The portrait of Demetrius Poliorcetes (the Besieger)
is one of the most striking images to appear on Greek coinage.
Demetrius is depicted as a vibrant and youthful man. He wears
the royal diadem, a symbol of his newly assumed title of king
- also expressed in the inscription which reads King Demetrius.
Perhaps most striking are the bulls horns which sprout from
his temples. These horns echo the rams horns which are sometimes
found on portraits of Alexander the Great, symbolising his divinity
and his association with the god Zeus-Ammon. For Demetrius, the
bulls horns are meant to symbolise his own divinity and
his association with the god Poseidon (see below).
On the reverse of the coin we see the god Poseidon leaning on
a rock. In 306BC Demetrius defeated Ptolemy I in a major naval
battle off Salamis on Cyprus. This naval victory allowed Demetrius
to assert Poseidon (god of the sea) as his divine patron.