“LEDA AND THE SWAN”. This coin depicts Leda and the swan, an outstanding mosaic dating to the 2nd century A.D., which decorated the floor of a Roman house found at Palaipafos.
Specifically, the coin depicts the moment when Leda, the beautiful mythical queen of Sparta, had a first encounter with god Zeus who had transformed himself into a swan in order to approach her.
The mosaic is exhibited at the Museum of Kouklia in Pafos district. The coin has been designed by George Stamatopoulos and was minted by the Greek Mint.
The issue is limited to 2.000 coins.
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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).
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ANCIENT OLYMPIA 10 EURO SILVER COIN.
The obverse represents the archaeological site of Olympia with its columns made from the remains of ancient monuments. The birthplace of the Olympic Games is translated by the flame that gushes out of the basin. An Olympian goddess tries to light her torch with this Olympic flame. The geometric shapes at the back of the coin evoke the famous Greek amphitheatres and therefore the first Olympic stadiums that hosted the Games in antiquity.
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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.
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The obverse of the coin shows the painting Guernica where it has been painted: Picasso’s workshop located on 7, GrandsAugustins street in Paris, close to Monnaie de Paris. The painting is fully visible. The title of the art work and the name of the painter are visible on the wood beam which supports the roof of the workshop. The stamp « Chefs d’oeuvre des musees » has been added on the top left. The reverse is common to the series, it shows a mix of some French museums views.
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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”
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