Lesbos Gold Hekte from the City of Mytilene - C.2338
Origin: City of Mytilene
Circa: 377 BC to 326 BC
Obverse: Head of a Maenad Facing Right
Reverse: A Torch
Mytilene, whose name is pre-Greek, is the chief town of the island of Lesbos. The ancient city, lying off the east coast, was initially confined to an island that later was joined to Lesbos, creating a north and south harbor. Mytilene contested successfully with Methymna in the north of the island for the leadership of the island in the seventh century B.C. and became the center of the island's prosperous hinterland. From the 6th century B.C. the city suffered from dictators, wars with Athens, Persian conquest, and civil revolts. Eventually, it was made a free city under the Romans.
How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who might have touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after it leaves our hands. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and location, whether contemporary currencies or artifacts of a long forgotten empire. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This magnificent coin is memorial to the ancient glories of the Island of Lesbos, passed down from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation. - (C.2338)