Although not indigenous to Greek lands, the lion was still a popular beast renowned for its power and hunting prowess. The lion had been depicted in Greek and Asiatic art for centuries before coinage was invented, and was especially prized by the Romans who used them in the Gladiatorial Games they held in the Colosseum.
The front of this small silver coin of the Creek city of Cherronesus depicts the front half (or forepart) of a lion bounding to the right and reverting his head to look back. Especially interesting about this piece is that only the front half of the lion is shown, indicating that it is a half denomination – in this case half of a silver Drachm, known as a Hemidrachm. This convention was not used everywhere in the Greek world, but was popular in the Black Sea area. The back also is unconventional as of the four squares two are raised and two are sunken and contain designs.