BITHYNIA. Prusa ad Olympum. Macrinus, 217-218. Diassarion (Bronze, 24 mm, 8.01 g, 1 h). ΜΑΚΡЄΙΝΟC ΑΥΓΟΥCΤΟC Laureate head of Macrinus to right. Rev. ΠΡΟΥCΑΕΩΝ Ajax the Telamonian, nude but for helmet and balteus, falling on his sword; before, pile of stones; on ground line, shield. BMC -. RG -. SNG Copenhagen -. SNG von Aulock -. Solidus 18 (2017), 169 (same dies). Extremely rare, apparently the second known example. Some roughness and the obverse struck slightly off center, otherwise, very fine.
The Telamonian Ajax was one of the main protagonists of the Trojan War. As the second-strongest warrior of the Greeks after his cousin Achilles, Ajax fought hard to recover the hero's body, but in the argument that followed, Achilles' body armor was awarded to the eloquent Odysseus instead of him. Grievously offended, Ajax fell into a rage the following night, killing a flock of sheep that he imagined to be Odysseus and Agamemnon. Coming to his senses somewhat later, he found himself covered in the blood of the sheep and decided to commit suicide to efface his disgrace. Ajax fell on the sword he had received from Hektor in an exchange of presents, and from his blood sprang a red flower that bore on its leaves the initial letters of his name, AI, letters that were also a cry of lament.