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Stater (Coin) Depicting the Siren Parthenope

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.

Date:

280-241 BCE

Artist:

Greek, minted in Neapolis (Naples), Italy

About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this coin depicts the head of Parthenope to the left with a symbol behind. The back (reverse) depicts a man-headed bull to right, crowned by Nike.

During Odysseus’s return from the Trojan War, which is recounted in Homer’s Odyssey, Parthenope and other Sirens tried to lure his ship onto rocks with their beautiful song. When they failed, Parthenope drowned herself and washed ashore at Neapolis (modern Naples), where she was honored as the local goddess. Coins like this were issued during the festivals and games that were dedicated to Parthenope.

On View

Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium, Gallery 151

Culture

Ancient Greek

Title

Stater (Coin) Depicting the Siren Parthenope

Origin

Neapolis

Date

Struck 280 BCE–241 BCE

Medium

Silver

Inscriptions

Reverse: [ΝΕ]ΩΠΟΛΙΤ[ΩΝ] (in exergue: ΙΣ or ΙΚ)

Dimensions

Diam. 2 cm; 7.05 g

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number

1922.4918

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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