The obverse depicts Herakles (or Hercules to the Romans), the greatest hero of the Greeks. Herakles was Zeus’ son and was able to attain divine status as a demi-god by accomplishing the 12 Labors assigned to him. This coin represents the first of those labors, the slaying of the fierce Nemean Lion. Herakles is shown proudly wearing the lion’s skin, its open mouth covering most of his head and its paws tied together at his neck. Alexander the Great idolized Herakles, wanting to become a god himself, and his prominent use of the hero on his coins formalized this association, evangelizing it internationally. The reverse shows Zeus wearing a crown, likely a laurel wreath, atop his long hair. Zeus’ body changes depending on the coin, but this example shows him as very muscular, wearing a linen cloak (a himation) covering his lower body. He is seated on a decorated throne, holding a scepter which symbolizes the god’s strength and authority, and consequently, that of Alexander as well. This coin also shows him holding his symbolic bird, an eagle, in his outstretched right hand.
Bust of Herakles right, wearing lion’s skin
Zeus enthroned to left, holding eagle and scepter; amphora with handles in left field
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.