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Arethousa / Persephone / Artemis 

This coin is widely considered one of the most beautiful coins ever minted by the ancient Greeks. Depicted is Arethusa, the patron nymph of Syracuse, a nereid (water nymph) and she is most often surrounded by dolphins in coin depictions.

Arethousa (Arethusa) was known to pass her time in the waters near Olympia but one day became pursued intensely by the river-god Alpheios. She ran for advise to the goddess Artemis goddess of hunting and also the protector goddess of women (Roman Diana). Artemis instructed her to go to Ortygia (Syracuse) by creating a fresh water stream under the sea and a spring water spring in Syracuse where she emerged. Hearing of this Alpheios diverted all of his river water across the sea to Syracuse to meet and mingle with her waters forever at the fountain of Arthousa in Ortygia.

The persona of Arethousa is frequently identified with Artemis (huntress and protectress of women) and also with Persephone (the goddess of springs, and queen of the underworld).

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