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Contribution to mythology and history studies

Municipality of Argos

Mythology owes much to coin representations, as well. For example, on the depictions of copper coins of Greek cities of the Roman Age there are many mythological scenes carved on them, which are usually closely connected to the tradition and the legends of the city which minted them.
In other cases, certain depicted scenes refer to historical events, as it happens with a copper mint of the Public of the Macedonians, which depicts Alexander breaking Voukephalas.
Concerning coins of the Roman period, we have to point out that depictions of buildings and mythological scenes of copper coins of the Roman Age are multitudinous and enrich our knowledge about the great sectors of Ancient Greek Civilization. From the point of view of technique, they often show inexpertness concerning carving and not impress with their beauty, like the golden staters or the silver four-drachma coins of the previous centuries. But we have to study them thoroughly with remarkable emotion, because we have to bear in mind that these copper coins, which were not of an extreme value when they were used, left us a special cultural heritage, as they preserved precious information about ancient art and religion with their representations which may have been inexpert some times.
Many coin series of Korinthos and Argos representing the emotional story of Opheltis and Hypsipyli, which was a beloved subject for art in general, are examples of the sort of coins representing mythological scenes. Euripedes wrote a tragedy about Hypsipyli pottery painters often represented Opheltis with a snake convoluted around him and one of the heroes fighting against it. An anaglyph of the Hellenistic years representating Opheltis’s death is also preserved.

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