Athenian silver tetradrachms became the very first recognized Planet Currency in Ancient occasions. These coins have been imitated in surrounding regions due to the fact they have been the recognized normal of worth extra so than the silver content material itself.
We are pleased to offer you an really uncommon chance to receive a coin from a hoard of the 5th century BC. Every coin will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Martin Armstrong. This hoard is of exceptional good quality usually Extremely Fine or improved. Every coin weighs about 17.two grams. By far, this is 1 of the most well known ancient Greek coins ever to have been minted.
According to myth, the then-unnamed city of Athens, below the tutelage of her very first king, Kekrops I, sought a patron deity. Athena and Poseidon, recognizing that Athens was fated to be the richest and most potent city in Greece, each coveted this position and the honor and sacrifices that would come with it. A contest was arranged to decide who would turn out to be the city’s protector every deity was to offer you a present to the Athenians, with the giver of the extra valuable present declared the winner. Poseidon, the god of the seas, produced a spring on the Athenian Acropolis and promised that the city would turn out to be a naval energy, even though Athena, goddess of wisdom and war, provided the olive tree, a symbol of peace and supply of prosperity. Kekrops, who was appointed a judge of the competitors, chose Athena’s present, and the city was named immediately after her new patron goddess.
Archaeological proof indicates Athens was constantly inhabited given that the early Neolithic period and was an essential Mycenaean center by the middle of the 2nd millennium BC (interestingly, about the time the 1st century BC rhetorician Kastor of Rhodes’ dates the reign of Kekrops). Like other settlements in Greece, Athens fell into decline for the duration of the late Mycenaean Period but was spared the widespread destruction and/or abandonment that several Greek towns met.
Athens’ population significantly expanded for the duration of the succeeding Greek Dark Age (circa 1100-800 BC) and Archaic Period (circa 800-481 BC). The development of the peasant population was especially considerable for the duration of these periods, and the need of the decrease classes to have a voice in civic affairs had a direct effect on the foundation of Athenian democracy.
The coins provided from this hoard date to a period in the 5th century BC when Athens transformed itself from the leader of an alliance of city-states to head of an empire. This was the age of the 1st and Second Peloponnesian Wars (460-445 and 431-404 BC, respectively), fought amongst the Delian League led by Athens and the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta.
Predictably, the demands of the conflicts and the increasingly central function of Athens in the political affairs of Greece and beyond led to a dramatic enhance in the production of coinage. Thukydides (two.13.three) records that Athens received six hundred talents of silver in tribute each and every year, and the city controlled a big supply of silver in the Laurion Mines. Contemplating that roughly 1,500 tetradrachms or six,000 drachms could be coined from every talent of silver, we can start to get some sense of the staggering output of the Athenian mint.
Iconography and Stylistic Evolution
Athens more than via its tyrants and Democracy was born in 509 BC. This is when Athens settled on a design and style that focused on her patron goddess. For centuries, Athens’ tetradrachms would carry an immobilized design and style with a helmeted head of Athena on the obverse and the goddess’ symbol, an owl, on the reverse. The olive sprig behind the owl referred to the present Athena gave to its city, and, taken as a complete, the coin form serves as a proud summation of Athens’ foundation myth.
Athenian tetradrachms of this form have been identified for their dependable weight and purity and served as the dominant currency all through the Mediterranean. They have been extensively imitated as far afield as Baktria and Arabia, Egypt to the Balkans. They have been the very first planet currency recognized everywhere and have been ultimately replaced only immediately after the rise of Alexander the Great’s coinage which supplanted the Owls in the late 4th century BC.
Transfer of the Delian League Treasury
In 454 BC, the treasury of the Delian League was transferred from Delos to the Athenian Acropolis, and the League’s funds have been utilised for undertaking enormous creating projects intended to glorify Athens (the Parthenon becoming the most renowned). Tribute was now paid straight to Athens, which had turn out to be an empire in all but name, and the scale of coin production soared. Particular information in the design and style set tetradrachms of this period apart: the leaves on the helmet are regularly attached to the visor the kind of the helmet’s palmette is modified the letters on the reverse are steadily enlarged and the owl’s tail is depicted as a compact prong, rather than as 3 flared feathers.
On this coin, the style of the palmette on Athena’s helmet and the narrow, deep incuse of the reverse suggests that it was amongst the earliest in the ubiquitous tetradrachms of the mid-late 5th century, as these attributes extra closely resemble these discovered on the early-mid 5th century challenges identified as the “Starr Groups.”
As Athens enormous output of coinage progressed for the duration of the mid-late 5th century, the mint essential a huge quantity of die engravers and it is no surprise that we encounter really a bit of stylistic variation as a outcome.
ATTICA, Athens. Circa 454-404 BC. AR Tetradrachm. Head of Athena suitable, wearing an earring, necklace, and crested Attic helmet decorated with 3 olive leaves more than the visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl / Owl standing suitable, head facing, closed tail feathers olive sprig and crescent to left, AΘE to suitable all inside incuse square. (Reference: Kroll eight Svoronos, Monnaies, pl. 14, 7 HGC four, 1597)
This is an exceptionally uncommon hoard of higher-grade coins that are of exceptional good quality.
NOTE: Every coin comes with a certificate of authenticity and photograph signed by Martin Armstrong.