Phoenician Coins : Phoenician Silver Tetradrachm of Arados
Phoenician Silver Tetradrachm of Arados - C.7665
Origin: Minted in Arados
1" (2.5cm) high
Location: United States
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Obverse, turreted and draped bust of Tyche in right
profile; pellet-border; reverse, ?????O?, right; ???,
Phoenician letter and ?C, left; Nike advancing left,
holding palm date and aphlaston; within laurel-
The tetradrachm – a silver coin equivalent to four
drachmae – first came into circulation in Athens in
510 BC. It became the most authoritative coinage of
Classical Greece and was soon adopted by many
other city-states of ancient Greece.
Arados was an important city of northern Phoenicia.
While, occupying only an island it controlled an
extensive area on the mainland. A suitable patron
came naturally in the form of the tutelary divinity
Tyche who embodied the destiny of a city, bringing
fortune and prosperity. She is typically depicted
wearing a mural crown, a headpiece that represents
the city walls or towers.
Nike, on the reverse, was the Greek goddess of
victory. She is typically portrayed as a winged,
draped female holding palm date. The aphlaston,
the curved stern of a ship alludes to naval warfare,
which had played a vital role in the development of
many ancient empires and city-states. The
importance of naval operations, especially for an
island, led to many representations on coinage.