Silver Stater, c. 300 BC.
Obverse: Head of Britomartis facing right, her hair tightly bound.
Reverse: Elaborate trident head; Φ-A between prongs.
(Le Rider pl. X, 12-13 (same dies); SNG Lockett 2596; Svoronos 2, pl. XXV, 5 (same dies)).
Extremely Fine. Beautiful old collection tone. Rare.
Ex Roma Numismatics Ltd., Auction V, (23/03/2013) Lot #302.
The powerful Cretan city-state of Phalasarna was well known in the ancient world for its artificial harbour. Surrounded by defensive fortifications, the city was well equipped for warfare, and provided tactical advice for various leaders across the Greek world during their campaigns.
Britomartis appears frequently on the coinage of Phalasarna. Primarily worshiped on Crete (and with a history that may date back to the Minoan period), she was a goddess of mountains, hunting and navigation at sea – the latter making her the ideal patron goddess for a city-state so reliant on trade and military prowess with its extensive fleet.