Musical Coins - turtle-shell lyre

25 Oct 2021  Mon

Music is as old as civilization. In the ancient world, musical instruments played important roles in worship and warfare as well as entertainment, and we see them depicted on a wide range of coins.

By far the most common musical instrument seen on ancient coins is the lyre, a kind of harp with a hollow soundbox, two curved arms, a crossbar, and between three to 12 gut strings that were strummed or plucked with a pick.

A bronze Hemiassarion of Antioch of Syria depicts a lyre. The obverse of the coin features Laureate and draped bust of Apollo to left. The reverse depicts an archaic turtle-shell type lyre with six strings in the center flanked by the legend ??????? ?? ???.

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