Description:This silver coin was minted during the 5th century BC in Kyzikos, an ancient city that was situated on the island of Arktonnesos, which is located in present-day Northwestern Turkey. The obverse side of this coin features the head of a roaring lion. The lion was not indigenous to Greek lands, however, the lion was still a popular beast renowned for its power and hunting prowess. Lions had been depicted in Greek art for centuries before coins were minted. The reverse side of this coin shows the forepart of a boar with a tunny fish to the right.
The city of Kyzikos was founded by the Greek settlers of Miletos in 756 BC. Kyzikos had a very strategic location along the shipping trade routes that connected Greece to the Black Sea. By the 5th century BC, the city became very prosperous and was a center of great commercial importance. During the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) between Athens and Sparta, Kyzikos was ruled by the Athenians and the Spartans alternately. In the great naval Battle of Kyzikos in 410 BC, an Athenian fleet routed and completely destroyed a Spartan fleet and the Athenians gained control of Kyzikos. However, at the Peace of Antalcidas in 387 BC, like the other Greek cities in Asia Minor, Kyzikos was subjugated over to Persia. In 334 BC, Alexander the Great set out to conquer the Persians. At Kyzikos, Alexander built a land bridge that connected the island to the mainland and his army defeated the Persians here, liberating this Greek city.