Caracalla AE26 of Hadrianopoli.Herakles naked standing right, leaning on club, holding bow ready to hunt The Stymphalian Birds.

Ancient Coins - Caracalla AE26 of Hadrianopoli.Herakles naked standing right, leaning on club, holding bow ready to hunt The Stymphalian Birds.
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  Caracalla AE26 of  Hadrianopolis, Thrace. AVT K AVP CEVH ANTWNEINOC, laureate draped bust right / ADRIANOPOLEITWN,
Herakles naked standing right, leaning on club, holding bow ready to hunt The Stymphalian Birds.gVF with  nice green patina and very interesting coin.Moushmov 2657.!!R3

The Stymphalian Birds
After Hercules returned from his success in the
Augean stables, Eurystheus came up with an even
more difficult task. For the sixth Labor, Hercules was
to drive away an enormous flock of birds which
gathered at a lake near the town of Stymphalos.

Arriving at the lake, which was deep in the woods,
Hercules had no idea how to drive the huge gathering
of birds away. The goddess Athena came to his aid,
providing a pair of bronze krotala, noisemaking
clappers similar to castanets. These were no ordinary
noisemakers. They had been made by an immortal
craftsman, Hephaistos, the god of the forge.

Climbing a nearby mountain, Hercules clashed the
krotala loudly, scaring the birds out of the trees, then
shot them with bow and arrow, or possibly with a
slingshot, as they took flight.
Some versions of the legend say that these
Stymphalian birds were vicious man-eaters. The 2nd
century A.D. travel writer, Pausanias, trying to
discover what kind of birds they might have been,
wrote that during his time a type of bird from the
Arabian desert was called "Stymphalian," describing
them as equal to lions or leopards in their fierceness.
He speculated that the birds Hercules encountered in
the legend were similar to these Arabian birds.

These fly against those who come to hunt them,
wounding and killing them with their beaks. All
armor of bronze or iron that men wear is pierced by
the birds; but if they weave a garment of thick cork,
the beaks of the Stymphalian birds are caught in the
cork garment... These birds are of the size of a crane,
and are like the ibis, but their beaks are more
powerful, and not crooked like that of the ibis.

Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.22.5


Pausanias also saw and described the religious
sanctuary built by the Greeks of Stymphalos and
dedicated to the goddess Artemis. He reported that the
temple had carvings of the Stymphalian birds up near
its roof. Standing behind the temple, he saw marble
statues of maidens with the legs of birds.


When the Roman emperor Hadrian (117-138) travelled to the East in 123-124, he commanded that new buildings be constructed in the town of Odrysai, also known as Uscudama. The town grew into city, and became one of the most important inthe Roman Empire. It was now thought worthy to take the name of the emperor who had so honoured the city, and Odrysai was re-named Hadrianopolis (Adrianopolis), Hadrians city.

The most important building which Hadrian had constn.ıcted here was the castle. Corresponding exactly to the plan of Roman castrum, the castle had nine gates, four circular towers, one at each corner, and along each wall twelve quadrangular turrets. Around the walls was moat. When Rome was enjoying its golden age during the second century and first half of the third century, the cities of Thrace grew and prospered. Hadrianopolis, an important military stronghold and centre of trade with fertile hinterland, was no exception.

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Quotazione: 09/18/20

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