ancientcoins: In honor of Halloween, I share …


In honor of Halloween, I share a coin featuring the “witchy” goddess, Hekate. I discovered at my seminar that Hekate is one of the least common divinities on coins, undoubtedly because of her supernatural and infernal associations. Hekate (sometimes transliterated Hecate) was the goddess of magic, witchcraft and ghosts. She is famous for her sorcery and her knowledge of herbs, spells, and poisons. On earth, her cult appeared most often at cross-roads and other liminal spaces, where the borders between worlds were thin.

On this coin she appears as Hekate Triformis, Hekate of the three bodies, a form in which she was shown to have power over heaven, earth, and hell. She is paralleled to the three fates, the three furies, and the three graces as one of a number of Greco-Roman goddesses associated with the number three.

The coin is of the empress Otacilia Severa, 
wife of Philip I, from Laodikeia in Asia Minor. Hekate was a particularly important goddess in Asia Minor, where she was associated with the Egyptian goddess Isis and with the Great Mother goddess, Cybele.

Otacilia Severa AE of Laodikeia, Phrygia.
. 244-249 AD

12.09 g. M WTAKIL CEBHRA CE, diademed, draped bust right / LAODIKEWN NEWKORWN, Hekate Triformis holding torches, serpent, whip and knives, standing; hound at foot right. BMC 255 var