About this artwork
The Olympic Games
The official record of quadrennial games honoring the supreme Greek god Zeus at a sanctuary dedicated to him at Olympia began in 776 B.C. With few interruptions, they took place every four years for about 1,100 years. In A.D. 394, the Christian emperor Theodosius I (r. 379–95) abolished them as pagan rites.
The most prestigious competition remained the footrace, but eventually it was supplanted in popularity by the horse races. Horses were symbols of socioeconomic status, since only the privileged could afford to buy, feed, and train them and transport their teams and trainers to Olympia every four years. In time, many of the victors in the horse races included kings and tyrants.
Gelon of Syracuse minted this coin to commemorate his victory in the four-horse chariot race in 488 B.C. Three years later he became ruler of the city.
- Ancient Greek
- Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting Quadriga with Bearded Charioteer
- Ancient Greece
- 485 BC–478 BC
- Diam. 2.4 cm; 16.34 g
- Gift of William F. Dunham