Tetradrachm of Messana with biga of mules

Classical Period
430–396 B.C.

Mint: Sicily, Messana (Zankle)

Catalogue Raisonné

Brett, Greek Coins (MFA), no. 0297.


Diameter: 26 mm. Weight: 17.06 gm.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Obverse: Biga of mules, walking to left, heads down, tails hanging beyond wheel; far one farther advanced, with right foreleg raised, near one’s head three-quarters right; Messana with head raised towards Nike, end of shawl fluttering; goad in extended right hand, reins in left, held close to body; Nike with caduceus in raised left and wreath in lowered right; in exergue, a fish to left, horizontally.
On ground line, artist’s signature in Greek is illegible here (see note in Brett catalogue).
Border of dots.
Reverse: Hare, leaping to left. Beneath, eagle with closed wings to left, bent over; left leg on rocks, advanced right leg on coils of serpent striking up at eagle’s beak.
Inscription in Greek illegible.


By date unknown: with Edward Perry Warren; March 24, 1903: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren

Credit Line

Francis Bartlett Donation of 1900