Hellenistic Tetradrachm of Macedoniaca. 336 BCE-323 BCE
15/16 x 0.982 x 3/16 in. (2.4 x 2.495 x 0.4 cm)
Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: C.1839
Geography: Europe, Greece, Macedonia
Classification: Exchange Media; Coins
This object has the following keywords:
Animalia*, eagles*, Hellenistic*, Herakles, scepters*, silver*, Strigiformes*, tetradrachms*, thrones*, Zeus
- Animalia - Kingdom containing multicellular organisms having cells bound by a plasma membrane and organized into tissue and specialized tissue systems that permit them to either move about in search of food or to draw food toward themselves. Unable to make their own food within themselves, as photosynthetic plants do, they rely on consuming preformed food. They possess a nervous system with sensory and motor nerves, enabling them to receive environmental stimuli and to respond with specialized movements.
- eagles - General term referring to several species in diverse genera of the family Accipitridae, that are not all closely related to each other, but having in common that they are large, powerful hunters, heavy-beaked, and have a fully feathered head and strong feet equipped with great curved talons. Because of their strength and agressive nature, eagles have been a symbol of war and imperial power since Babylonian times.
- Hellenistic - Refers to the ancient Greek period, culture, and art of ancient Greece that lasted from about 330 BCE to 31 BCE, when Augustus defeated Cleopatra and Mark Antony. It is characterized by an international culture that was ushered in by Alexander the Great's conquest of India, Egypt, and the Near East. In architecture and art, the style is marked by greater sophistication, complexity, and diversity than was known in earlier Greek styles. Architecture diverges from strict rules of earlier periods. Sculptors emphasized more realistic figures in a greater variety of poses than in earlier Greek art.
- scepters - Staffs or batons borne by sovereigns as ceremonial emblems of authority.
- silver - Pure metallic element having symbol Ag and atomic number 47; a malleable, ductile, white metal with characteristic sheen, considered a precious metal. Silver is widely distributed throughout the world, occurring rarely as metallic silver (in Peru, Norway) but more often as silver-gold alloys and silver ore. Today silver is obtained as a byproduct in the refinement of gold, lead, copper, or zinc ores. Silver was smelted from the ore galena as early as 3800 BCE. As a pure metal, silver is second to gold in malleability and ductility, can be polished to a highly reflective surface, and used -- typically in an alloy -- in jewelry, coinage, photography, mirrors, electrical contacts, and tableware.
- Strigiformes - Order containing around 180 species in two families of nocturnal raptorial birds with hooked beaks, strong talons, and soft plumage. All owls have the same general appearance, which is characterized by a flat face, small hooked beak, short tail, round wings, and large, forward-facing eyes. The bird became associated with Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and also owls became symbolic of intelligence because it was thought that they could forsee events. Also, because of their nocturnal existence and hooting sounds, owls have also been symbols associated with the occult. In the Middle Ages, the owl became a symbol of the darkness before the coming of Christ.
- tetradrachms - Ancient Greek coins worth four drachmas, originally of pure silver but gradually debased over its lifetime from the mid-6th century BCE until about CE 300.
- thrones - Ceremonial chairs or seats occupied by a monarch, prelate, or other high dignitary, especially on state or other special occasions; usually placed upon a dais and covered with a canopy.
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