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Coin Depicting the Hero Hercules

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.

Date:

138-192

Artist:

Roman

About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this coin depicts the hero Hercules, facing right, wearing his signature lion skin cloak tied around his neck. On the back (reverse), the goddess Victory holds a wreath and palm.

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.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Culture

Ancient Roman

Title

Coin Depicting the Hero Hercules

Origin

Izmir

Date

138 CE–192 CE

Medium

Bronze

Dimensions

Diam. 1.6 cm; 3.03 g

Credit Line

Gift of William F. Dunham

Reference Number

1920.2964

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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