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Stratum plus. 2013. №6

V. P. Alexeev, P. G. Loboda (Odessa, Ukraine)

Religious Motives of Some Coins of Olbia and Kyzikos as Means of Sociopolitical Leaflets

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Pages: 109-125

The Dionysian typology of the new version of the hemiobol “Bucranion-Thyrsus” (№ 1) and the essential idea of the Orphic cult of Dionysus — liberation of the soul from the body prison — give the reasons to surmise the extrapolation of this idea by olbiopolites into the socio-political plane where it turned into the proclamation of the liberation of Olbia in the beginning of the 4th century BC from their own tyrants and the Scythian protectorate. The dichalk “Demeter-eagle upon dolphin” presents the new magistrate’s name abbreviation APTE… (№ 2), and the sacral scene of excruciation being the “emblem” of Olbia is transformed into a symbol of the victory of democracy. On the borysphenes (№ 3, 4 — re-stamped and new monograms — № 5—7), the Scythian pole-axe and bow in gorytus are considered not only the symbols of Borysphene’s authority but also as the weapons of mix-Hellenic mercenaries protecting the domain and the boundaries of Olbia. It is possible that the borysphenes were coined specifically to pay for their services. Rare dichalk “Apollo-wreath, palm-branch” is presented (№ 8). The protective function of the sphinx and the gryphon on the published coins of Kyzikos (№ 9, № 10) were used for different purposes. Hecta with a sphinx (500—460 BC) is considered as Kyzikos’ wish for protection during the Ionian Revolt and its defeat. On the stater (460—400 BC), the letter “lambda” is understood as the symbol of Lacedaemon state and possibly witnesses of Kyzikos submission to Sparta.

Keywords: Olbia, Kyzikos, ancient coins, Greek polis, religion, symbol, extrapolation, sociality, politics

Information about authors:

Vladimir Alexeev
(Odessa, Ukraine). Candidate of Art History. Odessa National Musical Academy “A. V. Nezhdanova”. Novoselskogo St., 63, Odessa, 65023, Ukraine
E-mail: [email protected]
Peter Loboda (Odessa, Ukraine). Odessa Numismatics Museum. Grecheskaya St., 33, Odessa, 65000, Ukraine
E-mail: [email protected]

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