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Some of the most striking and fascinating coins of Ancient Greece feature important mythological imagery, like this coin featuring Poseidon struck in Syracuse during the era of Heiron II around 270 BCE. The obverse of this coin shows the head of Poseidon, one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. Poseidon (known as Neptune in the Roman pantheon of deities) was the supreme ruler of the sea, and protector of many Hellenic cities. In this depiction, Poseidon wears a diadem, a regal crown-like headband symbolizing his status as the king of the ocean. The reverse of this coin displays an ornamental trident-head (the symbol of Poseidon) with two dolphins on either side. This is a good quality example of this coin in "Fine" condition, and includes an information page and certificate of authenticity.
The Greek city of Syracuse in Sicily was founded in 733 BCE by Greek settlers from Corinth and Tenea. An area that has been inhabited since antiquity, it was for many years the most powerful Greek city in the Mediterranean. The city boasted a rich cultural life, with renowned theatre performances, poetry and art festivals. Though the majesty and splendour of Syracuse declined over the years, it maintained its status as the capital of the Roman government of Sicily, and remained a crucial port for the trades between the Eastern and Western parts of the empire.
More Information: Poseidon in Mythology
Poseidon, the mighty ruler and patron god of the sea, was sometimes called the "tamer of horses" and is typically depicted as an older male with curly hair and a beard. He is immortalized in one of Homer's hymns, which makes reference to his role as the protector of many Hellenic cities. The isle of Atlantis was said to be his preferred realm. The importance of this all-powerful deity is witnessed in Homer's Odyssey, in which Poseidon (rather than Zeus, the king of the gods) is the major mainstay of the story. Poseidon was one of the sons of Cronus and Rhea, and brother to the omnipotent Zeus and Hades, god the underworld. His mother rescued him from being eaten by his father by hiding him amid a flock of lambs and pretending that she had given birth to a colt. In Greek mythology, when the world was cleft in three, Zeus received the sky, Hades the underworld and Poseidon the sea.
Poseidon was often a benevolent god, creating new islands and calming the sea. When offended, however, it is said that he would strike the ground with his trident to cause turbulent springs, earthquakes, drownings and shipwrecks. Sailors regularly prayed to Poseidon for safe passage through the water that was his domain, sometimes drowning a horse in sacrifice. According to a historical document, Alexander the Great halted at the seashore in Syria before a battle and ordered a four-horse chariot to be thrown into the waves for Poseidon.
• Ancient Greek Poseidon Coin, Fine Condition Circa 270 BCE, Heiron II, Syracuse