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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Themes & Provenance| ▸ |Gods, Olympians| ▸ |Athena or Minerva||View Options:  |  |  |   

Athena or Minerva on Ancient Coins

Athena was the virgin goddess of wisdom, crafts, and battle strategy. Her symbols are the olive tree and the owl. She is the daughter of Zeus, according to some traditions by Metis.

Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |454| |-| |404| |B.C.,| |Old| |Style| |Tetradrachm||tetradrachm|
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.
SL97988. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, NGC Ch AU (Choice about Uncirculated), strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (6156171-003), weight 17.196 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 225o, Athens mint, c. 440 - 404 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 owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; ex Classical Numismatic Group, NGC| Lookup; $2350.00 (€1927.00)
 


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |454| |-| |404| |B.C.,| |Old| |Style| |Tetradrachm||tetradrachm|
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.
SL97993. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, NGC Ch AU (Choice about Uncirculated), strike 5/5, surface 5/5 (6156171-001), weight 17.199 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Athens mint, c. 420 - 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 owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; ex Classical Numismatic Group, NGC| Lookup; $2350.00 (€1927.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleucus I Nikator, 312 - 280 B.C.

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Seleucus| |I| |Nikator,| |312| |-| |280| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Seleukos (Seleucus) founded the Seleukid Empire and the Seleukid dynasty which ruled Syria until Pompey made it a Roman province in 63 B.C. Seleukos was never one of Alexander the Great's principal generals but he commanded the royal bodyguard during the Indian campaign. In the division of the empire after Alexander's death Seleukos did not receive a satrapy. Instead, he served under the regent Perdikkas until the latter's murder in 321 or 320. Seleukos was then appointed satrap of Babylonia. Five years later Antigonus Monophthalmus (the One-eyed) forced him to flee, but he returned with support from Ptolemy. He later added Persia and Media to his territory and defeated both Antigonus and Lysimachus. He was succeeded by his son Antiochus I.
GY95974. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Houghton-Lorber I 177; Newell ESM 314; BMC Seleucid p. 3, 33 - 34; HGC 9 18c (R1-R2), aVF, high relief head of Zeus, old cabinet toning, flow lines, porosity, light marks, minor edge flaw on reverse, weight 16.251 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 180o, Susa (Shush, Iran) mint, c. 295 - 280 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Zeus right; reverse Athena driving biga of horned elephants, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on left, ΣEΛEYKOY in exergue, spearhead (control) above right, A(or E or M over Ω?, obscure, control) lower right before elephants; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $1600.00 (€1312.00)
 


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 454 - 404 B.C., Old Style Tetradrachm

|Athens|, |Athens,| |Attica,| |Greece,| |c.| |454| |-| |404| |B.C.,| |Old| |Style| |Tetradrachm||tetradrachm|NEW
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.
SH98016. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31, SNG Munchen 49, Kroll 8, Dewing 1611, Gulbenkian 519, HGC 4 1597, SGCV I 2526, VF, well centered on a tight flan, marks and scratches, edge cracks, weight 17.108 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Athens mint, c. 454 - 404 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 owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, AΘE downward on right, all within incuse square; from the CEB Collection; $800.00 (€656.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus IX Cyzicenus, 113 - 95 B.C

|Seleucid| |Kingdom|, |Seleukid| |Kingdom,| |Antiochus| |IX| |Cyzicenus,| |113| |-| |95| |B.C||tetradrachm|
After Antiochus IX's father died, his uncle Demetrius II Nicator took the throne. For his safety, his mother, Cleopatra Thea, sent him to Cyzicus (leading to his nickname). He returned to Syria in 116 B.C. to claim the throne from his half-brother Antiochus VIII Grypus, with whom he eventually divided Syria. He was killed in battle by the son of Grypus, Seleucus VI Epiphanes.
GY95956. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber II 2384; Houghton CSE 725; Babelon Rois 1467; BMC Seleucid p. 92, 6; HGC 9 1288k (R2), gVF, well centered, dark old cabinet toning, old scratches, light deposits, weight 15.977 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Sidon (Saida, Lebanon) mint, 2nd reign, 113 - 112 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Antiochos right; reverse Athena standing left, Nike in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield, spear behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY in two lines downward on right, ΦIΛO−ΠATOPOΣ downward on left, ΣI∆Ω/IEP / AΣY in 3 lines over outer left, Σ (year 200) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $630.00 (€516.60)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III and Alexander IV, c. 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Alexander

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |c.| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander||tetradrachm|NEW
Struck after Alexander's death, under Antipater, one of the regents during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule. Both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Olympias had Philip murdered to ensure the succession of her grandson. But Alexander IV would never rule. In 311 B.C., he and his mother Roxana were executed by the regent Kassander.
GS98125. Silver tetradrachm, Price 109, Müller Alexander 650, Troxell issue G2, SNG Delepierre 984, SNG Munchen 272, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Cop -, VF, well centered and struck, iridescent blue toning, bumps, two test cuts, flattened on reverse opposite of chisel cuts, weight 17.18 g, maximum diameter 26.29 mm, die axis 0o, Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, struck under Antipater, c. 322 - 320 A.D.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Athena Promachos (control symbol) lower left; $300.00 (€246.00)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Joppa, Samaria, Syria Palestina

|Roman| |Judea| |&| |Palestina|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Joppa,| |Samaria,| |Syria| |Palestina||AE| |20|NEW
Joppa, the southern and oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo, is an ancient port city in Israel. Joppa, or Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical stories of Jonah, Solomon and Saint Peter as well as the mythological story of Andromeda and Perseus, and later for its oranges. Monotheistic traditions says that it is named for Yafet (Japheth), one of the sons of Noah, the one who built it after the Flood.
RP98122. Bronze AE 20, cf. Sofaer pl. 44, 22; Rosenberger II p. 77, 12; BMC Palestine p. 44, 1 (Elagabalus); SNG ANS -, aF, tight flan, earthen deposits, spots of corrosion, weight 7.466 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Joppa (Jaffa, Israel) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AΛEΞAN∆ (or similar), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse ΦΛA IOΠΠHC (Flavia Joppa), Athena standing facing, head left, wearing crested helmet, long chiton, and peplos, right hand resting on grounded shield, grounded spear vertical in left hand; this type is not known to exist in high grade or with full legends; very rare; $120.00 (€98.40)
 


Valerian I, October 253 - c. June 260 A.D., Augusta, Cilicia

|Cilicia|, |Valerian| |I,| |October| |253| |-| |c.| |June| |260| |A.D.,| |Augusta,| |Cilicia||AE| |29|NEW
Augusta, Cilicia was founded in 20 A.D., and named for Livia (Julia Augusta). Just over 16 km north of Adana in a loop of the river Seyhan (Sarus), and at the west end of a narrow plain bounded to the north and south by low hills. Represented at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the city probably did not long survive the Moslem invasion of Cilicia in the 7th century. The site, discovered by chance in 1955, was identified by ancient literary sources and from finds there, and in the neighboring village of Gübe, of Roman provincial coins naming the city. Later that same year Gübe, and with it the ruins of Augusta, disappeared below the waters of the Seyhan dam, but not before the site had been partially surveyed. Two colonnaded streets crossed each other at right angles typical of Roman towns in Cilicia. The foundations of a triumphal arch, a theater, a civic basilica, some shops, a bath building, were mapped. These structures were all of brick and mortar, and probably dated to the 3rd century.
RP97260. Bronze AE 29, Karbach Augusta 124.7; BMC Lycaonia p. 46, 15; Mionnet III p. 568, 15; SNGvA 5538; SNG BnF 1911; Waddington 419, aVF, tight flan, some porosity, some encrustation, weight 19.044 g, maximum diameter 29.1 mm, die axis 180o, Cilicia, Augusta (under Seyhan Dam Reservoir) mint, 253 - 254 A.D.; obverse AV KAI ΠOV ΛIK OVAΛEPIANO CB (sic!), radiate and cuirassed bust of Valerian right, gorgoneon on breastplate, countermark: V; reverse AVΓOVCTAN-ΩN E ∆ΛC (Augusta, year 234), Athena standing facing, looking left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, resting right hand on grounded shield, vertical spear in left hand; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 83 (3 Nov 2019), part of lot 980; $110.00 (€90.20)
 


Kamarina, Sicily, 339 - 300 B.C.

|Kamarina|, |Kamarina,| |Sicily,| |339| |-| |300| |B.C.||AE| |16|
Kamarina was destroyed by Carthage in 405 B.C. In 396 B.C. the citizens who escaped returned, but only under Timoleon in 339 B.C. was the city reconstructed. A period of splendor ended with the sack by the Mamertines in 275 B.C. and destruction by the Romans in 258 B.C. The site was probably abandoned during the period of Augustus.
GI96860. Bronze AE 16, Westermark-Jenkins 208.6 (A/c); BMC Sicily p. 40, 43 (same dies); Calciati III, p. 69, 42/7 (same); SNG Cop 170 (same obv. die); HGC 2 555 (R1), F, green patina, well centered, porous, scratches, weight 2.878 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 180o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 339 - 300 B.C.; obverse KAMAPINAIΩN (clockwise on left), head of Athena left, in crested Athenian helmet; reverse horse prancing left, barley ear left in exergue; rare; $100.00 (€82.00)
 


Persian Empire, Philistia (Gaza or Samaria), c. 375 - 333 B.C., Imitative of Athens

|Judaea| |&| |Palestine|, |Persian| |Empire,| |Philistia| |(Gaza| |or| |Samaria),| |c.| |375| |-| |333| |B.C.,| |Imitative| |of| |Athens||obol|
A Persian Period imitation of Athenian types from the Holy Land. In the past these coins were all attributed to Gaza, however, recent hoard finds indicate a mint at Ashkelon probably also struck this type. It is likely that at least several small mints struck these imitative types.
JD97053. Silver obol, cf. Samaria Hoard pls. 45 - 50, SH269 ff.; Gitler-Tal 4.4.IX-X; SNG ANS 15 ff., aF, toned, squared flan, weight 0.738 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, die axis 90o, Gaza(?) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl, hair in parallel bands, eye in profile; reverse owl standing right, wings closed, head facing, olive spray with one olive between two leaves and a crescent behind, AΘE downward on right, all in incuse square, no Aramaic inscription; $100.00 (€82.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

de Callataÿ, F. "Le monnayage d'argent au type d'Athéna Parthénos émis au nom des Ainianes" in Obolos 7.
Houghton, A. "The Seleucid Mint of Mallus And the Cult Figure of Athena Magarsia" in Studies Mildenberg.
Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Die Flügelgestalten der Athena und Nike auf Münzen" in NZ III (1871)., pp. 1 - 50.

Catalog current as of Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
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