BRONZE COIN OF CHIOS, IONIA, 190-84 BC.

BRONZE COIN OF CHIOS, IONIA, 190-84 BC.

250.00

Obverse: Sphinx seated right, grapes before.

Reverse: XIOΣ AΣΠAΣ, Amphora, corn-ear to left.

SNG Copenhagen: 1586 (Var). [Chios, Ionia, 190-84 BC].

Diameter: 20 mm. Weight: 4.7 g.

A very scarce coin with an extraordinary depiction of the Sphinx, a winged beast with the body of a lion, and the head of a woman. Originally a creature from Egyptian mythology, the Sphinx was appropriated by the Greeks, and commonly features in classical art and literature. In Greek mythology, the Sphinx devoured all travellers who could not answer the riddle it posed;

"A thing there is whose voice is one;

Whose feet are four and two and three.

So mutable a thing is none

that moves in earth or sky or sea.

When on most feet this thing doth go,

its strength is weakest and its pace most slow."

Oedipus managed to solve the riddle and kill the Sphinx, can you solve it too? This is a very attractive, scarce coin with a gorgeous chocolate patina and interesting symbolism.

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