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Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Persephone

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.

Date:

310/307 BCE

Artist:

Greek, minted in Syracuse, Sicily

About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this coin depicts the head of Persephone facing right with a crown of grain. The back (reverse) depicts Nike seminude holding a hammer and facing a trophy.

The city of Syracuse, which produced some of the most beautiful coins in antiquity, was thought to be the site of the abduction of Persephone, daughter of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. The god Hades (Roman Pluto) snatched the girl and returned to the underworld, intending to keep her as his wife. Her distraught mother caused the crops to wither until she won agreement that Persephone could return to her once a year, bringing with her the season of spring, symbolized by the circle of grain in the maiden’s hair.

On View

Ancient and Byzantine Art, Gallery 151

Culture

Ancient Greek

Title

Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Persephone

Origin

Syracuse

Date

310 BCE–307 BCE

Medium

Silver

Inscriptions

Obverse: ΚΟΡΑΣ "Coin of Kore" Reverse: [ΑΓΑΘΟ]ΚΛΕΙΟΣ "Coin of Agathocles"

Dimensions

Diam. 2.8 cm; 17.02 g

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number

1922.4908

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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