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Corinthia, Corinth AR Drachm. Circa 308-307 BC. Pegasos flying left; Q below / Head of Aphrodite left, wearing earring and necklace, hair tied with ribbon and bound at top, falling loose behind; Δ-O across fields. Ravel, Chiliomodi Hoard, pl. X, 15; BCD 150. 2.80g, 15mm, 4h.

Good Extremely Fine. Attractive old toning.

Ex Ambrose Collection;
Ex Numismatica Genevensis 7, 27 November 2012, lot 199.

There was no other city in mainland Greece where the cult of Aphrodite flourished such as it did at Corinth. The goddess had her temple atop the monolithic rock known as the Acrocorinth, widely regarded as the most impressive acropolis in all of Greece. This mountain peak which towered over the city was assigned to Helios by Briareos when he acted as adjudicator between that god and Poseidon in their contest for the city, and was handed over, the Corinthians said, by Helios to Aphrodite.

The temple of Aphrodite here was particularly wealthy, and according to Strabo it at one time possessed over a thousand temple slaves. A certain number of these appear to have performed a ritual courtesan function, such that Corinth became famed for its pleasures of the flesh, and rich because of it. As early as the fifth century BC we find reference to this in Pindar's Eulogies (fragment 122): 'Guest-loving girls! Servants of Peitho in wealthy Korinthos! Ye that burn the golden tears of fresh frankincense, full often soaring upward in your souls unto Aphrodite.'

It is fitting therefore that upon the drachms of Corinth we find a multitude of beautifully engraved images of the goddess Aphrodite. The present portrait certainly ranks among the most attractive of these.

Corinthia, Corinth AR Drachm. (rxvi161)

Price: £2,051.20

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  • (Rates for 17/10/2018)
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