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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 3 & 4, Lot: 1064. Estimate CHF750. 
Closing Date: Monday, 9 May 2011. 
Sold For CHF6500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

THESSALY, Homolion. Circa 350 BC. Tetrachalkon (Bronze, 21mm, 9.24 g 3). Bearded head of Philoktetes to right, wearing conical pilos. Rev. ΟΜΟΛ-ΙΕΩΝ Serpent coiled to right; behind head, small bunch of grapes. Rogers 257. SNG Copenhagen 72. With a splendid, olive-green patina. Beautifully centered in high relief. Extremely fine.

Philoktetes was the son of the king of Meliboea in Thessaly, and was famous for his friendship with Herakles, whose pyre he lit. Herakles left him his bow and arrows. Philoktetes joined the Greek forces against Troy but, on the trip over, he was bitten by a snake on Lesbos and this caused a terrible wound that refused to heal and gave off an awful smell. He was then marooned on Lesbos, on the counsel of Odysseus, and remained there for ten years until the Greeks received a prophecy saying they would not win against Troy without the weapons of Herakles. So a team led by Odysseus rushed back to Lesbos, were astonished to find Philoktetes still alive and still in possession of the bow and arrows, and managed to bring him back with them to Troy where he was healed by one of the sons of Asklepios. After the war was won, Philoktetes returned to Thessaly but found Meliboea in revolt: he then departed for Magna Graecia where he founded cities and ultimately died and was buried near Sybaris. His connection with Homolion is unclear.
A note from BCD: Perhaps the Homolians thought that Philoktetes had also founded their city?