| Description | | Exhibits |

Myth and Coinage

(15 April 2011 - 3 January 2012)

General view of the exhibition
The Athens Numismatic Museum in co-operation with the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection and the National Archaeological Museum organized a joint exhibition entitled “Myth and Coinage”. The exhibition was structured in two parts presented in the National Archaeological Museum and the Athens Numismatic Museum and lasted from the mid-April of 2011 to the January 2012. The sections displayed in the National Archaeological Museum referred to the depiction of myths on coinage while those in the Athens Numismatic Museum, to the use of myths.

The exhibition presented in the Athens Numismatic Museum under the full title “Myth and Coinage. The use of myth” was organized in the Iliou Melathron, in the temporary exhibition hall. Its aim was to approach themes such as nature myths, foundation myths of cities, patron deities, local myths and their variations, myths on royal origins and the identification of rulers with gods and heroes as well as ancient myths in Modern Europe and Greece as these have been used on coins, modern medals and banknotes. Greek myths are associated with the interpretation of nature and the origins of humans and they explain, strengthen and preserve the memory of significant events. This tradition has been a source of inspiration in art and has functioned as a solid basis for the existence of city-states and the support of the power of monarchs. Coins, as objects in direct connection with state authorities, are a convenient means of use and promotion of myths in the context of expressing the official ideology. Mythological figures and images, associated with the issuing authority, are often depicted on them. Mythological iconographic themes have been revived in modern times either to publicize an illustrious past or to describe current events wrapped in the aura of myth.

One hundred and thirty-five coins, twenty-two medals and fifteen banknotes from the Numismatic Museum collections were on display. Moreover, on temporary loan, ancient Greek coins from the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection, fourteen works-of-art from the National Archaeological Museum collections and two paintings from the National Gallery, were also presented.
Other Photographs of the exhibition
Alexandria-Egypt, billon tetradrachm, reign of Hadrian, AD 117-138. Athens Numismatic Museum, Dimitriou Collection
Russian Empire, silver medal issued in the name Peter the Great, 1672-1725.  Athens Numismatic Museum, Zosimas Collection
Ptolemy IV, gold octadrachm, 222-205 BC. Athens Numismatic Museum, Dimitriou Collection.