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Islands off Thrace, Thasos AR Tetradrachm 411-310 BC Ancient Greek Silver Coin Dionysos on Obverse Herakles on Reverse Museum Reproduction CSGT0004


Silver Greek Tetradrachm (27.3mm, 17.14g.) Islands off Thrace, Thasos, struck 411-310 B.C. References: Pixodarus Hoard, Thasos (A. Meadows), Coin Hoards IX, 52a (A33/P48), pl. 22; A. West, ‘Fifth and Fourth Century Gold Coins from the Thracian Coast’, ANS NNM 40, 1929, 39.

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The head of Dionysos on this coin shows a serenity and power that is particularly noble and majestic, and is quite comparable to the best heads of Zeus that appear on the coinage of Olympia. In fact, if it were not for the ivy wreath he wears, this could be of Zeus himself. There is no hint of the wilder nature of Dionysos here; nor is there a suggestion that his followers include elemental creatures such as satyrs, maenads or silens, or that he himself could drink too deeply, as he appears to have done on some issues from the nearby city of Mende.
The statue of Herakles that served as the prototype for the reverse of this coin was found on Thasos in 1866: it is now in the museum in Istanbul.

Thasos is an island off the Thracian coast. The island was important in the wine trade and also controlled rich silver mines on the mainland. Thasos was colonized by Ionians from Paros and was also visited by Phoenician sailors. Tribe Sintians occupied the island previously. The wealth of Thasos was proverbial thanks to gold and silver mines of the island and the nearby Pangaea which provided him 200 to 300 talents of annual resources from Herodian (VI, 46). During the revolt in Thrace in 498 BC against the Persian empire, Darius I (521-486 AC) tried to impose the city. After the Persian Wars, Thasos joined the Athenian alliance and the produce of the mines was first diverted to the Delian League and Athens directly. In 411 BC, Thasos revolted and drove the Athenians, who were replaced immediately by a Spartan garrison. After 357 BC, Thasos fell under Macedonian domination. She found some of its independence after the death of Lysimachus in 281 BC. After the defeat of Cynoscephalae in 197 BC, Thasos again became independent.
Obverse side
Bearded head of Dionysos to left, wearing wreath of ivy and fruit

Reverse side
Herakles, wearing lion skin, kneeling right, drawing a bow; before, axe. Name of the city on the left. All within linear square

A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.

Weight 17,14 g
Dimensions 27,3 mm


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