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Sicily, Leontinoi, Tetradrachm

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Sicily, Leontinoi, Tetradrachm (obverse) Sicily, Leontinoi, Tetradrachm (reverse)

If a colony was to be founded in Ancient Times, people turned to an oracle: Heavenly prediction would not only appoint the best spot for the new settlement, but also guarantee divine protection. In Greece it was the clear-sighted god Apollo who was the principal deity for prophecy. This supposedly was the reason why his head appeared so often on coins from Greek colonial towns.

The obverse of this tetradrachm from Leontinoi depicts a youthful Apollo with flowing hair and a laurel wreath. The reverse bears a lion's head. The lion was Apollo's sacred animal and, at the same time, a literal allusion to Leontinoi's name.

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