AU Maximianus Herculius Aureus 286-305 A.D.(5.36g) Rome Mint 293 A.D. 7/95
S.Turkey hoard; In another of his labors Hercules had to destroy the Hydra, a many-headed monster who lurked in the marshes of Lerna and emerged to ravish the countryside. It seemed to be immortal because whenever one head was cut off two or more grew to replace it, but Hercules burned the stumps thus preventing new growth and killed the monster. It has been suggested that this myth actually refers to the draining of the swamp. The scene is apparently the first myth to appear in Greek art (late 8th century B.C.); a representation of the Hydra was used much later by Ercole d’Este of Ferrara on coins minted to commemorate the construction of a new part of the city.
O: MAXIMIANUS PF AUG; Bust r.; unpublished from this mint but like RIC 84b
R: HERCULI DEBELLAT; Hercules slaying the Hydra; in ex., PR
G: "Obverse and reverse in high relief. Beard of Maximianus weakly struck. Tiny finder's mark at 12 o'clock on obverse but otherwise Mint State. The rendering of Hercules slaying the Hydra is the best we have ever seen!!" c.f. Leu 93, lot 121 for a superior coin (5-10-2005).
S: Harlan J.Berk, Ltd B/B 86 (lot 29) 7/11/95; 7/12/95