Page II      

Following the triskelis trail into Asia Minor, we encounter Pamphylians (assumed of Asiatic origin) niched between Cilicia and Lycia, possessing as did the latter, a unique alphabet and language [ 61 ]. The land's little-known tongue leaves undefined a name significance defining “Pamphylia”. Attalia, Side and Pamphyli, amongst their principal cities, were not Greek colonies. What we know for certain is the Persians expanded territorily as far as Pamphylia whilst Lydia ruled this land during a specific period. Combining these facts, one might assume Pamphylia nowise applying Hellenic influences in its choice of a triskelis symbol. But was it linked to Persian culture via Sumer, similarly of unique alphabet and language? We simply do not know.[ 4 ] Perga, another Pamphylian city had its mint present the triskelis within a tetradrachm series of the late 190's B.C., placing Zeus enthroned on the reverse, Herakles wearing a lionskin headress upon the obverse. (see Chios)

      Free-style wrestling with triskeles appearing upon Aspendos (Balkyzi) coins call to mind physical achievement glorified via Olympic events commencing approximately 776 B.C. or earlier.*2 [ 59 ] Aspendos in fact was a Greek city, presumably founded through Argos or thus Greek legends assert. It crafted our favourite triskelis coin racing the symbol’s “triquetra of legs“ alongside a lion, 500-400 B.C. This, amongst others Aspendian samples appear in part 1. A large selection may be further viewed at : or
Citius, Altius, Fortius, is the Latin Olympic motto : “Faster, Higher, Braver”.
A person might perceive the triskelis in this light when noting its presence accompanying wrestlers and slingers or racing alongside lions and quadrigas and so on. This motto was not plucked from Homer's strings but from the words of Dominican father Herni Dinon whose French compatriote Michel Bréal initiated the motto at the revival of the modern Olympics, March 7th 1891. Baron de Coubertin, responsible for bringing back to life today's modern Olympics, offered his now well-familiar five interlocking rings in 1913.
  The British Museum sets Aspendos (Aspendus) coining silver under the Persic standard 460 B.C., hence yet again one ponders eastern links [ 71 ]. Eventually archaeological finds may reveal prior minting considering historical records inform early Pamphylians dominated by Lydia whose coin production stretched back to approximately 650-600 B.C.

By 25 B.C. Pamphylia and its triskelis were no longer, the Pax Romana having pressed a silencing seal thereupon, as was its way. Yet the symbol, agonistic or otherwise, pursued a long journey as we shall discover.

Midst deep pine forests north of Pamphylia, mountainous Pisidia claiming a Spartan stem, seemed indeed warlike and reclusive. Strabo informs us the principal city was Selge. We perceive its “wrestler with slinger” silver staters, less common than Aspendos types, issued ca. 3rd century B.C. and likely resembling Aspendian issues for reasons of trade. This example [ 5 ] is presented by permission of Guy Clark,
  Pisidia’s Adada places itself half-way between Perge (Perga) and Antioch along Apostle Paul’s wayfaring circuit. It stands now a ruined haunt though once producing long-footed bronze triskelis coins twirling about the letters ADA (1st century B.C.). A solemn obverse depicts a facing bull’s head horned with a crescent moon below a six-pointed star.  
  Coin example number five above reflects triskeles representing minor notes of an ensemble compared with the following Lycian issues. This seems commonplace when selected side-motifs indicated a series, magisterial powers, or some code significant to the mint. Puzzling over these numismatic customs entangles thought when considering its appearances elsewhere, adorning other than coins and found even within burial sites . The triskelis crossed many lands representing dissimilar cultures and languages. Nonetheless, cases existed such as the Argos “A” coins (pg. 3) and others herein, clearly indicating one type within a series.  
      Those reading Egyptian, Hittite and Ugaritic information discovered Lycians or Lukki as they were called, acknowledged and referenced since ca. 1500 B.C. While further mentioned in the 1400 B.C. Tell el-Amarna tablets *3, reading their inscriptions, scholars discovered a word alone Lycians used for themselves : Trmmili (Melchert 1993: 78-79). Coin legends designate Arnna, once the name given venerable Xanthus, their capital. Herodotus suggests the “Lukki” originated from Crete.  
  Both Lycia and Cilicia lived free of Lydia’s land conquests in the sixth century B.C. Archaeological studies indicate Lycians resettled abandoned southwestern Hittite lands by the early eighth century B.C., however, handshaking with Greek friends precedes Homer’s Trojan War. Oracles foretold Troy’s invincibility were the horses of Rhesus to drink the waters of the Xanthus River. King Sarpedon maintained loyal alliance to Troy till Sleep and Death gently glided him home to Lycia. [ 64 ]  
From distant Lycia and the whirling Xanthos came the Lycians led by Sarpedo and heroic Glaucus.

Lycia’s capital, Xanthus, which Strabo described, is named after the river (a Greek word meaning yellow). Lycia twice subjected itself to destruction by its own citizens rather than allow themselves gifted to Persians or Romans, (546.B.C. and ca. 42 B.C. respectively). Greeks admired such tenacity but especially applauded their famed democratic culture, fierce in preserving Lycian freedom. Possibly this kingdom’s triskelis symbolised it.[ 6 ] [ 7 ]. An impressive Lycian Dynast’s silver stater displays a double triskelis dominating both coin faces, circa 380-370 B.C. A similar dominance is repeated by the Celts as seen further.

[ 8 ]
Cedar rich Antiphellos named Habesa or Habesos in Lycian vernacular (today's Kas) places itself amongst Lycia's oldest settlements, shadowed beneath rock-cut tombs as haunting as the following coins. [ 9 ] [ 10 ] The king's tiara could signify Persian influences.

Lycian coinage extensively images triskelions, oftentimes carrying obverse solos coupled in issues diversifying reverses: the butting bull, winged lions, dolphins/astragalos and eye, seated griffins, Pans and more. Winged Pegasus often accompanies Lycian and Corinthian issues. A specimen representing Lycian Kuprilli circa 470-440 B.C., presents a triskelis branding the horse's rump. Even the symbol form undergoes transformation such as cocks' head-triskeles figuring in:, no.315. Limyra, (Zemuri) a Lycian city, issued a triskelis stater crafting a Dolphin obverse, ca. 46-420 B.C., viewable at Lycian pre-Hellenistic coin portraiture is unique as part one indicates.

  Pegasus (Pegasos) above takes his turn representing an extensive coin sequence of silver hemiobols, staters and tetrobols dating between circa 470 and 440 B.C., wherein triskeles entirely fill reverse spacing and obverses commonly carry them. Certain sequences were minted in Xanthus. Obverses portray conjoined bulls, wild boars, winged runners or deities and lions, exampling but a few. One assumedly unpublished specie shows twin triskeles encircling two dolphins, one symbol above and one below, reverses carrying the usual triskelis, only an added lotus symbol fits into the field across from a Lycian monogram “K-O”. As Pegasus, animals are often “branded” with a triskelis such as the Kuprilli Dynast lion above, circa 470-440 B.C. A culturally significant unit in the series presents a stately Assyrian or Achaemenid winged bull wherethrough silently passes in our memory, an invisible Sumerian bull-god.  

Lycia's unusual tombs [ 60 ] and architecture if not more, mirror Greek culture. Consequently we may wonder if thence spun Lycia’s national symbol or could it be the reverse? The Lycian triskelis disappeared, quasi smothered beneath heavy-footed Alexandrian armies (fourth century B.C.) [ 11 ]. Lycia’s city, Phaselis, maintained certain “Alexander” issues bearing triskelions. After the Macedonians 334/3 B.C., striking nearly ceased until the 2nd century B.C. when Limyra (Zemuri ) issued lion-scalp coins including a triskelis reverse. Similar lion-scalp types emerging throughout the ancient world closely resemble features of guarding lions snarling atop northern Iraq's Tell al-Rimah reliefs, 806-782 B.C., (reign of Assyria's King Adadnirari III). Meanwhile, valiant Lycia, land of the Chimaera, weakly persevered until the Byzantine era, ca.395. Its cities finally collapsed during earthquakes striking A.D. 141 and 240.

Meanwhile, valiant Lycia, land of the Chimaera, weakly persevered until the Byzantine era, ca.395, but its cities finally collapsed during earthquakes striking A.D. 141 and 240.

  Unfortunately we were unable to locate the triskelis symbol adorning Olba's crumbling tower landmarking Canytellis (now Erdemli-Turkey). It may represent one of the few, if not the lone triskelis remaining upon an historical tower in Asia Minor, or eventually elsewhere. A wall inscription advises onlookers, priest-King Teukros, honouring Zeus, ordered such a construction ,and overhead, a triskelis abides, carved into the stone. The kingdom of Olba’s identifying symbol may have been the triskelis since frequently adorning her coinage.[ 12 ] Cilicia’s long connection with the Persian empire may justify the symbol’s distinct portrayal. In fact the very name Cilicia derives from Assyrian, “Khilakku”. She appeared midst the hazy dawns of antiquity.  
  One may interpret Olba’s referencing symbol as the triskelis, yet Zeus’s thunderbolt culturally and spiritually also dominates. [ 13 ] Strabo names Ajax, half-brother of the Iliad’s Ajax, founder of Olba, ( 2nd century B.C.). An order of priests the Teukrides, ruled thereon from the Temple of Zeus. The kingdom’s territorial limits remain unknown. It’s independence ceased when blended with Rome’s Province, Cicilia, A.D 72. Olba’s afterdays witness currency presenting the heads of Marc Antony, Augustus and Tiberius, reverses repeatedly depicting triskeles or thunderbolts. A coin obverse portrays Claudius Marcellus having the symbol appearing from behind his head. Great powers passed through, leaving behind this buffer zone. By Crusading times, Cilicia had become Armenian.  
“I have lived to see my lord Hector slain by Achilles, and our babe Astyanax hurled from the battlements when the Hellenes sacked our Trojan abode.”

Andromache - Euripides
Where is Birytis ? [ 67 ]
Troas (Troad), formerly Northwestern section forming Asia Minor, south of hapless Troy (Ilios). Recordings rest a term between 1295-1272 B.C. Hittite King Muwatalli II entered a treaty with Alaksandu ruling Arzawa, a region undergoing many name transformations until the last, Ilios shaping Homer’s Iliad. Here Xerxes performed sacrifices ere battling Greek foes. Constantine the Great toyed with choosing Troas as capital gracing the newly envisaged Eastern Roman Empire. One of the region’s cities, Birytis, remains lost till present. Its precise location remains uncharted though presumed once standing either south of Troy or near Hellespont. Numismatics holds our only clue proving this city’s existence whence triskeles held their place in coinage, as reveals this bronze [ 63 ] (circa fourth century). Obverses show Kabiros hatted beneath a conical pileus. Reverses form a triple-crescent tripteral triskeles similarly shaped comparing with Celtic and Indian samples shown herein.
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