HELLENIC-AMERICAN
CULTURAL ASSOCIATION
OF COLORADO

Religion in Greek Coins: Nymphs, etc.


Also in the religious scheme of classical Greece were deities, demigods, immortal beings and creatures and their "near relations" who represented the "dark side" of Hellenic belief.
Primary among these were the Chthonians - the earth deities. Many Chhonian "creatures" find a place in numismatic mythology.

Pan (Fauneus), the god of shepherds and flocks, dwelt in grottoes in wild places. He had the haunches and horns of a goat and was supposed to be able to instill panic.

Pan shows up on a bronze of Panticapaium.
 

Nymphs were nature sprites; Nereids, or sea-nymphs, Dryads, or wood-nymphs, Naiads, or water nymphs.

In mythology, they freqently metamorphosed. Many gave their names and images to particular cities.

Neapolis placed the nymph Parthenopeia on this stater.
The fountain nymph arethusa is seen on this dekadrachm of Syracuse.
This drachm of Sinope shows the nymph of the same name.
 

The Chimaera was a land monster with the forepart of body of a lion, an extra head of a goat and another head and/or tail of a serpent.

It was basically a representation of the horrors of nightmare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This page is copyrighted. This page contains a portion of a copyrighted article. The text and photos are reproduced with the permission of Krause Publications, publisher of Numismatic News, World Coin News and Bank Note Reporter, where the article first appeared, and by the American Numismatic Association and the article's author, Bob Hoge, curator of the ANA Money Museum, 818 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO, 80903.

The chimera is shown on this drachm of Sikyon.
A stater of Corinth bears winged horse Pegasus.
Gorgon Medusa looks out from the obverse of a hemidrachm of Parium.