Octodrachm: Arsinoe II (obverse); Double Cornucopia (reverse)

Octodrachm: Arsinoe II (obverse); Double Cornucopia (reverse)

205-145 BC

Part of a set. See all set records

Gold

Diameter: 2.9 cm (1 1/8 in.)

Weight: 27.5 g (0.97 oz.)

The Norweb Collection 1965.552

Location

Did you know?

The small horn around Arsinoe’s ear, referencing the Egyptian god Amon-Re, marks her divine status.

Description

On this long-lived series of coinage, Arsinoe II, a divinized Hellenistic queen, wears the crown and veil associated with Hera; a scepter may be just visible beside her neck. The daughter of Ptolemy I, founder of the Hellenistic Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt for nearly three centuries, Arsinoe married Lysimachos, king of Thrace, at the age of fifteen. After his death, she married first her half-brother and then her full brother, Ptolemy II, beginning a long-lasting Ptolemaic dynastic tradition of sibling marriage. Twin cornucopias on the reverse of this coin likely refer to the divine ruling couple, presaged in Egypt by Isis and Osiris, and in Greece by Zeus and Hera.

See also
Collection: 
GR - Greek
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Coins
Medium: 
Gold
Credit line: 
The Norweb Collection

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