lampsakos

An Ancient Mystery Coin, 5th-4th Century BC

This gorgeous electrum stater (which sold at auction for $43,000!) is from an unknown mint, possibly a colony or outpost of Kyzikos in the ancient region of Mysia (map). It has the image of Pegasos over a spearhead with his legs splayed forward and the reverse is a quadripartite incuse square in a windmill pattern with stippled quarters. This coin is on the Phokaic standard, which is problematic. It’s an unpublished, unique numismatic mystery.

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Greek Lysimachos Tetradrachm with the Portrait of Alexander the Great, Lampsakos mint, C. 297 - 281 BC

The obverse shows the now deified King, Alexander the Great. He is shown in the finest Hellenistic style; facing right, his wild, unruly hair held down by a thin diadem, the horn of Ammon curling over his ear, clearly identifying him as Alexander.  The reverse with the goddess Athena enthroned left, holding Nike in her extended right hand, resting her left elbow on a shield with lion headed aegis. The legend reading: BASILEOS LUSIMACOU “Of King Lysimachos.” Crescent and monogram between legend and Athena. Worth $80,000.

Lysimachos (Lysimachus) c. 360 – 281 BC) was a Macedonian officer and diadochus (i.e. “successor”) of Alexander the Great, who became a basileus (“King”) in 306 BC, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedon.

[ Map of Lampsakos ]

Rare Nike And Pegasus Gold Stater, 360-350 BC

One of only two known coins. From the ancient city of Lampsakos (map) in Mysia. The obverse shows Nike crouching,  hammering a nail into a trophy. On the reverse is Pegasus within a shallow incuse square. Wonderful composition, extremely fine.

Lampsakos (aka Lampsacus) was an ancient Greek city strategically located on the eastern side of the Hellespont. The ancient name has been transmitted in the nearby modern town of Lapseki, Çanakkale Province, Turkey.

Originally known as Pityusa or Pityussa, it was colonized by settlers from Phocaea and Miletus. During the 6th and 5th centuries BC, Lampsacus was successively dominated by Lydia, Persia, Athens, and Sparta;  Artaxerxes I assigned the city to Themistocles with the expectation that the city supply the Persian king with its famous wine. When Lampsacus joined the Delian League after the battle of Mycale (479 BC), it paid a tribute of twelve talents, a testimony to its wealth; it had a gold coinage in the 4th century, an activity only available to the more prosperous cities.

The myth of Actaeon on an extremely rare gold stater from Lampsakos, Mysia c. 394-350 BC

In mythology, Actaeon was a famous hunter who was taught by the centaur Chiron. One day Actaeon stumbled upon upon Artemis bathing in a stream and she was so angered by him seeing her naked that she turned him into a stag. He was then torn to pieces by his own hunting dogs. The coin depicts Actaeon’s horns just starting to protrude from his head with the reverse showing the forepart of the winged-horse Pegasus.

Lampsakos was a Greek city in the ancient region of Mysia strategically located on the eastern side of the Hellespont (modern Dardanelles) in the northern Troad (modern Biga peninsula) in Turkey.

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