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Mythical Creatures


Greek Sphinx, daughter of
Chimaira, was part woman,
lion and bird. She terrorized
humans with her deadly
riddles, but eventually Oedipus
outwitted and defeated her

What would a mythology be without mythical creatures - and the Greek (or rather Greco-Roman) one is no exception here. The list of these fantastic beings is long, with one of them - Chimaira - even supplying a generic English term for the fantastic or imaginary - "chimerical". This group is of a somewhat fluid boundary - bordering, say, on one side with demi-gods and other lesser deities - but is typically characterized by a combination of certain human and animal traits, as well as supernatural powers. Some are on-of-a-kind - like Minotaur, Skylla or Pegasos, and others come in many instances, like nymphs, satyrs or hyppocamps (Sirens) - but they all reveal different aspects of ancient beliefs, and make an interesting topic for coin collecting. The selection presented in our listings is of course limited by representations available on monetary issues, but includes some rather colorful characters...