About this artwork
The front (obverse) of this coin depicts the head of Persephone facing right with a crown of grain. The back (reverse) depicts Nike seminude holding a hammer and facing a trophy.
The city of Syracuse, which produced some of the most beautiful coins in antiquity, was thought to be the site of the abduction of Persephone, daughter of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. The god Hades (Roman Pluto) snatched the girl and returned to the underworld, intending to keep her as his wife. Her distraught mother caused the crops to wither until she won agreement that Persephone could return to her once a year, bringing with her the season of spring, symbolized by the circle of grain in the maiden’s hair.
- Ancient Greek
- Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Persephone
- 310 BCE–307 BCE
- Obverse: ΚΟΡΑΣ Reverse: [ΑΓΑΘΟ]ΚΛΕΙΟΣ
- Diam. 2.8 cm; 17.02 g
- Gift of Martin A. Ryerson