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Silver tetradrachm c. 400-365 BC. Obverse. Lion-skin headdress Reverse. Front half of an ox, with an olive branch in the field.
The preeminent Samian numismatic type is the lion’s head and the front half of an ox. Where these two types symbolize a deity, this was undoubtedly Hera. The lion’s head depicted on the coins recalls the lion-skin headdress which was the symbol of the divinity and the Great Goddess of Asia Minor. The depiction of an ox is also associated with the cult of Hera, to whom white cows were offered up as a sacrifice. In Ionia, Hera was known as 'boopis potnia Here', and Samos was the first Ionian city to issue coins at this very early date bearing her visual representation on the reverse. A similar case from about the same period is provided by the coins of the Athens, on which the owls symbolize Glaukopis Athena.
|For Him or Her
|Solid Sterling Silver
|Diameter (excluding bails)
|16 mm (5⁄8in)