Phoenician Silver Tetradrachm of Arados

SKU C.7665

2 nd Century BC to 1 st Century BC


1″ (2.5cm) high




Minted in Arados

Gallery Location



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- wreath.

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.

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