Sicily, Gela, Didrachm

Around 668 BC a city was founded on the delta of the Gelas River on the southwestern coast of Sicily. Called Gela after the nearby river, it soon became one of the wealthiest Sicilian cities. In the early 5th century BC, Gela even was the leading city in Sicily for a while. This didrachm was minted during that time. It depicts a naked rider with a raised lance on its obverse, while the reverse bears the upper body of the river god Gelas: torso and neck of a bull with a human face. This coin shows late archaic art at its best.