The ancient city of Messene was built in 369 BC at the foot of mount Ithomi, sacred to the Messenians, after the Spartans had suffered a crushing defeat to the Thebans under Epameinondas at the battle of Leuktra (371 BC), which led to the Messenians’ liberation. The city was surrounded by a 9.5 km-long fortification wall, with two gates, the Laconian and the Arcadian. Although the former no longer stands, the latter is now the site’s emblematic monument, winning a Europa Nostra Diploma in 2005 for its excellent restoration. Archaeological excavations, first launched in the late 19th century and resumed since 1986 under Professor Petros Themelis, include a vast programme of impressive restorations. These allow the visitor to form a vivid and accurate picture of the most important public buildings, including the Arsinoe fountain, the Asclepieion building complex, the stadium with the mausoleum of the Saithidae family, the gymnasium, the theatre and the odeon (also called ecclesiasterion, i.e. assembly hall).
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”.
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.
Collector coin 5 Euro silver 2020, commemorating the 100 years from the establishment of THE UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, ASOEE 1920-2020. Quality proof-like in blister. Maximum issue 6.000 pieces.
The official set PROOF 2019, including the 8 Euro coins and the two 2 euro commemorative coins issued in 2019, Manolis Andronikos and Andreas Kalvos, in proof quality. Mintage 1.500 sets. Packaging: wooden box with certificate of authenticity.