2,500 YEARS SINCE THE BATTLE OF SALAMIS. The Battle of Salamis was the turning point of the Persian Wars as the Greeks, against almost impossible odds, crushed the Persian fleet, proving that strategy and valour can defeat numerical superiority. The obverse of the coin bears a portrait of Themistocles, commander of the Athenian contingent of the Greek fleet at the Battle of Salamis and architect of the Greek victory. The wording “THEMISTOCLES 524-459 BC” appears at right. The reverse features triremes (warships with three banks of oars), which were used by both the Greek and the Persian navy at the Battle of Salamis. At centre is the national coat of arms, surrounded by the wording “HELLENIC REPUBLIC” and “2,500 YEARS SINCE THE BATTLE OF SALAMIS”.
2,500 YEARS SINCE THE BATTLE OF THERMOPYLAE. Although ending in defeat for the Greeks, the Battle of Thermopylae remains a timeless symbol of heroic resistance. The obverse of the coin features an ancient Greek hoplite, armed with helmet and shield, in a state of “heroic nudity”, against a dense background of spears, the main weapon of the hoplite phalanx. Inscribed on the shield
is the wording “THERMOPYLAE – 480 BC” and “LEONIDAS”, the name of the Spartan king who led the Greek troops in the Battle of Thermopylae. The reverse features Greek hoplites marching in against Persian warriors . The images of the Greeks have been taken from ancient Greek pottery and those of the Persians reproduce bas-reliefs from the palace of Darius in Persepolis. Visible at centre is the national coat of arms, surrounded by the wording “HELLENIC REPUBLIC” and “2,500 YEARS SINCE THE BATTLE OF THERMOPYLAE”
MYRTIS, 5 EURO SILVER COLLECTOR COIN 2020.
Myrtis is the name given by archaeologists to an 11-year-old girl from ancient Athens, whose remains were discovered in 1994–95 in a mass grave during work to build the metro station at Kerameikos, Greece.The name was chosen from common ancient Greek names. The analysis showed that Myrtis and two other bodies in the mass grave had died of typhoid fever during the Plague of Athens in 430 B.C.
This coin gives us an idea of what an Athenian girl in Pericles’s time might have looked like. The obverse features a bust of Myrtis, a name conventionally given to an eleven-year-old girl who died in the Plague of Athens (430-426 BC) during the Peloponnesian War. Her perfectly preserved skull allowed scientists to recreate her facial features using the “Manchester method”. The rim is adorned with sprays of myrtle, as the girl’s name alludes to the myrtle tree. On the reverse is depicted the DNA sequence of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, a deadly pathogen causing typhoid fever that claimed thousands of lives during the Plague of Athens. At centre is the national coat of arms surrounded by the wording “HELLENIC REPUBLIC”. Myrtis was named a friend of the Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations Regional Information Centre and, as part of the UN campaign “We Can End Poverty”, sent her message to the world about disease prevention.