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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.





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), a strung bow and a club are depicted.

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


Ancient Roman


Coin Depicting the Hero Hercules


Smyrna (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.

138 CE–192 CE




Obverse: OΠΛO ΦYΛA Reverse: CMVPN AIΩN


Diam.: 1.7 cm (11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of William F. Dunham

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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