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    Description

    Artistic Rendering of Pan

    Cimmerian Bosporos, Pantikapaion. Ca. 340-325 B.C. AV stater, (20 mm, 9.09 g, 2 h). Head of Pan to left, wreathed with ivy / Griffin prancing left, head facing, holding spear in his jaws, raising right forepaw raised; in exergue, grain ear. MacDonald 54; SNG BM 867. A well-struck and attractive XF, scattered light marks.

    Ex CNG 82 (16 September 2009), 582.


    Starting out as a Greek trading post on the northern Black Sea coast settled by Milesian pioneers in the 7th century BC, Pantikapaion soon grew into a thriving city and home to the Spartocid kings, dynastic Greek rulers of the Bosporus. The city's fabulous wealth is attested by its gold coins, which are typically larger than most Greek gold pieces and depict its patron god Pan. Here, Pan shown with a wild expression evoking his role in sowing discord and fear (hence the term "panic") in enemy armies. While thought of as a mythological creature today, the griffin depicted on the reverse was very real to the Greeks of the Thracian hinterland, where it was thought to live.




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