Tetradrachm of Leontinoi, ca. 470 BC.

Tetradrachm of Leontinoi

Struck in Leontinoi, Sicily, about 470 B.C. This coin represents the earliest of the Demareteion series and forms a link between the coins of Syracuse and those of Leontinoi. The appearance of the Artemis-Arethusa head of Syracuse on this coin forms a direct link with the coins of Syracuse produced by the same master engraver, as does the presence of the lion on the obverse.

There are only two known specimens of this coin. The other specimen is at the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The obverse of this coin features a slow quadriga driven to the right by a driver wearing a chiton, with Nike above crowning the horses' heads, and below, a lion running to the right.

The reverse of the coin has the head of Artemis-Arethusa facing right, with the inscription "LEONTINON" clockwise around, surrounded by four barley corns. It is interesting to note the replacement of the dolphins with barley corns, a symbol more appropriate to the agricultural city of Leontinoi.