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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
355, Lot: 391. Estimate $300.
Sold for $1200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

EGYPT, Alexandria. Lucius Verus. AD 161-169. BI Tetradrachm (24mm, 13.51 g, 12h). Dated RY 4 (AD 163/4). Bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust left / Radiate and draped bust of Serapis-Pantheos right, wearing calathus and horn of Ammon; trident behind shoulder; ∆/L (date) before. Köln 2148; Dattari (Savio) 9420; K&G 39.77; Emmett 2360.4. Good VF, dark gray-brown surfaces.


From the Hermanubis Collection.

Serapis was a syncretic god, combining Hellenistic Greek and Egyptian religious beliefs. His name is of Egyptian origin and derives from a synthesis of Ausar (Greek, Osiris), the Egyptian god of the Underworld, and Hapi (Greek, Apis), a manifestation of the god Ptah. Under the Ptolemies, Serapis became the chief tutelary god and the subject of a royally-sponsored cult, whose emphasis on an afterlife made the worship of Serapis one of the more popular mystery cults. His immense popularity soon extended his creation as Serapis-Pantheos, a hybrid deity incorporating other divine elements. In Alexandria, a large temple complex, called the Serapeum was constructed and remained highly patronized well into the fourth century AD. Shortly after the imperial decree of AD 391, officially declaring pagan temples closed, the Serapeum was besieged, plundered, and destroyed.