Special Coin of 2 euro, 2500 Year Anniversary of the Battle of Thermopylae and commemorative envelope with Feuillet, franked with the Fist Day Commemorative Postmark. The coin on it, is made by the National Mint of Greece in brilliant uncirculated quality.
SILVER COIN 5 EURO DEDICATED TO ENDEMIC FLORA OF GREECE ― IRIS HELLENICA. Iris hellenica was described as a new species in 2010. Resembling Iris germanica, a widely cultivated plant of hybrid origin, it is distinguishable primarily by its smaller height (25-55 cm), smaller leaves, fruits and seeds and the lighter bluish-purple tint of its flowers. It blooms from May to early June. Its main distribution is in the mountains of the northern Peloponnese (Kyllini, Chelmos, Saitas, Erymanthos), where it is mostly found in openings of Greek fir (Abies cephalonica) forest, as well as in rocky areas, at altitudes of 1,300-1,800 metres. Populations of Iris hellenica have also been discovered on Mount Oiti in Central Greece, indicating a phytogeographical affinity between the mountains of that
region and of the northern Peloponnese. This can be explained by the fact that the two regions, separated today by the Corinthian Gulf, were once united (until 900,000 years ago).
“75 YEARS SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL RADIO FOUNDATION”.
The radio era was officially launched in Greece with the establishment of the National Radio Foundation (EIR) on 16 July 1945. Meanwhile, the Athens Radio Station, under the supervision of the Radio Broadcasting Service, had already begun transmitting from its Zappeion location in 1938. The station’s interlude signal “Tsompanakos” (shepherd’s tune) and opening message “Athens here” would reach ever-increasing audiences across Greece, as local stations were gradually set up in other cities. 1952 saw the launch of a “Second Programme”, focused on entertainment, while the “First Programme” remained primarily news-oriented. A “Third Programme”, unveiled in 1954, mainly broadcast classical music at first but, under the inspired direction of composer Manos Hadjidakis (1975-1982), evolved into a genuine culture hub. With the advent of television, EIR was renamed ‘National Radio and Television Foundation’ (ΕΙRΤ) and later ‘Hellenic Radio-Television’ (ΕRΤ), never failing to provide quality information and entertainment and playing an important role in shaping the cultural identity of contemporary Greece.
Hermes was the son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, daughter of Atlas. Born on Mt Kyllene, Hermes immediately showed signs of cunning resourcefulness, stealing Apollo’s cattle and promptly crafting the first lyre to appease him. Known as dolios, i.e. the schemer, Hermes was the divine trickster and patron of thieves. But, above all, he was the herald of the gods, which is why he was traditionally depicted wearing winged shoes, sporting a petasos (a broad-brimmed hat worn by travellers) and holding a caduceus. As psychopompos (i.e. conveyor of souls), he guided the souls of the deceased to the underworld. He was the protector of shepherds, tradesmen, as well as travellers. In fact, the road markers of the ancient Greeks were called herms, i.e. rectangular shafts topped by the head of hodios Hermes (i.e. Hermes of the roads). Given his additional status as patron of athletes, statues of him often adorned gymnasiums and stadiums. His varied roles, together with his playfulness, made Hermes the friendliest of the Olympian gods.
SILVER COIN 5 EURO DEDICATED TO 150 YEARS SINCE THE BIRTH OF THEOPHILOS. Folk painter Theophilos Hatzimihail (1870-1934) was born in Vareia, on the island of Lesvos, and was essentially self-taught, apart from elements of painting learned from his grandfather, an icon painter. He left for Smyrna at a young age, but spent most of his life in Volos and villages of Mt Pelion, before returning to Lesvos in 1927. His themes are inspired from Greek history and mythology, Byzantine art, folk life and tradition, as well as from landscapes of his native island. He lived in poverty, often decorating the walls of houses and shops for a pittance. He was frequently the target of mockery for wearing the national Greek costume (fustanella) and an ancient Greek helmet. In 1928, he was discovered by art critic and collector Stratis Eleutheriadis (Teriade), who purchased several of Theophilos’s paintings and commissioned other works for a large exhibition in Paris. The exhibition, which took place in 1936, after the painter’s death, was an enormous success. A retrospective exhibition at the Louvre followed in 1961.
After the end of World War I and the Treaty of Neuilly (1919), Western Thrace was ceded to Greece. In 1920, the Greek army triumphantly entered Thrace, which has since been an integral part of the Greek state. The national side of the coin replicates an ancient coin of the thracian city of Abdera, featuring a griffin.
The first collectible medal “PRECURSOR” of the Numismatics Program regarding the 200th anniversary of Greek Revolution of 1821. Folk painter’s Theophilos Hatzimihail painting “Greece Reborn” is depicted on the “PRECURSOR”. The painting by Theophilos is painted on cardboard and dates from 1911. It is based on an earlier lithograph (c.1840) and depicts Greece as “ancient” in a long red cloak standing among ancient ruins but also as “Christian” since everything is taking place under the “all-seeing eye” of God while the angels are praising. Two emblematic figures of the pre-Revolution Hellenism are supporting Greece: Adamantios Korais and Rigas Velestinlis. The medal is composed of 3 parts, which are connected with a blue polymeric ring.
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”.