Ancient Greece - AR Tetradrachm - Athena & Nike - Circa 155-36 BC

Denomination:  AR Tetradrachm                                  

Date:  155-36 BC.

Mint: City of Side – region of Pamphylia                          

Weight: 16.98 grams

Description:   AR Tetradrachm. Obverse: Head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet Reverse: Nike advancing left, holding wreath, pomegranate in left field, KLE--YX across lower fields.

History: Athena, was one of the most important goddesses in Greek mythology. She sprang full-grown and armored from the forehead of the god Zeus and was his favorite child. The Parthenon, in Athens, became hers because of her gift of the olive tree to the Athenian people. A sprig of the tree appears on her coin.

Athena was primarily the goddess of the Greek cities, of industry and the arts, and, in later mythology, of wisdom; she was also goddess of war, a patron of the agricultural arts and of the crafts of women, especially spinning and weaving, among her gifts to man were the inventions of the plow and the flute. The arts of taming animals, building ships, and making shoes are included in her attributes, and she was often associated with birds, specifically the owl.

She was a virgin goddess and is always represented fully clothed, usually in armor and often holding a spear. The Tetradrachm or drachma of Athens shows many of her attributes. On the obverse one sees her head wearing a military helmet symbolizing her warrior aspect as protector of the city.

Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, was often depicted winged, holding a wreath and palm to crown the horses of a victorious charioteer. 

These coins were minted in the city of Side, in the region of Pamphylia.  The denomination of Tetradrachm is equal to four grams; these are pure silver coins weighing an average of 16.91 grams.