Tom Buggey has pointed out some unusual qualities for this coin. The common variety shows the centaur drawing the bow – one hand on the bow, the other at the back of the arrow pulling the string. This coin however clearly shows both hands on the shaft of the “arrow”, with the “bow” being sharply bent with no trace of a string. It seems much more like a wide-headed spear.
One has to wonder about the die engraver. Was he working off a poor-quality master where the details weren’t clear, and filled in his own details as needed? Or did he have a specific centaur legend in mind and was working from that, ignoring the master copy?
Mr. Buggey was the first to point out that this particular centaur also seems to have a single breast, with a small trace of the other one, prompting the Amazon theories.
Jim Phelps has provided “a bit more of the history in general at the homepage http://www.ruark.org/coins/Zoo. You might find the page on Apollo interesting – http://www.ruark.org/coins/Zoo/Apollo.html, as he had two different types of centaur coins. The first is similar to the one you’ve seen. The second shows the centaur holding a globe and a rudder. These are more commonly associated with the Roman goddess Fortuna, a fertility/prosperity deity (and later of good luck).”
return to UNIVERSITY STUDIES Centaur homepage