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Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Persephone

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.


310-307 BCE


Greek, minted in Syracuse, Sicily

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.


On View, Gallery 151


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Persephone


Syracuse (Minted in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

310 BCE–307 BCE




Obverse: ΚΟΡΑΣ Reverse: [ΑΓΑΘΟ]ΚΛΕΙΟΣ


Diam.: 2.8 cm (1 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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