Peloponnesus, City of Elis, Stater

Olympia was not a city, but a sacred area with temples, sports grounds and some accommodations for the athletes. The site was situated near the city of Elis, whose inhabitants organized a festival in honor of Zeus every four years. The festivities included sacrifices and sportive competitions. They were among the most significant events of Antiquity; even wars were suspended for their duration.

Many visitors came to Olympia for the duration of the festival. And naturally, the tourists needed money. Every four years, the Eleans therefore issued a series of magnificent silver coins. This stater shows on the obverse the head of Zeus and on the reverse an eagle, Zeus' sacred animal.