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Home>Catalog>CollectingThemes>Gods,Olympians>AthenaorMinerva PAGE 1/12123

Athena or Minerva

Virgin goddess of wisdom, crafts, and battle strategy. Symbols are the olive tree and the owl. Daughter of Zeus, according to some traditions by Metis.


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus, 323 - 317 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Arrhidaeus was the half-brother of Alexander the Great. Alexander's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned him as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Incapable of actual rule, he was made king upon Alexander's death only to serve as a pawn for those who wished to grab power for themselves. Olympias had him imprisoned and executed.
SH90375. Gold stater, Price P143, Mller P119, NGC AU Strike 5/5, Surface 2/5, edge marks, 2411750-001, weight 8.55 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 45o, Arados mint, c. 323 - 316 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with coiled snake, hair in long curls down back of neck and before ear; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOY, Nike standing left, wreath in extended right hand, grounded stylis in left at her side, ∆H on left under wing, I on right under wing; ex Heritage Auctions, auction 3032, lot 23136; $4000.00 (3000.00)

Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 449 - 413 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH90226. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., SGCV I 2526, gEF, weight 17.184 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, c. 449 - 413 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; ex Heritage CICF World and Ancient Coins Signature Auction 3032, lot 23180; ex The Dr. Patrick Tan Collection; $3200.00 (2400.00)

Athens, Greece, Old Style Tetradrachm, c. 449 - 413 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.

During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH90376. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., SGCV I 2526, NGC certified Choice VF, strike 4/5, Surface 2/5, graffito, 1983932-069, weight 17.13 g, maximum diameter 30 mm, die axis 45o, Athens mint, obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; $1700.00 (1275.00)

Athens, Greece, Pi-Style IV Tetradrachm, 353 - c. 340 B.C.
Click for a larger photo The name Pi-style refers to the floral helmet ornament on the obverse which resembles the Greek letter pi (P) bisected by a long central tendril.
SH68874. Silver tetradrachm, Kroll Pi-Style p. 244, fig. 8; Flament p. 127, 4; SNG Delepierre 1475; Svoronos Athens pl. 20, 27; Kroll -; van Alfen New -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, unusually nice for this late issue, weight 17.171 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, 353 - c. 340 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and pi-style floral scroll; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent; ex Gemini auction I, lot 135 (2005), ex Commandeer David R. Hinkle Collection; $1400.00 (1050.00)

Aigeai, Cilicia, 31 - 30 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Aegeai (various spellings, including Aigeae) means place of goats in Greek and was the name of many cities of antiquity. Aigeai, on the north-western shore of the Gulf of Issos, was the third largest city in Cilicia. It had a very important temple of Asklepios, which was considered a great privilege and which brought many visitors to the city.
SH26663. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Levante 1655, Bloesch 111, gVF, weight 14.436 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Aigeai mint, 31 - 30 B.C.; obverse veiled and turreted head of Tyche right; reverse AIΓEAIΩN, Athena standing left holding Victory and spear, shield at feet, ∆I and club in left field, Iς below, monogram in lower right field; $1150.00 (862.50)

Levant, Egypt or Arabia, Imitative Athenian Transitional Style Tetradrachm, c. 350 - 330 B.C.
Click for a larger photo This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
SH66406. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New p. 58 and pl. 12, 67 (this coin), VF, test cut on reverse, weight 16.983 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 353 - 294 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent; Van Alfen plate coin; very rare; $900.00 (675.00)

Philistia or Arabia, Imitative Athenian Pi-Style Tetradrachm, c. 350 - 330 B.C.
Click for a larger photo
This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula.Temple of Fortuna
SH66403. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New, Semitic Style Group II, p. 57 and pl. 11, 57 (this coin); for Athenian prototype see Kroll Pi-Style p. 245, fig. 9, VF, two test cuts on the reverse, irregular flan imitating the typical Athenian flan of the period, weight 16.682 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 270o, Gaza(?) mint, c. 350 - 330 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent, the A is missing a portion of one leg, giving the character a form similar to a backwards "P" or an Aramaic letter resh; Van Alfen New plate coin; very rare; $800.00 (600.00)

Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo Lysimachos captured Ephesus c. 295 B.C. and renamed it Arsinoe in honor of his wife. Thompson noted, "Some staters and tetradrachms were struck but the mint's chief output was drachms."
SH70833. Silver drachm, Thompson 174, Mller 355, VF, light red-gold toning on obverse, weight 4.179 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 270o, Ephesos mint, c. 294 - 287 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in right, rests left arm on round shield behind, kithara inner left, A on throne; ex CNG Auctions 288 (Oct 2012), lot 106; $750.00 (562.50)

Syracuse, Sicily, Agathokles, 317 - 289 B.C.
Click for a larger photo With an army of mercenaries, through deceit, and after banishing or murdering some 10,000 citizens, Agathocles made himself master of Syracuse and later the greater part of Sicily. Machiavelli wrote of him, "It cannot be called prowess to kill fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless, and irreligious" and cited him as an example of "those who by their crimes come to be princes." According to the historian Justin, very early in life Agathocles parlayed his remarkable beauty into a career as a prostitute, first for men, and later, after puberty, for women, and then made a living by robbery before becoming a soldier and marrying a rich widow.
SH62327. Silver stater, Calciati II p. 611, 9; SNG ANS 554 - 557, VF, weight 8.206 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 317 - 305 B.C.; obverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet decorated with griffin, and necklace; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, Pegasos flying left, triskeles below; $490.00 (367.50)

Leukas, Akarnania, Greece, c. 350 - 320 B.C.
Click for a larger photo There should be Λ behind the goddesses head but it is missing on this coin. Perhaps it was, in error, not engraved on the die, or perhaps it was unstruck because the letter on the die was filled with dirt. Although we have seen coins of this type struck from nearly a dozen different reverse dies, we have not found a die match to help determine why the Λ is missing.
SH63533. Silver stater, Pegasi II 413, 84 (same obverse die); BMC Corinth p. 129, 51 ff.; BCD Akarnania 221 var (types right); SNG Cop -, VF, toned, weight 8.163 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Leukas mint, c. 350 - 320 B.C.; obverse Pegasus flying left, Λ below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, Λ (unstruck) and kerykeion behind; $435.00 (326.25)



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Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 22, 2014.
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Athena or Minerva