Islands off Thrace, Thasos. c. 412-404 BC

Islands off Thrace, Thasos. c. 412-404 BC


AR Drachm, 3.43g (17mm). Ithyphallic satyr advancing to right, carrying protesting nymph / Quadripartite incuse square.

Pedigree: From the collection of W. F. Stoecklin, Amriswil, Switzerland, acquired from Bank Leu in Zurich prior to 1975.

References:  Le Rider, Thasiennes 8. SNG Copenhagen 1018-1019

Grade:  Some remnant dark encrustation on the obverse and struck from rusty dies. Toned surfaces and good strike. aEF  (gk1181)

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Thasos is the most northern island within Greece. In ancient times it was known for marble, wine, nuts and gold mines. Additionally, Thasos is a thermae city and was celebrated for its warm waters. No different from many cities in antiquity, Thasos placed symbolism on their coinage to reflect the strength of their city.  In this case we see the lively satyr in the midst of carrying off a beautiful nymph. If one looks closely the excitement is all too noticeable!  

During the period when this coin was minted there was much chaos occurring on the island which undoubtedly contributed to the minting of these coins.  Thasos had revolted against their Athenian aggressors and became occupied by the Spartans (Lacedaemonians).  In the ensuing years Thasos was occupied by one of the two opposing powers. Thasos did not regain freedom until the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 BC.