FOR SALE: Ancient Athenian "Owl" or Tetradrachm struck in antiquity in Attica or Athens, Greece. The first archaic type Athenian owls were minted around 512 BC. During the period of prosperity, after defeating the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC, Athens entered a golden age and expanded its political and economic influence throughout the Greek world as a Naval power. During this Athenian golden age, artistic and intellectual progress flourished at a rate which has never been matched. Fresh funds from the mining of silver at Laurion and minting of Athenian "owls" significantly aided military and naval strength through many wars and alliances.
The quantity of silver controlled by the Athenians allowed them to mint the authoritative coinage of ancient Greece. The thick heavy Athenian owl tetradrachm, was the largest silver coin of its time and remains the most recognizable ancient coin even today. Through careful quality control, Athenian tetradrachms gained a reputation as the monetary standard for metal quality and consistent weight. The series was produced for over four-hundred years, and while the artistic style changed over time, the theme remained consistent, showing Athena, the goddess of wisdom and warfare, on the obverse and an owl, her patron animal, on the reverse. This consistency reinforced Athen's international political message and came to symbolize Athens’ economic power and military strength in the ancient world.
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