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5 assaria - Geta / Cybele
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5 assaria coin from Callatis - Geta / Cybele - reverse 5 assaria coin from Callatis - Geta / Cybele - obverse
~28 mm diameter, 11-12 grams, AE
Reverse: goddess Cybele wearing mural crown, sitting on a throne with backrest, to the left, with patera (broad and shallow dish used for libations) in the right hand; the left forearm of the goddess rests on a tympanon; at left and at right of the throne lions; above the patera face value E (Epsilon); legend KAΛ Λ ATIA NΩN, outer pearl circle
Obverse: laureate Geta to the right, cuirassed and draped bust, legend AVKΠO CEΠΓETAC, outer pearl circle

The pictures of the ancient coin above are present on Romanian coins through the kind permission of Mr. GLV.

The coin corresponds to the description at number 305 in the Moushmov catalog and is described in AMNG I at position 325 (AMNG = Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands, B. Pick, 1898).

About the legend on the obverse

The legend surrounding the head of the emperor Geta is AV K ΠOCEΠ ΓETAC, standing for the Greek translation of the Latin IM(perator) C(aesar) PV(blius) SEP(timius) GETA. The word imperator was translated by autocrator (autokrates in Greek meaning governing by one's self), IMP being replaced by AV. Letter K following AV is probably short for Kaisar, Caesar.

About the timpano of goddess Cybele

Sometimes Cybele is represented holdind a timpano (tympanon in Greek, tympanum in Latin) - a percussion musical instrument used in the goddess cult. Timpano is in fact a drum - a metal or wooden cylinder closed at ends with leather lids.

About the lions that accompany the goddess Cybele

In conformity with one legend, the goddess Cybele took pity on Atalanta and Hippomenes and tied them on his charriot, in their new form of lions. In this way the two heroes can remain together. Atalanta and his husband Hippomenes made love in one sanctuary consecrated to Zeus. The god punished the sacrilege, transforming the two into lions. In fact, this punishment means that the two heroes were convicted to a final separation, because in the ancient times the popular belief was that the lions never mate between them, but only with leopards. (Pierre Grimal. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology, Saeculum I.O. printing House, Bucharest, 2003, in Romanian)

About emperor Geta

Geta (Publius Septimius Severus Geta) was emperor of Rome between 211 and 212, ruling along his brother Caracalla (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus). His father emperor Septimius Severus granted him in 198 the title of Caesar and in 209 the title of Augustus. Geta was murdered by Caracalla, leaving the later as only standing emperor.


The History of Callatis
and More
The Ancient Pontic World
and Its Connection to Romanians (with Map)
About Cybele


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