This coin features Parthenope, the unfortunate siren whose song could not seduce Ulysses because the cunning hero had ordered his men to tie him to the mainmast of his ship, and was thus able to resist the chant of the beauty. After that, Parthenope drowned herself in the waters; her body was washed ashore at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, where she was buried and a tomb was built in her honor.
When the Greek colonization of southern Italy started in the 8th century BC, a settlement was founded around the tomb, which was named Parthenope. A couple of hundred years later, a new town was built, not far from old Parthenope. It was called Neapolis – i.e. the Greek word for 'new town.' The figure of Parthenope, however, has become a symbol of Naples and, up to this day, remains one of the most important icons for Naples and its harbor.