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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.

Status

On View, Gallery 151

Department

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Greek

Title

Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Persephone

Origin

Syracuse

Date

310 BCE–307 BCE

Medium

Silver

Inscriptions

Obverse: ΚΟΡΑΣ Reverse: [ΑΓΑΘΟ]ΚΛΕΙΟΣ

Dimensions

Diam. 2.8 cm; 17.02 g

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number

1922.4908

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/111011/manifest.json

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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