Roman Coin Showing Bellerophon Slaying the Chimaera
Coin Room Lobby,
Gallery 36, First Floor.

 

Focus on the Object

This unique Roman coin
was recently acquired on generous terms from a private collector.
It is made from bronze and was struck in Alexandria in Northern Egypt.

Obverse Reverse

On one side you can see the emperor Antoninus Pius with the Greek inscription 'Imperator Caesar Hadrianus Antoninus, L.E'. 'L' stands for 'year' and 'E' stands for '5' and this enables us to date it very precisely to the fifth year of the emperor Antoninus Pius (AD 141/2). On the other side you can see an image from Greek mythology - the hero Bellerophon on horseback spearing the chimaera. For more about this myth, and the use of ancient Greek imagery, click on the 'History' button.

This coin is displayed alongside a British Five Pound Piece of George III from 1820. Click on 'Related Objects' to find out more!