Sicilian Dekadrachm by Designer Euainetos

10 Dec 2020  Thu

Within ancient numismatics, the practice of signing one’s work wasn’t unknown, with those who were the most accomplished at their craft leaving their signature to be recognized for centuries to come. One of the most celebrated among these classical artists was Euainetos, who flourished in the Sicilian city of Syracuse toward the end of the fifth century BCE.

Euainetos created engaging designs that graced the impressive dekadrachms of the city. While tetradrachms are the much more commonly encountered “large” silver denomination in the ancient Greek world, it is the dekadrachm that allowed the broadest flan on which the engraver could express their artistry. Meanwhile, the coin’s thick nature presented the possibility of very high relief.

The Sicilian Dekadrachm shown above depicts quadriga or four-horse chariot which seems to float majestically above the ground line while the other side depicts a high-relief portrait of Arethusa – a Greek Goddess.

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