Description:To the ancient Greeks, the Griffin was a symbol of great power and a guardian of the divine. This renowned creature had the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the Griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. The earliest depictions of Griffins are the 15th century BC paintings, in the Throne Room of the Palace of Knossos in Crete. In Greek mythology, Griffins were also known for guarding treasure. The lyre, shown on the reverse, is a stringed musical instrument that was very popular in classical antiquity. The recitations of the Ancient Greeks were often accompanied by lyre playing.
This diobol coin was minted in the maritime city of Teos, located along the Aegean Sea, just northwest from Ephesus in Asia Minor. Teos was a flourishing seaport, with two fine harbors and was known for its wine, theater and splendid Temple of Dionysus. After Alexander the Great defeated the Persian forces at the battle of Granicus in 334 BC, he liberated this Greek city from the Persian Empire.