A Silenus Mask and Other Cult Symbols on Hadrian’s Alexandrian Dichalkoi


  • Tyler Holman


This paper will examine two poorly understood reverse types found on Hadrianic dichalkoi from Alexandria. It argues that the objects depicted on these reverses should be identified as a mask of Silenus and a torch. It further argues that these types should be interpreted within the wider context of Hadrian’s Alexandrian dichalkoi, which almost exclusively feature isolated depictions of cult objects and symbols.


Amandry, M. and A. Burnett (eds.), in collaboration with J. Mairat. 2015. Roman Provincial Coinage III: Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian (AD 96–138). London and Paris: British Museum Press and Bibliothèque Nationale.

Bissing, F.W. von. 1901. La catacomb nouvellement découverte de Kom el Chougafa. Munich: J.B. Obernetter.

Crawford, M.H. 1974. Roman Republican Coinage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Emmett, K. 2003. An Unpublished Alexandrian Coin of Augustus. The Celator 17 no. 8: 18–22.

Feuardent, F. 1873. Collections Giovanni di Demetrio: Numismatique, Égypte ancienne, deuxième partie: Domination romaine. Paris: Rollin et Feuardent.

Geissen, A. 2010. Mythologie grecque ou mystère d’Isis-Dèmèter? in L. Bricault and Miguel John Versluys (eds.) Isis on the Nile: Egyptian Gods in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. Proceedings of the IVth International Conference of Isis Studies, Liège, November 27–9, 2008 (Religions in the Graeco-Roman World 171): 181–195. Leiden-Boston: Brill.

de Grummond, N.T. 2002. Mirrors, Marriage, and Mysteries. Journal of Roman Archaeology. Supplementary Series no. 47: 63–85.

Mairat, J., C. Howgego and V. Heuchert. Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, 2006, Roman Provincial Coinage (RPC) online, viewed 3 September 2020, <https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk>.

Venit, M.S. 2002. Monumental Tombs of Ancient Alexandria: The Theater of the Dead. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



How to Cite

Holman, T. (2021). A Silenus Mask and Other Cult Symbols on Hadrian’s Alexandrian Dichalkoi. KOINON: The International Journal of Classical Numismatic Studies, 4, 101–105. Retrieved from https://archaeopresspublishing.com/ojs/index.php/koinon/article/view/1112



Roman Coinage