Greek coin dating

Laurel wreaths and wreaths woven of olive branches were offered to victors and triumphators on different occasions.

On the antique coins we also recognize the first three letters of the word Athens.

Anyhow, their circulation always remained limited and regional.

About 500 BC a completely new coin made its appearance: the tetradrachm with the head of the goddess Athena on the obverse and the owl on the reverse.

City-states in central Greece (Aegina, Athens, Corinth), northern Greece (the Macedonian coastal cities like Acanthus, Mende and Potidaea) and the island Siphnos were amongst the first to strike coins.

The earliest Athenian coins were the didrachms struck about 560-550 BC.

The tetradrachm was the most important denomination.

Especially this coin has a tradition which dates back to the end of the 6th century BC.With the owl and the olive branch on the national side of their 1 euro coin they underline their rich past, the historic importance of the Athenian city-state and last but not least the fact that Greece is the cradle of European coinage.We don’t always realize that we carry around an awful lot of European history in our purse.These coins have a large variety of obverse types and until not so long ago one used to think that all those different effigies were related to the coats of arms of Athenian noble families.Nowadays this theory is contested because there is no absolute certainty whether the Attic city state or the noble families themselves issued these coins.

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