Thrace, Odessos, Tetradrachm

This tetradrachm was minted in the Thracian town of Odessos (today's Varna). The town was an important center where trade, handicraft and culture flourished. According to its economic importance, Odessus minted gold, silver and bronze coins for over 700 years.

This tetradrachm dates back to the 1st century BC. We even know the name of its mint master, a certain Lakon, as indicate the letters LAK on the reverse.

The coin is an imitation of an issue of Alexander the Great (336-323 BC). Nevertheless, the head of Heracles on the obverse shows remarkable resemblance with portraits of Mithradates VI, King of Pontus (120-63 BC). It is quite possible that Mithradates was deliberately depicted here, as he succeeded to arouse an euphoria among the Greek cities for their emancipation from the Romans. Odessos could in this way have shown its sympathies for Mithradates, the 'new Alexander,' and his struggle against the Romans.

Year of issue

ca. 80 v. Chr.

Epoche

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