Most Greek cities had foundation mythologies, which tell of the circumstances under which a city was founded. Perhaps the most interesting of all is that of the south Italian city of Taras, which was originally populated by people from the Greek city of Sparta, but was founded with the help of the gods.
Legend has it that a youth named Taras, who was a son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the oceans, was shipwrecked and then saved by a friendly dolphin, who took him to shore upon his back. In honor of his rescue, he founded a city at the place where they landed.
This foundation myth is illustrated on the featured side of this silver coin, which shows the young Taras seated on the dolphin’s back. The reverse shows Taras riding a Hippocamp, or seahorse.