Egypt, Alexandria Faustina junior, circa 150-151 (year 14)
daughter of Antoninus Pius and wife of Marcus Aurelius
Obverse: Draped bust Of Faustina II right, ΦΑVϹΤΙΝ(Α) ϹƐΒ ϹƐΒ ƐVϹ(ƐΒ) ΘVΓ.
Reverse: Triptolemos, wearing elephant’s-head cap, holding seeds in chlamys, driving biga drawn by winged serpents r.; in field, LIΔ.
Æ 34mm, 19.27g.
Ref: D 3296, Geissen 1958, M 2106
TRIPTOLEMOS (Triptolemus) was a demi-god of the Eleusinian mysteries who presided over the sowing of grain-seed and the milling of wheat.
He was one of the Eleusinian princes who hospitably received the goddess Demeter when she was mourning the loss of her daughter.
After Persephone was returned from the underworld Demeter, in her munificence, instructed Triptolemos in the ways of agriculture and provided him with a winged, serpent-drawn chariot to spread her gift across the earth.
He travelled through many lands but when he reached the cold realm of the Skythians, King Lynkos (Lyncus) slew one of his dragon-serpents and drove the hero away.
Deventer transformed the king into a lynx and denied the Skythians the gift of agriculture.
Triptolemos’ name is derived from the Greek words triptos and lemma meaning “He who Pounds the Husks.”