Tetradrachm of Messana with biga of mules

Classical Period
430–396 B.C.

Mint: Sicily, Messana (Zankle)

Catalogue Raisonné

Brett, Greek Coins (MFA), no. 0296.


Diameter: 26 mm. Weight: 17.20 gm.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Obverse: Nymph Messana, in a chariot with a solid left wheel, driving a pair of mules to left. Mules have right forelegs and right hindlegs raised, open mouths, ears erect, and tails horizontal. Lower folds of Messana’s chiton blown by wind; in outstretched right hand, four reins, in drawn-back left, a goad.
Above, Nike flying to right to crown her with pendent wreath in right hand attached to taenia held in her left hand.
In exergue two dolphins meeting.
Border of dots.
Reverse: Hare leaping to right.
Beneath, a seahorse to left, body coiled like a serpent’s with scales and fish’s tail.
Inscription in Greek (retrograde)
Border of dots.
Round incuse.


By date unknown: Canon Greenwell Collection; July 1902: acquired from Canon Greenwell Collection by Edward Perry Warren (Regling, Die Griechischen Münzen der Sammlung Warren, no. 264); September 1904: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren

Credit Line

Henry Lillie Pierce Fund