Decadrachm of Syracuse; Obverse: Four-horse chariot (quadriga) and driver; winged Nike flying above; cuirass, grieves and helmet (in exergue); Reverse: Head of the nymph Arethusa surrounded by dolphins
412 BC-405 BC
5th century BC
Ancient Mediterranean, Sicily (Greek)
Medium and Support
Gift of Edward Perry Warren, Esq., Honorary Degree, 1926
During the rule of Dionysius I (ca. 405–367 BCE), a beautiful series of large silver coins was minted by the Greek colony of Syracuse, the chief city of Sicily. This coin was struck with dies prepared by master Sicilian engraver Euainetos. Though this example is unsigned, the artist’s distinct style permits a confident attribution. The reverse (tails) of this large denomination presents the portrait in profile of the sea nymph Arethusa surrounded by four dolphins. From its earliest examples, it is evident that Syracuse preferred a circular format for its coins.
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