Tommaso Rangone

Juno Nurturing Hercules

Bronze, 39.8 mm Ø, 23.7 g
Attributed to Matteo Pagano, 1562.
Obverse:  Bust of Tommaso Rangone facing right, bearded and wearing coat. Around, THOM & middot; PHILOL · RAVEN · PHYS · EQ · GVARD · D · MAR · MAG (Tommaso Philologus of Ravenna, Physician and Knight, Guardian of St. Marco, and Master). To left of the bust, 1562 .
Reverse:  Reclining Juno, in a circle of stars, about to suckle the infant Hercules, who is held by Jupiter in the guise of an eagle. Below, lilies and birds. Around, · A · IOVE · ET · SOROR E · GENITA (Born of Jupiter and his sister).

Tommaso Rangone, called Philologus, was born in August of 1493 in Ravenna as Tommaso Giannotti. He taught philosophy and medicine at Padua and was physician to Count Guido Rangoni, from whom he received the right to bear his name. He moved to Venice in 1539, where he was a scholar, patron of the arts, and highly influential figure. On March 9, 1562, Rangone was elected guardian of S. Marco and was created knight of S. Marco on March 15, 1562, by Doge Girolamo Priuli. Rangone died on September 10, 1577, in Venice. This medal is a later version of one lacking the date on the obverse and with a simpler obverse inscription indicating only his name.

The reverse scene represents the mythical creation of the Milky Way. As Hercules was nurtured by Juno, he fed with such vigor that Juno's milk was scattered through the heavens and to Earth, creating the Milky Way and causing lilies to grow. This reverse of the nurturing adoption of Hercules by Juno may allude to Tommaso's adoption by Guido Rangoni.


Artemide Aste "Antiquities" 4, 19-20 March 2016, lot 251.


Toderi and Vannel 2000, no. 694

Attwood 2003, no. 237

cf. Pollard 2007, no. 481

Scher 2019, no. 158