An iconic type: likely the most well-known of all ancient coinage. The obverse depicts Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war, and the patron deity of Athens. The reverse depicts an owl, Athena’s mascot and symbol of wisdom. The significance of the other two symbols on the reverse is less obvious, but each has an interesting story. The olive sprig is a reference to the story of how Athena became the patron deity of Athens. She and Poseidon, her uncle and sea god, both vied for the honour. Cecrops, the first king of Athens, announced that whoever gave the city the best gift will be honoured with its patronage. Poseidon created a spring, but its water was salty, like his sea. Athena’s gift was the olive tree, whose fruit, oil, and wood were very useful to the people. Cecrops declared Athena the winner, naming the city after her. The significance of the waning-crescent moon is debated: it is suggested to represent night, during which the owl is active, or the Athenian victory at the Battle of Salamis or the Battle of Marathon. Another theory suggests that it is a reference to the Panathenaic festival. Obverse: Head of Athena right, in crested Attic helmet ornamented with three olive leaves above visor and spiral palmette on bowl, wearing round earring with central boss Reverse: Owl standing to right with head facing, olive sprig and crescent behind, ΑΘΕ before; all within incuse square. Crescent-shaped banker’s mark before owl.