Coin: EUMENES C. 415-405 BC, item 492

Coin: EUMENES C. 415-405 BC, item 492


AR (Silver) Tetradrachm (16.91 g) Head of Arethusa to right on reverse, her hair bound tightly around her head, signed by the master celator (engraver) Eumenes, obverse quadriga galloping left, crowned by Nike.  Ch XF, Strike: 4/5, Surface: 3/5, Fine Style. Minted in Syracuse, Sicily.

The coins minted by the ancient city of Syracuse during the 5th Century are admired as the most beautiful, iconic and influential ever struck. This reputation was established by the work of just a handful of engravers, Phrygillos, Euainetos, Eumenes, Eukleidas and Kimon, true masters of their art. These celators were so highly regarded that they were permitted to place their own signature onto the dies they had created. The present example was struck from not one but two dies engraved by the famous Eumenes, one of the very first artists' allowed to sign their work. 

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The obverse and reverse designs show the influence of the newly developed (approx. 400 BC) Classical style of art. The four horse chariot is shown charging chaotically forwards, displaying a genuine sense of motion while Arethusa is seen as an idealised, elegant young woman, her eye set in profile and her hair depicted in exquisite detail.