Tetradrachm: Quadriga (obverse); Head of Arethousa (reverse)

Tetradrachm: Quadriga (obverse); Head of Arethousa (reverse)

c. 467–440 BC

Part of a set. See all set records

Silver

Diameter: 2.5 cm (1 in.)

Weight: 16.848 g (0.59 oz.)

Die axis: 2

Gift of J. H. Wade 1916.976

Location

Did you know?

Three dolphins and a bit of a fourth are still visible swimming clockwise around Arethousa.

Description

On the obverse of this highly symbolic coin is the head of Arethousa, a local goddess of Syracuse who fled from mainland Greece and arose on the site as a freshwater fountain. Four dolphins swim around her, suggesting Syracuse’s humble beginnings as a small island colony. On the reverse, a racing four-horse chariot recalls Syracuse’s past victories in Panhellenic games.

See also
Collection: 
GR - Greek
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Coins
Medium: 
Silver
Credit line: 
Gift of J. H. Wade

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