AE20. 10.55g, 20.2mm
MINTED: ATTICA, Athens, circa 80-42 BC
REF: HGC 4, 1697
OBVERSE: Head of Athena in Attic helmet right.
REVERSE: A-ΘE, Owl standing right on overturned amphora, head facing, pelomochoe to right.
Ex Vitangelo Collection, with the collector’s old ticket
Weathered two-toned surfaces.
An interesting and uncommon bronze of Athens, copying the types of its New Style tetradrachms. This coin was struck in the period following the Roman general Sulla's sack of the city during the First Mithridatic War (89-85 BC), when Athens sided with Mithridates VI of Pontos against the Roman Republic.
Athens was one of the oldest and greatest cities of the ancient world. It established its prominence in the Mediterranean basin during its golden age in the 5th century BC. Throughout this period, great Athenians like the statesmen-generals Themistocles, Pericles and Alcibiades, philosophers Anaxagoras and Socrates, historian Thucydides, dramatist Sophocles, and many others, lay the foundations of thought, culture, and politics that shaped the history of western civilization.
The most iconic of Athens' coinage was the silver 'Owl' tetradrachms, renowned for its fineness. As the influence of Athens grew, its tetradrachms quickly became used as the currency of international commerce. So ubiquitous were the 'Owls' that their designs were copied in lands as far away Egypt and Arabia. Even today, they remain amongst the most popular and recognisable of ancient coins amongst collectors.
ATTICA, Athens . 80-42 BC . AE20 . Interesting "New Style" bronze . *Pedigreed*
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