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Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting Head of Herakles

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.


74-73 BCE


Greek, minted in Tyre, Phoenicia

About this artwork

Herakles was the consummate hero. Temples across Greece and South Italy were dedicated to him, the son of Zeus, and Romans, who knew him as Hercules, celebrated him as a role model. With brute force, determination, and just enough cleverness, Herakles completed his famous Twelve Labors to become immortal. Herakles is readily identifiable by his knobby club and lion’s skin. The latter refers to his First Labor, in which he killed a magical beast who was ravaging the town of Nemea. The lion’s invincible hide made him immune to weapons, so Herakles strangled him and took his pelt.

As Greeks and then Romans swept through Phoenicia (modern Lebanon), deities were assimilated into the local pantheon. The city of Tyre issued this coin showing its god Melqart in the form of Herakles, identified by the tiny knotted lion’s paws under his chin.


Currently Off View


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting Head of Herakles


Tyre (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.

74 BCE–73 BCE




Diam.: 3 cm (1 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of William F. Dunham

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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