This striking silver coin was struck in Tyre,
Phoenicia, between 360 and 332 BC. It shows
Melqarth (more properly Melqart, Melkart,
Melkarth or Melgart), the Akkadian-inspired
defender of the Phoenician city of Tyre, facing
right and riding astride a hippocamp (literally a
sea-horse) through a series of waves containing
fish. The reverse shows an owl, facing right and
face to viewer, with a flail and a hook under its
wing, contained within a cable border.
Melqarth became identified with Herakles when
the Greeks spread across this area. The
symbolism of the owl is uncertain but it is
usually identified with wisdom and good fortune.
It is also the symbol of Athena.
A didrachm is a Greek coin worth two drachms.
It was minted for most of the second half of the
first millennium BC throughout the Greek world.
This is a rare and impressive coin, in EF