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Research Coins: Affiliated Auction

Sale: Nomos 6, Lot: 193. Estimate CHF1250. 
Closing Date: Monday, 7 May 2012. 
Sold For CHF1400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Bizye, Thrace. Philip I. 244-249. Tetrassarion (Bronze, 29mm, 13.77 g 7). ΑΥΤ Κ Μ ΙΟΥΛ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟC ΑΥ Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Philip I to right. Rev. ΒΙΖΥΗΝΩΝ The hero Capaneus, one of Seven against Thebes, heroically nude save for his helmet, striding right, holding spear in his right hand and shield in his left, his left foot on a low wall; to left, scaling ladder. Jurukova, Bizye, p. 67 and pl. 16, 104 (same dies). Very rare. Dark, brownish-green patina. An attractive example. About extremely fine.

From the M Collection, ex Lanz 123, 30 May 2005, 773.

Capaneus, an Argive warrior, was one of the seven heros who went against Thebes in the legend, famously dramatized by Aeschylus. Capaneus was so arrogant and proud that he offended Zeus, who killed him with a thunderbolt while he was climbing a ladder set against the walls of Thebes. This is one of the rare representations of this myth on coinage, but why it should appear at Bizye is a mystery (it must refer to a local version of the myth). In any case, according to Pausanias (X.10,3), at Delphi there was a statue of Capaneus, which had been dedicated by the Argives after their victory over the Spartans at the battle of Oenoe (c. 460 BC). Interestingly enough, the story of Capaneus was taken up by Dante to illustrate the sin of blasphemy in the Inferno (14.43-72); this was based on Book X of the Thebaid of Statius (written c. 80-92 AD).