Kyrenaika, Kyrene. AE 1/4 unit, 323-313 BC. Apollo / Silphium plant

Ancient Coins - Kyrenaika, Kyrene. AE 1/4 unit, 323-313 BC. Apollo / Silphium plant
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Ancient Greek
Kyrenaika
Kyrene
AE 1/4 unit, 323-313 BC
Head of Apollo Carneius right / Silphium plant
4.30 g, 14-18 mm
SNG Copenhagen 1225; Müller, Afrique 238-240; BMC Cyrenaica 200
Silphium was a plant that was used as a seasoning and as a medicine. It was the essential item of trade from the ancient Kyrene (also spelled Cyrene), and was depicted on most of their coins.  The seeds, shown on some Kyrene coins, have been proposed as the origin of the the symbolic “heart” shape.  But the plant was never successfully cultivated and the wild silphium was eventually harvested to extinction.  According to Pliny, the last known stalk was given to the emperor Nero.
Price SKU: 10502
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Rates for: 05/25/18

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