From his city came a hardy band of Greeks, who reached out to colonize the cities of Halikarnassos, Myndos, and Sybaris. Troizen's sons, who found that Pitthios wished to honor the memory of Troizen without any souvenirs sticking around, chose to emigrate to Attica because their real estate market was going nuts. After that, Pitthios founded a school of rhetoric, which seems an appropriate action for a king.

However, its history really got going when Aigos, the king of Athens, waltzed by and noticed a hottie in Aithra. So, he married her, knocked her up, and then made up some tales on how Athens really needed him, so he must get going. Naturally, she wasn't pleased with the situation and was about to split him in two with his own axe when Aigos came up with a deal: he'd place his axe under a really heavy rock, and if his son happened to bring it back to Athens, he would be king. He also included some sandals that were a gift from Aithra, but were hideous and required a good excuse to dipose of. As I understand, the stone is still visible in Troizen today, but lifting it is far more difficult because the archeologists and police will stop you.

Anyways, Aithra spent the next twenty years researching pulleys, and lo and behold her son Theseus managed the task! He then became king of both Athens and Troizen after he defeated the 50 sons of Pallas. Theseus went on many merry adventures, such as traveling to Crete, where he saved the Athenian tributes from an early version of the Hunger Games that involved a tremendous maze and a drunk minotaur. He accomplished this with the help of Ariadne, who he naturally abandoned. Some time later came Phaedra, who married him but whose enthusiasm waned with each adventure he toiled and sweated over, but after which took no shower. So, she began to fall for his son Hippolytos. The young man didn't really have a thing for cougars, so he rejected her and so Phaedra told Theseus a story that his son had tried to force himself on her.

Back then, people really had a failure to communicate, and instead of clarifying the matter, Theseus simply prayed to Poseidon to kill Hippolytos, and Poseidon carried the act out. After that, Phaedra then realized that this was a true Greek tragedy, so she promptly killed herself. Euripides some time afterwards purchased the rights.

When Theseus died, Troizen came under the dominion of Argos, and their troops were led into the Trojan War by Diomedes.

As you can see, Troizen was very famous in mythology. Besides having a cool rock, they also sported the location where Dionysos brought his mother Semele back from the Underworld and where Herakles dragged the Hound of Hades. This was the same Herakles who Theseus aided in his quest to obtain the magic girdle of Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons. Since children may read this, we'll just accept that's what actually happened.

Moving on to more recent times, in 580 BCE Themistokles ordered every inhabitant of Athens to take refuge in Troizen. The Persians subsequently destroyed the city, which worked out in a way because that allowed them to build the Parthenon and generate billions of tourist dollars thereafter, and very few Athenians perished.

When the Persians marched again on Greece, the Greek navies met in Troizen in 479 BCE before sailing off to Salamis. Their troops also participated in the Battle of Plataea.

During Hellenistic times, the residents of Troizen attempted to lure tourists with a Sanctuary to Asklepios, only for it to languish after Epidauros constructed a massive new complex along with a movie theater. An earthquake from an eruption of the nearby Methana volcano in 230 BCE pushed Troizen to decline, and when the Christian era arrived everything in the city was marked 50% off and so they went on a shopping spree of their structures, so that today not much survives.

I actually bid on this coin twice and obtained it the second try. The first time around, I put what I felt was an aggressive bid, but I had many other targets that auction so I had to give it up. However, it seems to have been then purchased by another auction house, who listed it as coming from the original one. I'm not sure what happened - whether the second auction house outbid me or the bidder didn't pay and the coin was sold. Anyways, I won it for a price less than my original offer, so I was happy.

Feel free to show coins you won on subsequent attempts!
 

Edited by kirispupis
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6 hours ago, kirispupis said:

Troizen is one of the most ancient cities in Greece. It was mentioned by Homer and sent many soldiers to Troy.

Supposedly, the first king of Troizen was Oros, who named the city Oraia because he felt he was awesome. His daughter was Leis, who got busy with Poseidon one day after he asked her name and had a son named Althepos, who eventually became king. During his reign, there was a dispute between Poseidon and Athena, who stated in her lawsuit that just because Poseidon seduced a maiden of the land didn't give him the right to command worship. Zeus, every tired of family feuds, suggested they just share the city. That's why my coin has Athena on the obverse and Poseidon's trident on the reverse, because such a compromise was dictated in the settlement. In the meantime, Althepos renamed the city Althepia, because he was also awesome.

troizen.jpg.b652115c6fc200362c26148fa67021eb.jpg

Argolis, Troizen
Circa 330-300 BCE
Æ 1.37g, 13mm, 12h
Head of Athena to left, wearing taenia /
Ornate trident head; dolphin upwards to left, TPO downwards to right
BCD Peloponnesos 1338 and 1339.2; Traité III, 703; HGC 5, 804

After Althepos came Saron, who was on the verge of a tremendous upheaval to ancient mythology when he asked Hephaistos to forge nine rings of power. However, what Saron had in cunning, he lacked in common sense. One day while hunting a doe, it ran into the water and Saron gave chase. The doe kept going farther and farther, so Saron drowned and Hephaistos didn't know what to do with all those rings, especially since he'd completed all the engravings, so he just found the guy with the closest name. 

We now reach a yada yada point of Troizen's history, after which it was ruled by three kings - Aitios, Troizen, and Pitthios. Here's a quick trivia question: which one do you think survived? Ah, you're wrong if you chose Troizen. He didn't make it, but when Pitthios became the sole king, he renamed it after his brother Troizen. From his city came a hardy band of Greeks, who reached out to colonize the cities of Halikarnassos, Myndos, and Sybaris. Troizen's sons, who found that Pitthios wished to honor the memory of Troizen without any souvenirs sticking around, chose to emigrate to Attica because their real estate market was going nuts. After that, Pitthios founded a school of rhetoric, which seems an appropriate action for a king.

However, its history really got going when Aigos, the king of Athens, waltzed by and noticed a hottie in Aithra. So, he married her, knocked her up, and then made up some tales on how Athens really needed him, so he must get going. Naturally, she wasn't pleased with the situation and was about to split him in two with his own axe when Aigos came up with a deal: he'd place his axe under a really heavy rock, and if his son happened to bring it back to Athens, he would be king. He also included some sandals that were a gift from Aithra, but were hideous and required a good excuse to dipose of. As I understand, the stone is still visible in Troizen today, but lifting it is far more difficult because the archeologists and police will stop you.

Anyways, Aithra spent the next twenty years researching pulleys, and lo and behold her son Theseus managed the task! He then became king of both Athens and Troizen after he defeated the 50 sons of Pallas. Theseus went on many merry adventures, such as traveling to Crete, where he saved the Athenian tributes from an early version of the Hunger Games that involved a tremendous maze and a drunk minotaur. He accomplished this with the help of Phaedra, the daughter of Minos, who he married. Her enthusiasm for Theseus waned when they traveled back to Troizen and he still hadn't taken a shower, so she began to fall for his son Hippolytos. The young man didn't really have a thing for cougars, so he rejected her and so Phaedra told Theseus a story that his son had tried to force himself on her.

Back then, people really had a failure to communicate, and instead of clarifying the matter, Theseus simply prayed to Poseidon to kill Hippolytos, and Poseidon carried the act out. After that, Phaedra then realized that this was a true Greek tragedy, so she promptly killed herself. Euripides some time afterwards purchased the rights.

When Theseus died, Troizen came under the dominion of Argos, and their troops were led into the Trojan War by Diomedes.

As you can see, Troizen was very famous in mythology. Besides having a cool rock, they also sported the location where Dionysos brought his mother Semele back from the Underworld and where Herakles dragged the Hound of Hades. This was the same Herakles who Theseus aided in his quest to obtain the magic girdle of Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons. Since children may read this, we'll just accept that's what actually happened.

Moving on to more recent times, in 580 BCE Themistokles ordered every inhabitant of Athens to take refuge in Troizen. The Persians subsequently destroyed the city, which worked out in a way because that allowed them to build the Parthenon and generate billions of tourist dollars thereafter, and very few Athenians perished.

When the Persians marched again on Greece, the Greek navies met in Troizen in 479 BCE before sailing off to Salamis. Their troops also participated in the Battle of Plataea.

During Hellenistic times, the residents of Troizen attempted to lure tourists with a Sanctuary to Asklepios, only for it to languish after Epidauros constructed a massive new complex along with a movie theater. An earthquake from an eruption of the nearby Methana volcano in 230 BCE pushed Troizen to decline, and when the Christian era arrived everything in the city was marked 50% off and so they went on a shopping spree of their structures, so that today not much survives.

I actually bid on this coin twice and obtained it the second try. The first time around, I put what I felt was an aggressive bid, but I had many other targets that auction so I had to give it up. However, it seems to have been then purchased by another auction house, who listed it as coming from the original one. I'm not sure what happened - whether the second auction house outbid me or the bidder didn't pay and the coin was sold. Anyways, I won it for a price less than my original offer, so I was happy.

Feel free to show coins you won on subsequent attempts!
 

Nice "fractured fairy tales" version of the relevant mythology. I especially liked your account of "Saron" and the nine rings of power!

One small correction: as I recall, it wasn't Phaedra who helped Theseus defeat the Minotaur. It was her sister Ariadne, whom Theseus later abandoned on the way home, on the Isle of Naxos. Next was Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons and mother of Hippolytus. Phaedra entered the scene after Hippolyta.

 

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7 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Nice "fractured fairy tales" version of the relevant mythology. I especially liked your account of "Saron" and the nine rings of power!

One small correction: as I recall, it wasn't Phaedra who helped Theseus defeat the Minotaur. It was her sister Ariadne, whom Theseus later abandoned on the way home, on the Isle of Naxos. Next was Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons and mother of Hippolytus. Phaedra entered the scene after Hippolyta.

 

Thanks! I've updated the story with the correction.

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On 5/13/2024 at 6:11 PM, kirispupis said:

...After Althepos came Saron, who was on the verge of a tremendous upheaval to ancient mythology when he asked Hephaistos to forge nine rings of power. However, what Saron had in cunning, he lacked in common sense. One day while hunting a doe, it ran into the water and Saron gave chase. The doe kept going farther and farther, so Saron drowned and Hephaistos didn't know what to do with all those rings, especially since he'd completed all the engravings, so he just found the guy with the closest name...

Hahaha! This made me laugh. 🤣

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