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Quadrans (Coin) Depicting the Hero Hercules

A work made of bronze.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of bronze.

Date:

225-217 BCE

Artist:

Roman

About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this coin depicts the hero Hercules, wearing his signature lion skin cloak. On the back (reverse), the prow of a ship is shown, sailing right.

Herakles was the consummate hero. Temples across Greece and South Italy were dedicated to him, the son of Zeus, and Romans, who knew him as Hercules, celebrated him as a role model. With brute force, determination, and just enough cleverness, Herakles completed his famous Twelve Labors to become immortal. Herakles is readily identifiable by his knobby club and lion’s skin. The latter refers to his First Labor, in which he killed a magical beast who was ravaging the town of Nemea. The lion’s invincible hide made him immune to weapons, so Herakles strangled him and took his pelt.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium

Artist

Ancient Roman

Title

Quadrans (Coin) Depicting the Hero Hercules

Origin

Italy

Date

225 BCE–217 BCE

Medium

Bronze

Inscriptions

Α Ο Ε

Dimensions

Diam. 4.5 cm; 77.39 g

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. William Nelson Pelouze

Reference Number

1923.1229

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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