Sicily, Messana, Tetradrachm


Sicily, Messana, Tetradrachm (obverse) Sicily, Messana, Tetradrachm (reverse)

This tetradrachm from the antique Sicilian town of Messana depicts little dolphins on both sides. Those animals love to accompany boats across the sea. In antiquity the seas were sailed mainly by merchant ships, and dolphins thus became symbols of trade. On the coins of Messana, they stand for the city's powerful trading position.

The obverse depicts a mule cart as commemoration of the Olympic victory of Anaxilas, the tyrant of Rhegion and Messana. The reverse features a hare – a symbol of prolific exuberance, and the multiplication of wealth and people.


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