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Classical Numismatic Group > Electronic Auction 397Auction date: 17 May 2017
Lot number: 336

Lot description:

ISLANDS off IONIA, Samos. Commodus. AD 177-192. Æ (35mm, 22.97 g, 6h). Struck circa AD 184-190. Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Hercules advancing left, head right, brandishing club; to right, Apollo advancing left, about to take hold of Hercules. MG 176, pl. E, 37; RPC Online temp. no. 2706. VF, green surfaces, earthen deposits around devices. Extremely rare, three specimens currently listed in RPC Online, none in CoinArchives. Possibly the only in private hands.

While Apollo was associated with culture, reason and intellect, his half-brother Hercules was better known for his bold nature, rashness and brute strength, all traits he exhibited leading up to his battle with Apollo over the Delphic Tripod. The Sanctuary at Delphi was one of the most sacred sights in Greece, where visitors would pay great sums to have a priestess deliver cryptic oracles. Suffering from madness, Hercules traveled to Delphi to seek out advice about a cure, but the priestess (as was sometimes the case) had no answer for him. Hercules grew furious as a result and the stubborn hero decided to seize the tripod and establish his own sanctuary in order to get an answer. Apollo pursued Hercules in an effort to reclaim the tripod and a battle ensued. Zeus quickly intervened, separating his two sons and returning the tripod to its rightful place at Delphi.

Estimate: 1000 USD