The Aitna tetradrachm with the head of Silenus and Zeus seated on a throne is the master work of one of the finest die-engravers of the ancient world. The iconography of Silenus, or of the Sileni viewed as a group, documents a complex stratified reality, diachronically and diatopically diversified, within which the coin of Aitna holds a position of absolute prestige and authority. Hieron of Syracuse had founded - in around 476/475 BC – the city of Aitna, apponting his son Dinomenes as its basileus when still a child. The choice of the Silenus in Aitna was inspired by Chromius, the epitropos of Aitna and probable coregent of the child king Dinomenes. Towards Dinomenes Chromius would have performed the same role played by the old Silenus for the young Dionysus, adviser and tutor and perhaps also an ‘initiatory' function if we give a symbolic value to the attribute of the scarab represented beside the Silenus' head. The tetradrachm of the Silenus would reflect the particular historical moment linked to the crisis of the powerful Dinomenedes dynasty in 467/66 BC, and the extreme attempt of the lords of Aitna to save a highly unsteady power.

Why is there the head of a Silenus on the Aitna tetradrachm?

CALTABIANO, Maria
2009

Abstract

The Aitna tetradrachm with the head of Silenus and Zeus seated on a throne is the master work of one of the finest die-engravers of the ancient world. The iconography of Silenus, or of the Sileni viewed as a group, documents a complex stratified reality, diachronically and diatopically diversified, within which the coin of Aitna holds a position of absolute prestige and authority. Hieron of Syracuse had founded - in around 476/475 BC – the city of Aitna, apponting his son Dinomenes as its basileus when still a child. The choice of the Silenus in Aitna was inspired by Chromius, the epitropos of Aitna and probable coregent of the child king Dinomenes. Towards Dinomenes Chromius would have performed the same role played by the old Silenus for the young Dionysus, adviser and tutor and perhaps also an ‘initiatory' function if we give a symbolic value to the attribute of the scarab represented beside the Silenus' head. The tetradrachm of the Silenus would reflect the particular historical moment linked to the crisis of the powerful Dinomenedes dynasty in 467/66 BC, and the extreme attempt of the lords of Aitna to save a highly unsteady power.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/9038
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