CILICIA, Tarsus. Trajan Decius.
|Sale: CNG 70, Lot: 586. Estimate $200.
Closing Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2005.
Sold For $650. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
249-251 AD. Æ 33mm (21.56 g, 6h). Radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right / Hercules standing right, leaning on club set on ox head and holding infant Telephus, who reaches for hind standing right, head left; tree behind; A M K in exergue, G
B in legend. SNG Levante 1160 (this coin); SNG France -. Near VF, black-green patina with dusty blue-green overtones, light overall roughness. A rare mythological type. ($200)
Telephus was the son of Hercules and Auge, daughter of King Aleus of Tegea. Aleus received an oracle that predicted his grandson, Telephus, would kill his uncles. Fearing for his sons, Aleus exposed the infant Telephus on Mt. Parthenion, hoping that, through the child's death, the oracle could be avoided. Miraculously, however, Telephus was saved and suckled by a hind.
Telephus later became king of the Mysians and founder of the city of Pergamon. During the Trojan War he was wounded in a fight with Achilles. When this wound would not heal, Telephus learned through an oracle that he could only be healed by the one who had wounded him. When Achilles refused, Telephus seized Orestes, the son of Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks, threatening to kill the boy unless Achilles agreed to help. Odysseus, however, interpreting the oracle in his own way, pointed out that, as it had been the spear which was the source of the wound, so too it must be the source of the healing. Scrapings from the spear were applied to Telephus' wound, and it was healed.