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Preview image of work. silver,  Tetradrachm of Athens 1258


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Tetradrachm of Athens

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Artist Unidentified


Tetradrachm of Athens

Creation Date

ca. 125 BCE


2nd century BCE

Object Type


Creation Place

Ancient Mediterranean, Greece

Medium and Support


Credit Line

Gift of Edward Perry Warren, Esq., Honorary Degree, 1926


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Accession Number


The tetradrachm, or four-drachmai coin, was the principal denomination for the Athenians. Made of high-quality silver from mines in Attica, Athenian coins were carefully assayed to insure their value. The obverse, or head, of the coin was decorated with the helmeted head of Athena in high relief. The reverse, or tail, of the tetradrachm is dominated by the image of an owl, the signature bird of Athena and still a symbol for one of the goddess’s realms, wisdom. On account of their distinctive appearance and quality, Athenian tetradrachms became one of the most widely recognized currencies in the ancient Mediterranean. With elaborate designs on both sides of the coin, Athenian coinage was among the first to exhibit “heads and tails”.

Additional Media

Keywords: Greek