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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton V, Lot: 1764. Estimate $300. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 16 January 2002. 
Sold For $500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SYRIA, Coele-Syria. Damascus. Philip I. 244-249 AD. Æ 28mm (15.17 gm). [IMP C IVL PHI]LIPPVS PIO FEL AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust left / [CO]L ÐAM-[A METRO], hind standing right, suckling Telephos. Rosenberger -; SNG Copenhagen -; BMC Galatia, etc. -; Mionnet V pg. 292, 63. Fine, brown patina. Rare. ($300)

From the David Simpson Collection. Ex Münzen und Medaillen Liste 571 (January 1994), no. 30.

When Herakles came to Tegea in Arcadia he seduced Auge, not knowing that she was King Aleus' daughter. From this union a boy was born who was secretly hidden by Auge in the precinct of Athena. But Aleus, some say, discovered his daughter's motherhood when he, on account of a pestilence that was ravaging the country, visited the temple of Athena. He then took the infant and exposed it on Mount Parthenius, but it survived, being nourished by a doe that had just cast her fawn. Soon shepherds appeared who took up the infant and named him Telephos. His myth and the stories of his adventures in the Trojan War were fostered by the Attalid rulers of Pergamon in Mysia.

A detail of the celebrated painting of Telephos in the Basilica of Herculaneum depicts this coin's reverse scene, and is thought to reproduce a Hellenistic original.