About this artwork
The front (obverse) of this coin depicts a seated charioteer, bearded, riding behind two mules walking right; in the field below is an olive leaf. The back (reverse) of the coin depicts a hare leaping to the right.
When Anaxilas, son of Cretines, seized power at Rhegium (modern Reggio Calabria in southern Italy) in 494 BCE, along with parts of Sicily soon after, he adopted the image of a leaping hare on his coinage as early as 480 BCE. Aristotle (quoted by Pollux, Onomasticon 5.75) reported that Anaxilas introduced hares to Sicily for the sport of hunting and also that he was victorious in the Olympic games. The image of his mule-chariot (biga) on the front of the coin commemorates this victory. The olive leaf in the field below the chariot symbolizes the olive crown awarded to victors at the Olympic Games. The hare may also symbolize the speed of Anaxilas’ chariot.
Currently Off View
- Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium
- Ancient Greek
- Tetradrachm (Coin) Depicting a Charioteer
- Reggio di Calabria
- Struck 500 BCE–401 BCE
- Reverse: RΕCΙΝΟΝ
- Diam. 2.6 cm; 15.48 g
- Gift of Emily Crane Chadbourne