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.
- Currently Off View
- Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium
- Ancient Roman
- Coin Depicting the Hero Hercules
- Smyrna (Minted in)
- 138 CE–192 CE
- Diam.: 1.6 cm (11/16 in.)
- Gift of William F. Dunham