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This coin represents on one side the helmeted head of Athena, guardian goddess of the city. The other side is stamped with her emblem, the owl, and three Greek letters, alpha, theta and epsilon.
This coin, which was used in all the Mediterranean Basin, was a symbol of the power and imperialism of Athens.
The tetradrachme was an Ancient Greek silver coin equivalent to four drachmae. In Athens it replaced the earlier “heraldic” type of didrachmae and it was in wide circulation from ca. 510 to ca. 38 BC.
The tetradrachme’s use as a currency was soon adopted by many other city-states of ancient Greece, Asia Minor, Magna Grecia and other Greek colonial cities throughout the Mediterranean Sea. With the armies of Alexander the Great it spread to the Greek-influenced areas of present-day Iran and India.
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