Greek city of
on Island in
the Thracian Sea
Bronze 15mm (2.69 grams) Struck circa 340-300 B.C.
Reference: SNG Copenhagen 1056; HGC 6, 366
Head of Hercules Hercules right, wearing lion's skin headdress.
Strung bow (with amphora inside) and club; ΘAΣIΩN below.
You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity.
- This celebrated of mythological romance was at first
called Alcides, but received the name of Hercules, or
Heracles, from the Pythia of Delphos. Feigned by the
poets of antiquity to have been a son of "the Thunderer,"
but born of an earthly mother, he was exposed, through
Juno's implacable hatred to him as the offspring of
Alemena, to a course of perils, which commenced whilst
he was yet in his cradle, and under each of which he
seemed to perish, but as constantly proved victorious.
At length finishing his allotted career with native valor and generosity, though too frequently the submissive agent of the meanness and injustice of others, he perished self-devotedly on the funeral pile, which was lighted on Mount Oeta. Jupiter raised his heroic progeny to the skies; and Hercules was honored by the pagan world, as the most illustrious of deified mortals. The extraordinary enterprises cruelly imposed upon, but gloriously achieved, by this famous demigod, are to be found depicted, not only on Greek coins, but also on the Roman series both consular and imperial. The first, and one of the most dangerous, of undertakings, well-known under the name of the twelve labors of Hercules, was that of killing the huge lion of Nemea; on which account the intrepid warrior is represented, clothes in the skin of that forest monarch; he also bears uniformly a massive club, sometimes without any other arms, but at others with a bow and quiver of arrows. On a denarius of the Antia gens he is represented walking with trophy and club.
When his head alone is typified, as in Mucia gens, it is covered with the lion's spoils, in which distinctive decoration he was imitated by many princes, and especially by those who claimed descent from him - as for example, the kings of Macedonia, and the successors of Alexander the Great. Among the Roman emperors Trajan is the first whose coins exhibit the figure and attributes of Hercules.
An amphora (plural: amphorae or amphoras) is a type of vase-shaped, usually ceramic (specimens in materials such as metal occur occasionally) container with two handles and a long neck narrower than the body. The word amphora is Latin , derived from the Greek amphoreus (αμφορεύς), an abbreviation of amphiphoreus, a compound word combining amphi- ("on both sides", "twain") plus phoreus ("carrier"), from pherein ("to carry"), referring to the vessel's two carrying handles on opposite sides.
Further, the term also stands for an ancient a title="Ancient Roman units of measurement" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Roman_units_of_measurement"> Roman unit of measurement for liquids. The volume of a Roman amphora was one cubic foot , ca. 26,026 L .
Amphorae were used in vast numbers to transport and store various products, both liquid and dry, in the ancient Mediterranean world and later the Roman Empire , and in some periods the shape was also used for luxury pottery, which might be elaborately painted. Stoppers of perishable materials which have rarely survived were used to seal the contents. Two principal types of amphorae existed: the neck amphora, in which the neck and body meet at a sharp angle; and the one-piece amphora, in which the neck and body form a continuous curve. Neck amphorae were commonly used in the early history of ancient Greece but were gradually replaced by the one-piece type from around the 7th century BCE onwards. Most were produced with a pointed base to allow upright storage by being partly embedded in sand or soft ground. This also facilitated transport by ship, where the amphorae were tightly packed together, with ropes passed through their handles to prevent breaking or toppling during rough seas. In kitchens and shops amphorae could be stored in racks with round holes in them.
Amphorae varied greatly in height. The largest could stand as much as 1.5 metres (5 ft) high, while some were under 30 centimetres (12 in) high - the smallest were called amphoriskoi (literally "little amphorae"). Most were around 45 centimetres (18 in) high. There was a significant degree of standardisation in some variants; the wine amphora held a standard measure of about 39 litres (41 US qt), giving rise to the amphora quadrantal as a unit of measure in the Roman Empire. In all, around 66 distinct types of amphora have been identified.
Thasos or Thassos (Greek: Θάσος) is a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea , close to the coast of Thrace and the plain of the river Nestos but geographically part of Macedonia . And it is where Clive Cussler novel "The Mediterranean Caper" takes place.//
Lying close to the coast of Eastern Macedonia, Thasos was inhabited from the Palaeolithic period onwards, but the earliest settlement to have been explored in detail is that at Limenaria where Middle and Late Neolithic remains have been found which relate closely to those of the Drama Plain. In contrast, the remains of the Early Bronze Age on the island align it with the culture which developed in the Cylcades and Sporades to the south in the Aegean. At Skala Sotiros for example, a small settlement was encircled by a strongly built defensive wall. Even earlier activity is demonstrated by the presence of large pieces of 'megalithic' anthropomorphic stelai built into these walls which, so far, have no parallels in the Aegean area.
There is then a gap in the archaeological record until the end of the Bronze Age c 1100 BC, when the first burials took place at the large cemetery of Kastri in the interior of the island. Here built tombs covered with small mound of earth were typical until the end of the Iron Age. In the earliest tombs were a small number of locally imitated Mycenaean pottery vessels, but the majority of the hand-made pottery with incised decoration reflects connections eastwards with Thrace and beyond.
The island was colonized at an early date by Phoenicians , attracted probably by its gold mines; they founded a temple to the god Melqart , whom the Greeks identified as "Tyrian Heracles" , and whose cult was merged with Heracles in the course of the island's Hellenization. The temple still existed in the time of Herodotus . An eponymous Thasos, son of Phoenix (or of Agenor, as Pausanias reported) was said to have been the leader of the Phoenicians, and to have given his name to the island .
In either 720 or 708 BC, Thasos received a Greek colony from Paros . It was in a war which the Parian colonists waged with the Saians, a Thracian tribe, that the poet Archilochus threw away his shield. The Greeks extended their power to the mainland, where they owned gold mines which were even more valuable than those on the island. From these sources the Thasians drew great wealth, their annual revenues amounting to 200 or even 300 talents. Herodotus, who visited Thasos, says that the best mines on the island were those which had been opened by the Phoenicians on the east side of the island facing Samothrace .
Thasos was important during the Ionian Revolt against Persia. After the capture of Miletus (494 BC) Histiaeus , the Ionian leader, laid siege. The attack failed, but, warned by the danger, the Thasians employed their revenues to build war ships and strengthen their fortifications. This excited the suspicions of the Persians, and Darius compelled them to surrender their ships and pull down their walls. After the defeat of Xerxes the Thasians joined the Delian confederacy; but afterwards, on account of a difference about the mines and marts on the mainland, they revolted.
The Athenians defeated them by sea, and, after a siege that lasted more than two years, took the capital, Thasos, probably in 463 BC, and compelled the Thasians to destroy their walls, surrender their ships, pay an indemnity and an annual contribution (in 449 BC this was 21 talents, from 445 BC about 30 talents), and resign their possessions on the mainland. In 411 BC, at the time of the oligarchical revolution at Athens, Thasos again revolted from Athens and received a Lacedaemonian governor; but in 407 BC the partisans of Lacedaemon were expelled, and the Athenians under Thrasybulus were admitted.
After the Battle of Aegospotami (405 BC), Thasos again fell into the hands of the Lacedaemonians under Lysander who formed a decarchy there; but the Athenians must have recovered it, for it formed one of the subjects of dispute between them and Philip II of Macedonia . In the embroilment between Philip III of Macedonia and the Romans, Thasos submitted to Philip, but received its freedom at the hands of the Romans after the battle of Cynoscephalae (197 BC), and it was still a "free" state in the time of Pliny .
It is related, that Byzantine Greek Saint Joannicius the Great in one of his miracles freed the island of Thasos from a multitude of snakes (Venerable Joannicius lived through 8-9 centuries).
Thasos was part of the Eastern Roman Empire , later known as Byzantine Empire . It was captured by the Turks in 1462. Under the Turks the island was known as Ottoman Turkish : طاشوز Taşöz. A brief revolt against Ottoman rule in 1821, led by Hajiyorgis Metaxas, failed. The island was given by the Sultan Mahmud II to Muhammad Ali of Egypt of as a personal fiefdom in the late 1820s, as a reward for Egyptian intervention in the War of Greek Independence (which failed to prevent the creation of the modern Greek state). Egyptian rule was relatively benign (by some accounts Muhammad Ali had either been born or spent his infancy on Thasos) and the island became prosperous, until 1908, when the New Turk regime asserted Turkish control. It had the status of a sanjak in the vilayet of Salonici until the Balkan Wars . On October 20, 1912 during the First Balkan War , a Greek naval detachment claimed Thasos as part of Greece , which it has remained since.
During Axis occupation (1941-1944) Thasos, along with the rest of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace , was under Bulgarian control. The Bulgarians planned to annex the territory under their control and closed down schools as a first step towards forced Bulgarization . Under Bulgarian rule the island was called Bulgarian : Тасос. Mountainous terrain facilitated small-scale resistance activity. The Greek Civil War affected the island in the form of skirmishes and Communist guerilla attacks until 1950, almost a year after the main hostilities were over on the mainland .
Thasos , the capital (now informally known as Limenas, or "the port"), stood on the north side of the island, and had two harbors. Archilochus described Thasos as "an ass's backbone crowned with wild wood," and the description still suits the mountainous island with its forests of fir and pine. Besides its gold mines, the wine, nuts and marble of Thasos were well known in antiquity. Thasian wine (a light bodied wine with a characteristic apple scent) was, in particular, quite famous; to the point where all Thasian coins carried the head of the wine god Dionysos on one side and bunches of grape of the other.
Today, Thasos is a part of the Kavala prefecture and is the southernmost and the easternmost points in the prefecture. Under local government reform in the late 1990s, the entire island became a single municipality. Thasos is served ferry routes to and from Kavala and Keramoti. The latter is a port at the eastern portion of the prefecture, close to Kavala International Airport , and has the shortest possible crossing to the island.
Thasos has generally round shape, without deep bays and significant peninsulas. The highest peak, Ypsario or Ipsario, is 1,205 m (3428 ft) high and lies in the eastern half of the island, which is steeper and mostly covered in pine forest. The western half has gentler slopes. While generally mountainous, the terrain is not particularly rugged, as it rises gradually from the coast towards the island center.
Most villages were placed inland, as the population was chiefly engaged in agriculture and stockbreeding. Those villages had their harbors at nearest points on the shore, often connected with stairways ("Skalas") and the population gradually migrated there, as tourism began to emerge as an important source of income. Thus, there are several pairs of villages such as Marion–Skala Maries, where the former is inland and the latter on the coast.
Thasos island is located in the northern Aegean sea approximately 7 km from the mainland and 20 km south-east of Kavala . The Island is formed mainly by gneisses , schists and marbles of the Rhodope Massif. Marble sequences, corresponding to the Falacron Marbles intercalated by schists and gneisses, are up to 500m thick and are separated from the underlying gneisses by a transition zone about 300 m thick termed the T-zone consisting of alternances of dolomitic and calcitic marbles intercalated by schists and gneisses.
The rocks have undergone several periods of regional metamorphism, to at least upper amphibolite facies, and there was a subsequent phase of retrograde metamorphism. At least three periods of regional deformation have been identified, the most important being large scale isoclinal folding with axes aligned north-west. The T-zone is deformed and is interpreted by some authors as a regional thrust of pre-major folding age. There are two major high angle fault systems aligned north-west and north-east respectively. A large low-angle thrust cuts the gneiss, schist and marble sequence at the south-west corner of the island, probably indicating an overthrusting of the Serbomacedonian Massif onto the Rodope Massif.
The Late Miocene oil-producing Nestos-Prinos basin is located between Thassos island and the mainland. The floor of the basin is around 1,500 m deep off the Thassos coast(South Kavala ridge; Proedrou, 1988) and up to 4.000-5.000 m in the axial sector between Thassos and the mainland. The basin is filled with Late Miocene-Pliocene sediments, including ubiquitously repeated evaporite layers of rock salt and anhydrite-dolomite which alternate with sandstones, conglomerates, black shales, and uraniferous coal measures (Proedrou, 1979, 1988; Taupitz, 1985). Stratigraphically equivalent rocks on the mainland are clastic sediments with coal beds, marine to brackish fluvial units and travertines.
Mining activities for base and precious metals started in the 7th century B.C. with the Phoenicians, followed in the 4th century by the Greeks and then the Romans. The mining was both open - pit and underground, and concentrated on the numerous karst hosted calamine deposits for lead and silver although there was also minor exploitation of gold and copper. Worth mentioning is the discovery of a paleolithic addit located at Tzines iron mine, whose age has being estimated at approximately 15.000 years old, (Kovkouli et al. 1988) for the exploitation of limonitic ochre.
The main agricultural production on the island are honey and olive oil as well as wine , sheep , goat herding and fishing. Other industries includes lumber and tourism. Mining industry includes lead, zinc and marble, especially in the Panagia area where one of the mountains near the Thracian Sea has a large marble quarry. Now abandoned marble quarry in the south (in the area of Aliki) has been mined during the ancient times. By far the most important economic activity is tourism.
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