Ancient Greece. King Attica, Athens. Silver Tetradrachm (c. 449-415 B.C.)
Obv. Head of Athena facing right, wearing a crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive-leaves and a palmette.
Rev. ATE, owl standing to right, its head facing, an olive-sprig and a crescent behind; all within an incuse square. 2mm, AEF - Almost Extremely Fine.
The 'owl' silver tetradachm of Athens are perhaps one of the most familiar of all ancient Greek coins. As the animal associated with the goddess Athena, the owl became the obvious emblem to represent the city on its coinage. During the fifth century B.C., Athens was remarkable for its democratic political system, its architecture, as well as its artistic and philosophical achievements. Indeed, some of the most important figures in classical Western culture were active at Athens, including the dramatists Aristophanes and Euripides, the historians Herodotos and Thucydides, and the philosophers Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. This coin was struck just prior to, or during, the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta.