Tetradrachm: Head of Apollo (obverse); Head of Lion (reverse)

466–422 BC

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

The lion, king of the beasts and an animal associated with regal and heroic power, featured prominently on the coinage of many ancient Greek city-states. Artists placed the lion in a variety of poses, sometimes including the whole body, at other times the foreparts or just the head. Although it may once have roamed nearby, for many Greeks the lion was a monster nearly as exotic as the Chimaera, of which it formed a part, together with a goat head and snake-headed tail.

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  • Title: Tetradrachm: Head of Apollo (obverse); Head of Lion (reverse)
  • Date Created: 466–422 BC
  • Physical Dimensions: Diameter: 2.5 cm (1 in.)
  • Provenance: (Charles T. Seltman, Berkhamsted, England, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)
  • Type: Coins
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1917.988
  • Medium: silver
  • Inscriptions: [ΛΕ]Ο[ΝΤ]ΙΝΟΝ
  • Fun Fact: The lion on coins of Leontini marks a pun on the city name.
  • Department: Greek and Roman Art
  • Culture: Greek, minted at Leontinoi (Sicily)
  • Credit Line: Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust
  • Collection: GR - Greek
  • Accession Number: 1917.988

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