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Diobol (Coin) Depicting an Ear of Grain

A work made of silver.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of silver.


500-473 BCE


Greek; minted in Metapontum, Italy

About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this coin depicts an ear of barley. The back (reverse) depicts a bull with its head and horns facing downwards. A fillet, or headband, adorns its brow. Metapontum became wealthy through farming rather than trade. By illustrating the ear of grain on its coins, the city-state reminded its trading partners of its agricultural abundance.


On View, Gallery 151


Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Diobol (Coin) Depicting an Ear of Grain


Metaponto (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.

500 BCE–473 BCE




Obverse: MET


Diam.: 1.3 cm (9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. William Nelson Pelouze

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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