Athenian Owls, ancient Greek silver coins minted over 2200 years ago..
Owls became the world’s first great trade currency, and they were followed in this role by among others in the West by Alexander the Great tetradrachms and staters, and Roman denarii.
Athenian Owls, are silver coins minted about 2000 years ago. These are currently one of the most popular ancient Greek coins.
Owls became the world’s first great trade currency, and they were followed in this role by among others in the West by Alexander the Great tetradrachms and staters, Roman denarii, and more currently, the American dollar.
Athena was goddess of warfare & wisdom, the patron goddess of ancient city of Athens. Along with being the goddess of wisdom and warfare, in ancient Greece, Athena was also known as an eye goddess.
The owl was considered to be Athena’s mascot.
These Owl silver coinage ended in the middle of the first century BC, but some Athenian bronzes featuring an owl continued well into the Roman times.
In the coin above (Athens circa 454-404 BC), the inscription “ΑΘΕ” is an abbreviation of ΑΘΗΝΑΙΩΝ, which may be translated as “of the Athenians”. In daily use, the Athenian drachmas were called glaukes (γλαῦκες, owls).
On the Obverse: Helmeted head of Athena right, with frontal eye.
Reverse: AΘE. Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent to left; all within indented square. Size/Weight: 24 mm., 17.22 g. VF.