Southern Italy, Lucania, Thurii, Diobol

How the Greeks managed to mint such detailed images on coins as small as this one in the 5th century BC, we do not know. This coin measures just 13 millimeters in diameter. Optical lenses did not yet exist then, at least as far as we know today – they were invented during the time of the Renaissance, almost 2000 years later.

The diobol, a double obol, was minted in Thurii, a town situated on the gulf of Tarentum. The obverse depicts the head of the Greek goddess Athena, while the reverse shows a bull and beneath it a fish.