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Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting Head of Herakles

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.

Date:

74-73 BCE

Artist:

Greek, minted in Tyre, Phoenicia

About this artwork

Herakles was the consummate hero. Temples across Greece and South Italy were dedicated to him, the son of Zeus, and Romans, who knew him as Hercules, celebrated him as a role model. With brute force, determination, and just enough cleverness, Herakles completed his famous Twelve Labors to become immortal. Herakles is readily identifiable by his knobby club and lion’s skin. The latter refers to his First Labor, in which he killed a magical beast who was ravaging the town of Nemea. The lion’s invincible hide made him immune to weapons, so Herakles strangled him and took his pelt.

As Greeks and then Romans swept through Phoenicia (modern Lebanon), deities were assimilated into the local pantheon. The city of Tyre issued this coin showing its god Melqart in the form of Herakles, identified by the tiny knotted lion’s paws under his chin.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Greek

Title

Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting Head of Herakles

Origin

Tyre

Date

74 BCE–73 BCE

Medium

Silver

Dimensions

Diam. 3 cm; 14.36 g

Credit Line

Gift of William F. Dunham

Reference Number

1920.734

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/141574/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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