Known to the Greeks as Artemis, and to the Romans as Diana, she was the goddess of the hunt and was renowned for her skill in archery. Her portrait is shown on the front of this coin with her familiar bow and quiver at her shoulder. She appears in the center of a shield of a kind especially made in Macedon, the region in northern Greece in which this coin was struck. The club on the back is also a special reference to the region of Macedon, as it belongs to Heracles (Hercules), who was the favorite mythological hero of the legendary conqueror Alexander III “the Great” who was the most famous king of the ancient Greeks, and who started his career as king of Macedon.
Artemis’ most famous temple was located in Asia Minor at an important city named Ephesus. This temple has an important connection to the origins of coinage itself, for it was at the base of the ruins of this temple that a cache of the oldest known coins was hidden. Archaeologists speculate that they were deposited there shortly after they were made as an offering to this important goddess.