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Ancient coins history - Athena and Nike Pyrrhus Stater


Athena and Nike – Pyrrhus Gold Stater



A gold stater minted around 278 BC in Syracuse, Sicily by Pyrrhus I, king of Epeiros.


On the obverse there is the depiction of Goddess Athena facing right and wearing a Corinthian helmet and beaded necklace.
On the reverse there is the depiction of Nike, the winged goddess of victory moving towards the left, holding wreath and trophy. Inscription reads: “PYRRHOU VASILEOS” in Greek fonts, meaning King’s Pyrrhus.


One of the most representative coins of the Hellenistic period, that uses the same representations as the coins minted during the reign of Alexander the Great in order to make a connection with the victorious past. On these coins, Nike is holding an oak wreath, as oak was the symbol of Epeirus, and a trophy in order to commemorate Pyrrhus’ victories over the Carthaginians in Italy.




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