Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Awesome coin design - A Greek Gold Stater of Pantikapaion (Cimmerian Bosporus)

Pan looks more than a bit like Tyrian Lannister.

This coin is from Pantikapaion (Panticapaeum, map) and was minted around 340-325 BC. It’s a gold stater with the bearded head of Pan facing left, wearing a wreath of ivy leaves. On the reverse, P-A-N is written along with a griffin standing left on a stalk of wheat with a spear in its mouth.
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.


  1. You find some very interesting stuff.

  2. I need to go out with a shovel and find something like this.

  3. And I thought my Spanish pieces of eight were cool!