Divine intrigue and human drama: our latest coin ‘Bacchus’, inspired by Greek mythology, is here!
Ancient Greek mythology, known as Europe’s cultural treasure trove, has been stirring the imagination of mankind for almost three millennia. The intricately plotted stories that once passed from generation to generation are still relevant today, which is why, inspired by these stories, the Lithuanian Mint presents a new series ‘The Twelve Olympians (Gods of Olympus)’ and its first collectible silver coin ‘Bacchus’. Immerse yourself in a world of divine intrigue and human drama together with us!
Complicated relationships at the top of Olympus
In ancient Greece (Hellas), myths and legends were inseparable from religion, thus, it affected all spheres of daily life. The stories, which spreaded in various ways, were more compelling due to the fact that the divine beings in the stories did not look different from ordinary people or even, despite their magical powers, had very ‘mundane’ problems such as heated conflicts, bad habits and difficult personal traits. Some of the most notoriously tempestuous figures in the Greek pantheon – those who lived on the legendary Mount Olympus – were commonly known as the Olympians: it was the god of sky and thunder, Zeus, the goddess of marriage, Hera, the god of the sea, Poseidon, the goddess of wisdom, Athena, the god of fire, Hephaestus, the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite, the god of light, Apollo, the goddess of the hunt, Artemis, the god of wine and ecstasy, Bacchus, the goddess of agriculture, Demeter, the god of war, Ares, the goddess of the hearth, Hestia, the god of the underworld, Hades, and the god of travel, Hermes, who acted as a messenger between humans and gods.
As it was common in Greek myths, the road to glory for the Olympians was not an easy one. They became superior only after a decade-long war in which Zeus led his siblings – Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia & Hades – into a battle against the Titans who desired to rule the world. The victory guaranteed the gods a permanent place on Mount Olympus but not all of them insisted on it – the main Olympian legends say that no more than twelve gods resided on the mountain top at the same time. Hades had his own kingdom and was a rare sight on Mount Olympus, Bacchus liked to go down to see the humans, and Demeter often paid visits to her daughter Persephone who lived with Hades.
A god of free-spirited nature who loved peace
The influence of the gods of Olympus not only went beyond ancient Greece, but also transcended time – for example, the link between culture and pleasure that has survived to this day can be credited to Bacchus. In the old myths, Bacchus is one of the most popular gods because he stood for ideas that were close to the common people: he was a patron of the theatre, he loved peace, and was a guardian of civilisation & law. What’s more, Homer, the blind Greek poet who is now considered as the first European poet, repeatedly described Bacchus as ‘the joy of men’. The symbols of this god – trees, grapevines, domestic animals – were often featured in festivals, and this quickly led to a kind of cult that we still associate with the free spirit, wine, and ecstatic mood.
Unfortunately, the human love for Bacchus was only one side of the proverbial coin: his relationships with the other gods were, as one might expect, complicated. For example, one of the birth legends says Hera was so jealous of Zeus, who was the father of Bacchus’, that she even tried to kill the child. Another legend mentions the fact that Bacchus earned his place at the top of Mount Olympus when he freed Hera, who had been captured in a magic chair by Hephaestus. The cunning god of wine simply got the patron of fire very drunk and then brought the goddess of marriage back to Olympus. Interestingly, despite confusing relationships, Bacchus was still considered one of the key figures of the Olympian Twelve.
Enchanting coin design with a shiny finish
The collectible aged silver coin ‘Bacchus’, dedicated to an exceptional Greek god, is a special creation of the Lithuanian Mint. The reverse of the gold-plated coin is full of the motifs attributed to this god: entwined vines and ripe bunches of grapes that symbolise the harvest & fertility, a festive drinking cup which reminds us of the intoxicating ecstasy, and the god’s beatific smile that adorned his face as he spent his time with the common people… This ornamental work is fascinating not only for its intricate details, but also because of the technological solutions applied. The high relief of the coin is decorated using a new surface treatment technique – antique gilding. The obverse features a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
This coin, which symbolises the power and majesty of a god, is sure to find a place in your numismatic collection. ‘Bacchus’ is sold in a lacquered wooden box together with a certificate of authenticity.
Order the new collectible silver coin ‘Bacchus’ HERE.