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Lesbos, Mytilene, Hecte

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Lesbos, Mytilene, Hecte (obverse) Lesbos, Mytilene, Hecte (reverse)

This hecte from the city of Mytilene was struck some time between 412 and 378 BC. It shows the head of the goddess Cybele on the obverse; as protectress of cities, Cybele was often depicted wearing a crest as can be seen on this coin. The reverse illustrates Hermes, the messenger of the gods wearing a petasos, a winged helmet.

Mytilene stood under Athenian rule until 412 BC, when it gained its freedom. Independence only lasted until 378 BC however; that year Mytilene was subjugated once again. In the meantime the town issued its own coins, and in this way sought the protection of Cybele, the guardian of towns.

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