THRACE, Mesembria. Gordian III and Tranquillina.
|Sale: CNG 63, Lot: 994. Estimate $1000.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 21 May 2003.
Sold For $1700. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
241-244 AD. Æ 27mm (12.71 gm). Laureate bust of Gordian right vis à vis diademed and draped bust of Tranquillina left / Two Kuretes, helmeted and clad in short tunics, holding aloft short swords and shields. SNG Copenhagen -; Mionnet -; BMC Thrace -; SNG Fitzwilliam 1560 (same dies). Good VF, dark green patina. Superior to the specimen in Leu 72 (12 May 1998) which brought sf1500. ($1000)
The Kuretes share some of the attributes of the Korybantes, dancing divinities associated with the worship of Kybele, but their specific role in Greek mythology was to serve as the protectors of the infant Zeus while he was hidden away on Crete, safe from his murderous father Kronos. Their militant dancing, accompanied by the clashing of swords on shields, drowned out the cries of the infant. The Kuretes dance was later re-enacted by young men at Greek festivals and games, in a display probably very similar to the sword dances practiced by later peoples such as the Cossacks of Russia .