Dionysus, Gods series, Niue Island 2022, 2 Dollars, 2 oz, 45 mm, antique finish ultra high relief coin, selective gilding, client: Numiartis, producer: Mint of Poland.


Dionysus is the 6th coin in this series, after: Ares, Poseidon, Hephaestus, Apollo and Zeus.

Donysus, also known as Bacchus, is the god of pleasure, fertility and wine. Satyrs (half humans and half goats) and maenads were his companions. On the reverse of the coin, a satyr is pouring wine to Silenus. Silenus, the chubby, obese, bald guy with horse ears and a tail was the most famous of the satyrs. Silenus the drunkard is the god of shepherds, vegetation and ecstatic joy. On my coin he drinks from a vessel that looks more like a medieval than an ancient Greek chalice. Why? Just for fun ;).
Near to Silenus,we see a typical Greek amphorae for transporting a wine and a gold krater (or crater) for mixing wine and water. On the krater, a large two-handled vase we see a symposium scene (in Greek: Συμπόσιον means to drinking together). In ancient Greece a symposium was the part of a banquet reserved only for men, that followed the main meal when drinking for pleasure was accompanied by music, dancing or conversation.

Dionysus lies on a huge cornucopia and he is obscenely swallowing a grape. With his other hand, he pours the wine not from a rhyton (a typical horn-shaped vessel for drinking wine at libations), but from a flat goblet called in Greek a kylix.

Maenads (or, according to Euripides’ famous tragedy, bacchantes), are dancing in the background. Their characters were directly taken from my own sketch of Cronus. I turned the innocent nymphs, hiding baby Zeus in cradles into bacchantes of the cult of god of wine.

Dionysus (reverse).
The final design of the reverse.