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Drachm (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Hera

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.


350-220 BCE


Greek; minted in Knossos, Crete

About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this coin depicts the head of the goddess Hera facing left. The back (reverse) depicts a square labyrinth.

The city of Knossos drew its civic icon from the myth of the Minotaur. The monster, born to the queen of Crete, was hidden away in a labyrinth, or maze. Yearly he devoured youths and maidens until, with the help of a ball of string, the hero Theseus made his way to the center of the labyrinth. There he killed the Minotaur and used the string to find his way out of the maze. The story was so famous that anyone seeing the labyrinth on this coin knew that Knossos was its source.


On View, Gallery 151


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Drachm (Coin) Depicting the Goddess Hera


Knossos (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.

Struck 350 BCE–220 BCE




Reverse: ΚΝΩΣΙ Α Ρ


Diam.: 1.9 cm (3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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