Religion in Greek Coins: Athena

Athenea (Minerva), the goddess of wisdom and patroness of human enterprises, was born fully-armed from Zeus' head and is always depicted helmeted, with spear and shield.

She was considered to be one of the most powerful of the deities and was widely worshipped, as demonstrated by her widespread numismatic presence.

The owl, her sacred bird, symbolized wisdom and was adopted as a characteristic element of Athenian coinage.

Athens placed a depiction of Athena on this tetradrachm.
Athena is seen again on a stater of Corinth.

See a bigger image of the HACAC logo owl of Athena.

This page is copyrighted. This page contains a portion of a copyrighted article. The text and photos are reproduced with the permission of Krause Publications, publisher of Numismatic News, World Coin News and Bank Note Reporter, where the article first appeared, and by the American Numismatic Association and the article's author, Bob Hoge, curator of the ANA Money Museum, 818 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, CO, 80903.

The famous owl of Athena appears on another tetradrachm of Athens.