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    Description

    Dionysian Dance?

    THRACIAN ISLANDS. Thasos. Ca. 490-463 BC. AR stater (22mm, 8.-- gm).  Nude ithyphallic satyr running right, carrying struggling nymph, her right hand raised / Quadripartite incuse square. SNG Copenhagen 1010-1. Dewing 1323. Le Rider 5. Well-centered and struck; good metal quality. NGC AU? 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The California Collection.

    The iconography of these coins is sometimes described, sensationally, as a satyr ravishing a nymph or with similar language that suggests struggle, sexual abduction, and violence. Given the centrality of the cult of Dionysus to the area, a more likely explanation is that the two mythological figures are engaged in a ritualistic Dionysian dance. Ann-Marie Knoblauch describes the satyr as embracing the nymph who raises her hand between the two of them, and though she doesn't willingly accept his sexual advances, she merrily dances along with him. The smile on the nymph of some early specimens and the nymph holding the satyr's neck on the later varieties gives credence to such an interpretation.


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    4th-5th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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