About this artwork
The front (obverse) of this coin depicts a Gorgon’s head with neat, tight curls. The back (reverse) depicts the head of Parthenos of Neapolis (modern Naples) laureate to right.
The three Gorgon sisters were winged deities of which Medusa is the most famous. She bore the winged horse Pegasus to her love, the god Poseidon. Her head, cut off by Perseus, was worn by Athena as her protective aegis. Neopolis, in a horse-breeding area, chose Pegasus’ mother for their coin.
When Athena discovered that Poseidon, the god of the sea, had fallen in love with the beautiful Gorgon Medusa, she turned the girl into a monster, and that is how Medusa appears on this coin from Neapolis in Macedonia. With snakes as hair, Medusa turned to stone any man who dared to look at her.
- Ancient Greek
- Drachm (Coin) Depicting the Gorgon Medusa
- Struck 411 BCE–356 BCE
- Reverse: Ν Ε Ο Π "Neop[oliton]"
- Diam. 1.5 cm; 3.71 g
- Gift of Martin A. Ryerson