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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
3680237

Omphale, Queen of Lydia

368, Lot: 237. Estimate $150.
Sold for $340. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LYDIA, Maeonia. Pseudo-autonomous issue. Æ (20mm, 4.12 g, 12h). Bare head of Hercules left / Omphale standing right, wearing Hercule’s lion skin and holding his club. BMC 17-8. VF, dusty green patina.


In expiation for his murder of Iphitos at Tiryns, Hercules was compelled by the Delphic oracle to serve Omphale, the queen of Lydia, for one year. During this time, he performed a number of labors, similar to those which he undertook while serving Eurystheus, including the capture of the Kerkopes, the killing of the Syleus, and the conquest of the city of the Itones. At the same time, he was forced to wear women’s clothing and spin wool. According to the poet Ovid (Fasti 2.305), during this time Omphale even wore Hercules’ lion skin and carried his club while ordering him about. However, these actions seemed to have little ill-effect on the hero; after his year’s service was completed, Hercules married Omphale.