Denomination: AR Hemidrachm
Date: Circa 387-340 BC
Mint: Thrace, Byzantium
Mount: Sterling silver with 14K prongs and bale
Grade: NGC – 6330691-002. Choice VF details.
Description: Thrace, Byzantium. AR half-siglos or Hemidrachm (14mm), edge cut. Obverse: Bull standing left on dolphin left; ΠY above. Reverse: Quadripartite incuse square of mill sail pattern.
History: The tribes of Thrace believed in two main deities. The first was Zagreus, who was the Thracian equivalent of the Greek god Dionysus, who was the god of joy, wine, and ecstasy. The second God was that of Bendis, who was a goddess and worshiped in southwestern Thrace. Dionysus was strongly linked to the bull. Dolphins were perhaps the most important sea creature in Greece mythology. Dolphins are often associated with Dionysus.
Thrace was just north and east of Macedonia on the Aegean Sea. Greek Colonists settled this area during the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. The interior areas were primarily populated by the indigenous tribes. They became partially Hellenized by contact with the Greeks. Their contact with the Greeks was mainly in the form of trade. They had significant silver mines available and struck coins for mainly for trade purposes.