On 31st March 2020, Greece issued a 2 euro circulation coin dedicated to the Battle of Thermopylae which took place 2500 years ago. The coin features a Greek helmet to remember the battle between Greeks and Persians fought in the summer of 480 BC at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae.
In that critical moment, the Greek force blocked the only way the Persian army could take to the south. In the end, the bulk of the alliance marched on and only a small force led by the Spartan king Leonidas remained to hold back the enemy, destined to die. This episode of the Persian war has become fundamental to the myth of the Spartan bravery, and a foundation of the national idea of modern Greece.
Greece has issued 300,000 pieces of the new 2 euro commemorative circulation coin “2500 Years since the Battle of Thermopylae” with year mark 2020 and issuing volume of 750,000 pieces”.
The coin’s outer ring feature the 12 stars of the European Union. The central field of the coin depicts an ancient Greek helmet. Inscribed along the inner edge are the words ‘2500 Years since the Battle of Thermopylae’ and ‘Hellenic Republic’. Also inscribed in the background is the year of issuance and palmette (mintmark of the Greek mint). Visible down and right of the helmet is the monogram of artist George Stamatopoulos.
P.S: Did you know that place was called Thermopylae because of its warm springs where people still take baths?
Image Courtesy: Bank of Greece