Silver Didrachm - Ancient Greece: Rhodes - c. 205-190 BC
Obv: Radiate head of Helios facing 3/4 right
Rev: Rose with bud on right, wreath on left
Ref: Ashton 277, Sear-G5058v, 19mm, 6.68g
Very Rare Issue!
Helios (the Sun God) was the patron god of Rhodes. The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was an enormous bronze statue of Helios positioned at the harbor of Rhodes. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC, not long before this coin was minted.
Helios was imagined as a handsome god crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. Homer described Helios's chariot as drawn by solar steeds, later Pindar described it as drawn by ''fire-darting steeds''. Still later, the horses were given fiery names: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon.
An exceptionally nice example of a rare, beautiful and historic ancient Greek coin.