Mn. Cordius Rufus. 46 BC. AR Denarius.Cupid on dolphin right.

Ancient Coins - Mn. Cordius Rufus. 46 BC. AR Denarius.Cupid on dolphin right.
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 Mn. Cordius Rufus. 46 BC. AR Denarius (3.1 gm). RVFVS S.C., diademed head of Venus
  right / MN. CORDIVS, Cupid on dolphin right. Crawford 463/3; Sear, CRI 65; Sydenham
  977; Cordia 3. F,  small banker's mark on reverse.

Sear maintains that this reverse type likely refers to the recent victories of Caesar
  at Thapsus. Also, he notes the interesting inclusion of SC (Senatus consulto) on the obverse legend, indicating that this issue was a special one struck under senatorial authority. While the exact reason for this is uncertain, Sear believes that it is related to the extreme demands being placed upon the mint to supply sufficient coinage to meet the expenses of Caesar's quadruple triumph. 
Classical statue of Cupid with his bow.

In Roman mythology, Cupid (Latin cupido) is the god of erotic love and beauty. He is also known by another one of his Latin names, Amor (cognate with Kama). He is the son of the goddess Venus..For the equivalent deity in Greek mythology, see Eros. In the Roman version, Cupid was the son of Venus (goddess of love) and Mars (god of war). In the Greek version, he was named Eros and seen as one of the primordial gods (though other myths exist as well). The following story is almost identical in both cultures. Cupid was often depicted with wings, a bow, and a quiver of arrows. When his mother got extremely jealous of the princess Psyche, who was so loved by her subjects that they forgot to worship Venus, she ordered Cupid to make Psyche fall in love with the vilest thing in the world. When Cupid saw Psyche, however, he was so overcome by her astounding beauty that he dropped an arrow on his foot, and so fell in love with himself.

Following that, Cupid visited Psyche every night in his invisible form and told her not to try to see him. Psyche, though, incited by her two older sisters who told her Cupid was a monster, tried to look at him and angered Cupid. When he left, she looked all over the known world for him until at last the leader of the gods, Jupiter, gave Psyche the gift of immortality so that she could be with him. Together they had a daughter, Voluptus, or Hedone, (meaning pleasure/sex) and Psyche became a goddess of the soul.


Cupid's cult was closely associated with that of Venus, with Cupid being worshiped as devotedly as she. Additionally, Cupid's power was supposed to be even greater than his mother's, since he had dominion over the dead in Hades, the creatures of the sea and the gods in Olympus. Some of the cults of Cupid suggested Cupid as son of Night and Hell mated with Chaos to produce both men and gods, making the gods the offspring of love.

 Portrayal in art and literature

In painting and sculpture, Cupid is often portrayed as a nude (or sometimes diapered) winged boy or baby armed with a bow and a quiver of arrows.

The Hindu Kāma also has a very similar description. On gems and other surviving pieces, he is usually shown amusing himself with childhood play, sometimes driving a hoop, throwing darts, catching a butterfly, or flirting with a nymph. He is often depicted with his mother (in graphic arts, this is nearly always Venus), playing a horn. In other images, his mother is depicted scolding or even spanking him due to his mischievous nature. He is also shown wearing a helmet and carrying a buckler, perhaps in reference to Virgil's Omnia vincit amor or as political satire on wars for love or love as war.

Cupid figures prominently in ariel poetry, lyrics and, of course, elegiac love and metamorphic poetry. In epic poetry, he is less often invoked, but he does appear in Virgil's Aeneid changed into the shape of Ascanius inspiring Dido's love. In later literature, Cupid is frequently invoked as fickle, playful, and perverse. He is often depicted as carrying two sets of arrows: one set gold-headed, which inspire love; and the other lead-headed, which inspire hatred.

The best-known story involving Cupid is the tale of Cupid and Psyche.

In the Artemis Fowl book series, the character Holly Short's great-great grandfather is Cupid.

 Valentine's Day

Cupidon (French for Cupid), by Bouguereau, 1875

Cupid has become a symbol for Valentine's Day.

The most common holiday representation of Cupid is a putto with wings, wearing a diaper, holding a bow and arrow. Sometimes the arrow will have a heart for its tip.

Modern reinterpretations of the Cupid character may leave off traditional details of the character, but the character's main purpose generally remains to help or make people fall in love or possibly engage in physical intimacy.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Stories of dolphins, whales and porpoises, collectively known as cetacea, abound in world mythology. This popularity may stem from the impressive size of the large whales, or the playful exertions of the acrobatic dolphins, not to mention the many stories of cetacea coming to the aid of shipwrecked sailors and stranded fishermen. Several themes commonly appear in ancient mythology from Greece to the tiny islands of the Pacific, though there is one element present in all: since time immemorial humans and cetacea have shared a very close, and quite unique, bond. Moreover, this appears to be as true today as it was five thousand years ago.

"The Dolphin is not afraid of a human being as something strange to it, butcomes to meet vessels at sea and sports and gambols round them even when under full sail."
- - Aristotle

In his memoirs, the German archaeologist Ludwig Curtius tells how, in 1904, he was filled with anxious expectation as he sailed towards Athens for his first research project. Looking out onto the blue swells of the Adriatic sea, he whispered to himself: "Gods, give me a sign that you have mercy on me, and that you will continue to keep me under your protection even during this turning point of my life." A dolphin leaped out of the water and accompanied the boat for a while, which Curtius happily interpreted as a good omen from Apollo.

In the past, Apollo had been referred to as �Delphinios� by sailors. In the shape of a mighty dolphin, he had led the ship of the Cretans from Konossos to the Greek harbour of Krissa, where he jumped ashore ��like a star in the middle of the day, sending out many sparks and a shining light up into the skies�'  Thus he led the way to the sacred site that was to be built for him in Delphi. In the Greek calendar one of the months was called Delphinios, and the memory of this Apollo�s other name is commemorated in his temple�s old law-court in Athens, which was called the �Delphinion.� Apollo is connected with another, older god of the sailors called Melikertes by the Greeks. This god ensured safe trips over the oceans for sailors and merchants. Coins from the Phoenician coast town of Aradus show Melikertes with a dolphin in each hand. Music is the other bond that connects the dolphin with Apollo, the leader of the muses, as the dolphin was considered an extraordinary music lover in those ancient days.

Many centuries after the Ancient Greeks, and on the other side of the planet, the presence of the dolphin is evident. It is interesting to note that one of the first British ships to explore the Pacific was, in fact, called The Dolphin, under the command of Captain John Byron (grandfather of the famous poet) in 1765. The following year, under the command of the more inquisitive Captain Samuel Wallis, The Dolphin landed in Matavai Bay, Tahiti, to a friendly welcome, three years prior to Captain Cook�s arrival in 1769 to observe the transit of Venus.

The Maoris of New Zealand have traditionally enjoyed a long and sacred relationship with dolphins and whales. They believed that dolphins provided assistance in finding the answers and solutions to tribal problems, regarding cetaceans as �the human beings of the sea.� Dolphins were generally known as tepuhi, a name thought to originate from the sound that the dolphin makes as it breathes air out through its blowhole. Some Maori tribes learned to recognise certain aspects of cetacean body language, such as the manner in which dolphins and whales would leap out of the water, as an indicator of future events, and as such they regarded cetaceans as messengers of the gods. It was possible to know in advance, for example, if a sick member of a tribe would live or die by observing the behaviour of whales and dolphins close to shore.

One of the world�s smallest dolphins is the Hector�s Dolphin, measuring only about 1 metre when fully grown. It is an agile, sprightly dolphin, and is found only in the coastal waters of New Zealand. It was known by the Maoris as Tutumairekurai, meaning �special ocean dweller�. Some Maori Tribes, particularly those in the South Island around the Banks Peninsula (where the Hector�s dolphin is most commonly seen) believed that the spirits of the dead would become tutumairekurai. Another name for the dolphin in common usage was Tupoupou, which means �to rise up vertically.� This presumably originated from observing the dolphins �spy-hopping,�so that the head (with both eyes) is above the water�s surface, the tail balancing them from below so that they appear to �hover� in one location to have a good look around!


The notion of dolphins and whales transforming into humans is one of the most enduring themes in cetacean mythology, and commonly appears in stories accounting for the birth or creation of certain tribes. In Northern Australia, the native people of Groote Island tell a story about their origins that accounts for the special relationship they share with dolphins to this day. Millennia ago, in the early days of the Dreamtime, lived the Indjbena, or dolphins. These ancient sea-dwelling creatures were arrogant and took little notice of the dangers that surrounded them in the ocean, preferring instead to mercilessly taunt the small shellfish (Yakunas) for their amusement. Ultimately the dolphins� unwelcome presence among the shellfish resulted in the Yakuna leader seeking help from Mana, the tiger sharks. All but one of the dolphins were slaughtered, and their souls left their bodies to become humans on land. Only one dolphin-- a pregnant female-- had been spared, and the son to which she gave birth, named Dinginjabana, was stronger and wiser than any of the dolphins that had gone before, and was the first of the friendly, intelligent dolphins we know today. In time, this female dolphin swam into the shallow waters and recognised her mate, Dinginjabana�s father, and in her joy transformed into human form so the two could be reunited. As time passed, this human couple had many children, who became the �Dolphin Tribe� of Groote Island. These people have never forgotten the connection with their ancestors in the ocean, just as the dolphins remember to this day the special affinity they share with their human cousins.

A common story throughout Micronesia is of cetacea that emerge from the sea in the form of humans to watch village celebrations and activities in secret. One such tale comes from the Ulithi people of the western Caroline Islands (in what is now The Federated States of Micronesia). In ancient days, two �dolphin women� emerged from the sea to watch the local village men dance. They did this for several nights in succession. One evening, however, the trails that the dolphin women left behind on the sand were noticed by one of the village men, and he became suspicious. He lay in wait the following night, and after the women had emerged from their dolphin bodies he hid the tail that belonged to one of them. This dolphin woman was therefore not able to return to the sea, and stayed in the village to become the man�s wife, and the mother of his two children. One day, by chance, she found her tail, which her husband had been secretly storing in the roof of their home. She put the tail back on and made her way down to the beach. Before returning to her oceanic home, she implored her children never to eat dolphin meat, and thus it became taboo for any member of the village to ever harm or eat dolphins.

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