Skip to Content
Today Open today 11–5

Stater (Coin) Depicting the Siren Parthenope

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of silver.


280-241 BCE


Greek, minted in Neapolis (now 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, Gallery 151


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Stater (Coin) Depicting the Siren Parthenope


Kavála (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 280 BCE–241 BCE




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


Diam.: 2 cm (13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

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.

Learn more.

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.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions