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Pentadrachm (Coin) Portraying King Ptolemy I Soter

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

285/247 BCE, issued by King Ptolemy II Philadelphos

Artist:

Greek, Ptolemaic; minted in Cyprus

About this artwork

Obverse: Head of Ptolemy I right, diademed and wearing an aegis
Reverse: Eagle stands left on fulmen, wings folded

Ptolemy II used the portrait of the founder of the dynasty, Ptolemy I, on his coin. On the obverse, the aegis (a magical garment) worn by Ptolemy I alluded to Zeus as well as Athena; it was thought to protect the wearer and repel enemies, and it underscored the divine origins of the dynasty. On the reverse the eagle and the thunderbolt also recall Zeus, with whom, in the form of Zeus-Ammon, the early Ptolemaic dynasty associated itself.

On View

Ancient and Byzantine Art, Gallery 151

Culture

Ancient Greek

Title

Pentadrachm (Coin) Portraying King Ptolemy I Soter

Origin

Cyprus

Date

285 BCE–247 BCE

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

Reverse: ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ

Dimensions

Diam. 2.4 cm; 17.82 g

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number

1922.4933

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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