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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Olympians| ▸ |Demeter or Ceres||View Options:  |  |  |   

Demeter or Ceres

The known mythology of Demeter and Ceres is identical. Demeter's (Ceres') virgin daughter Persephone (Proserpina) was abducted by Hades (Pluto) to be his wife in the underworld. Demeter searched for her endlessly, lighting her way through the earth with torches. While Demeter searched, preoccupied with her loss and her grief, the seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die. Some say that in her anger she laid a curse that caused plants to wither and die, and the land to become desolate. Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus (Jupiter) sent his messenger Hermes (Mercury) to the underworld to bring Persephone back. However, because Persephone had eaten while in the underworld, Hades had a claim on her. It was decreed that she must spend four months each year in the underworld. During these months Demeter grieves for her daughter's absence, withdrawing her gifts from the world, creating winter. Persephone's return brings the spring.


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, 334 - 330 B.C.

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Gold coins of Magna Graecia are scarce and were only minted for exceptional occasions, such as paying mercenaries. Most likely this rare issue was struck when Alexander Molossus, the Epirote King, helped Metapontion against the Lucanians and Bruttians. Molossus was Alexander the Great's uncle and Olympia's brother.
SH86428. Gold 1/3 stater, SNG Lockett 406; SNG ANS 395; HN Italy 1578; Noe-Johnston 3, G1 and pl. 18; SNG Lloyd -; SNG Cop -; Jameson -; Gulbenkian -; Pozzi -; Weber -, aVF+, fine style, marks, reverse double struck, weight 2.574 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 180o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 334 - 332 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing stephane and pendant earring; reverse METAΠON, barley stalk, bird right on leaf to right; ex Forum (2007), ex Christie's Auction (1993) ; very rare; SOLD


Kabyle, Thrace, c. 219 - 215 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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The obverse die for this coin was also used with a reverse type naming the Gaulish King Kavaros. Die wear shows the Alexanderine types followed Kavaros' coinage, indicating this type was likely struck during the revolt of the Thracians, which brought about the chieftain's death and the end of Gaulish rule. Kavaros ruled until at least 219 B.C., when he participated in a treaty between Byzantium and Bithynia. The style compares closely with contemporary issues of Dionysopolis, Mesembria, and Odessus.
SH66870. Silver tetradrachm, Price 882, Draganov Cabyle 845 ff., Müller Alexander 399, gVF, fine style, weight 16.677 g, maximum diameter 31.2 mm, die axis 0o, Kabyle (Kabile, Bulgaria) mint, time of the Thracian Revolt, c. 219 - 215 B; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, Demeter standing facing torch in each hand; SOLD


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 290 - 280 B.C.

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Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshiped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
SH77370. Silver nomos, Johnston class D, 4.15 (same dies); SNG ANS 517; HN Italy 1625; BMC Italy -, EF, deeply struck from high relief dies of exquisite style, toned, weight 7.644 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 45o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 290 - 280 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wreathed in grain, ∆ behind; reverse barley ear with six rows of grains, META on left, leaf on right, star over two amphoras above leaf, ΦI below leaf; ex Forum (2014); ex Heritage auction 231402, lot 64007 (9 Jan 2014); ex CNG auction 79 (17 Sep 2008), lot 23; ex Paul H. Gerrie Collection with tag; ex Pegasi; SOLD


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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After the Great Fire of Rome in July 64, Lugdunum sent a fortune to Rome to aid in the reconstruction. However, during the winter of 64 - 65, Lyon suffered its own catastrophic fire. Nero reciprocated, sending money to Lugdunum for their reconstruction.
RB37367. Orichalcum sestertius, RIC I 431, Choice VF, some smoothing, weight 27.786 g, maximum diameter 35.6 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, 65 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVD CAESAR AVG GER P M TR P IMP P P, laureate head left, large globe at point of bust; reverse ANNONA AVGVSTI CERES S C, Annona standing right, right hand on hip, cornucopia in left hand, facing Ceres enthroned left, holding grain-ears and torch; in center modius on garlanded altar, prow behind; ex CNG 217, 345 (8/26/09, sold for $1045); dark green restored patina; SOLD


Otho, 15 January 69 - 17 April 69 A.D.

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Ceres a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships, was listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
SH41733. Silver denarius, BnF III 25, RSC II 11, BMCRE I 9 (BM specimen condemned as a modern forgery), RIC I -, SRCV I, VF, reverse flatly struck, weight 3.147 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, 9 Mar - 17 Apr 69 A.D.; obverse IMP OTHO CAESAR AVG TR P, bare head right; reverse PONT MAX (high priest), Ceres standing left, grain-ears in right, cornucopia in left; very rare; SOLD


Knidos, Caria, c. 100 - 40 B.C.

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Based on only the single worn example known to the authors, RPC I attributed this type to Livia from an uncertain mint. Based on the Mabbott coin with a clear poppy on the obverse and ethnic on the reverse, the RPC I Supplement corrected the attribution to Demeter and Knidos. All examples of this type are very rare. This type struck by the magistrate MOΣXΩN is apparently unpublished and only two examples are known to Forum.

The obverse bust resembles the marble "Demeter of Knidos" statue, now in the British Museum.
GB84095. Bronze AE 33, Apparently unpublished; cf. RPC I 5436 & supplement (magistrate); Mabbott 1715 (same), NG Cop -, SNGvA -, SNG München -, SNG Tüb -, VF, nice style, attractive brown toning, flan adjustment marks, uneven strike, reverse slightly off center, weight 15.997 g, maximum diameter 32.8 mm, die axis 0o, Knidos (near Tekir, Turkey) mint, c. 100 - 40 B.C.; obverse veiled and diademed bust of Demeter right, poppy before her; reverse Nike advancing left, wreath in extended right hand, long palm frond in left hand, MOΣXΩN (magistrate's name) downward on left, KNI∆IΩN downward on right; finest of only 2 known!; SOLD


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 104 - 103 B.C., New Style Silver Tetradrachm

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The "New Style" tetradrachms were issued by Athens as a semi-autonomous city under Roman rule. The new-style Owls are markedly different from the Owls of Periclean Athens or the "eye in profile" Athena head of the Fourth Century. They were struck on thinner, broad flans, typical of the Hellenistic period, with a portrait of Athena that reflected the heroic portraiture of the period. The owl now stands on an amphora, surrounded by magistrates' names and symbols, all within an olive wreath. The amphora is marked with a letter that may indicate the month of production. Letters below the amphora may indicate the source of the silver used in production.
SH87798. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson Athens 806 (same dies); Svoronos Athens pl. 62, 6 (same dies); BMC Attica p. , 320 var. (ΣE below), VF, well centered and struck, some die wear, bumps and scrapes, weight 16.306 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 104 - 103 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena Parthenos right, triple-crested helmet decorated with curvilinear ornament on the shell, a griffin right above the raised earpiece, and protomes of horses above the visor; reverse A-ΘE / AN∆-PEAΣ / XAPI/NAY/THΣ AMY/N-O-M (magistrates Andreas, Charinautes, and Amynomachos), owl standing right on amphora on its side; Dionysos seated facing beside Demeter standing facing holding a long torch in each hand; Z on amphora, ΣO below, all within olive wreath; SOLD


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D.

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Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a brilliant general and administrator, was adopted and proclaimed emperor by the aging Nerva in 98 A.D. Regarded as one of Rome's greatest emperors, Trajan was responsible for the annexation of Dacia, the invasion of Arabia and an extensive and lavish building program across the empire. Under Trajan, Rome reached its greatest extent. Shortly after the annexation of Mesopotamia and Armenia, Trajan was forced to withdraw from most of the new Arabian provinces. While returning to Rome to direct operations against the new threats, Trajan died at Selinus in Cilicia.
RB88224. Orichalcum sestertius, Woytek 240q (same dies), BnF IV 512 (same dies), BMCRE III 771, Banti 117, Strack 398, RIC II 478 var. (bust), Cohen 367 var. (same), VF, well centered, rough, weight 21.340 g, maximum diameter 34.4 mm, die axis 180o, Rome mint, c. 106 - 107 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES NERVAE TRAIANO AVG GER DAC P M TR P COS V P P, laureate heroic bust left, full chest exposed, drapery on left shoulder; reverse S P Q R OPTIMO PRINCIPI, Ceres standing half left, head left, holding grain over modius in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, S – C (senatus consulto) divided across field; extremely rare with this bust, struck with a superb obverse die!; SOLD


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 330 - 290 B.C.

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Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshiped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
SH66239. Silver nomos, Johnston C6; BMC Italy p. 252, 108; SNG ANS 489; SNG München 977; SNG Lockett 421; SNG Fitzwilliam 509; SNG Oxford 760; HN Italy 1589,, VF, weight 7.524 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 270o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 330 - 290 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter left, wreathed in grain; reverse barley ear with seven rows of grains, leaf on left, griffin springing right above leaf, ΛY below leaf, META on right; SOLD


Titus, 24 June 79 - 13 September 81 A.D.

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Ephesus peaked during the 1st and 2nd century A.D. when it was second in importance and size only to Rome, with a population estimated at 400,000 to 500,000 in 100 A.D. The city was famous for the Temple of Artemis, the Library of Celsus, and its theater, seating 25,000 spectators. Ephesus also had several large bath complexes and one of the most advanced aqueduct systems in the ancient world. Water powered numerous mills, one of which has been identified as a sawmill for marble. The city and temple were destroyed by the Goths in 263 A.D., marking the decline of the city's splendor.
SH42461. Silver denarius, RPC II 843, RIC II Vesp 1440, RSC II 39, gVF/EF, weight 2.926 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 180o, Ephesus mint, as caesar, 77 - 78 A.D.; obverse IMPERATOR I CAESAR AVGVSTI F, laureate head right; reverse CONCORDIA AVG (harmony of the Emperor), Ceres seated left on ornate chair, grain in right hand, scepter in left hand, EPE in exergue; obverse a little rough, reverse very sharp; very rare; SOLD




  




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Demeter or Ceres