Project Description

Greek coinage has existed since at least the seventh century B.C.E. Many scholars and numismatists consider the Classical period of Greek art to be the pinnacle of achievement for coins. This drachma coin was minted under the rule of Alexander the Great, the last of the Classical rulers. Classical Greek art was characterized by its high level of naturalism, as is captured in this coin. Even in ancient times rulers liked to be featured on coins, and on the obverse of this coin Alexander is depicted wearing the skin of the Nemean lion. Herakles was the original slayer of the Nemean lion, and by putting himself in Herakles’s place, Alexander the Great reinforces the idea of himself as a strong leader. On the reverse of the coin Zeus is depicted holding an eagle, a common symbol of his divine might.

-Constantine Botimer, Class of 2019

Object Details

336-323 BCE
1.5 cm
Gift of Joe Bush