Greek Coins 20 Drachmai 1976 Pericles

Greek Coins 20 Drachmai PericlesGreek Coins 20 Drachmai Parthenon

Greek Coins 20 Drachmai 1976 Pericles

Obverse: The portrait in left profile of Pericles (ca. 495 – 429 BC), a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens in the city's Golden Age, is surrounded with a legend which indicates his name in Greek: "ΠΕΡΙΚΛΗΣ". (Bust of Pericles bearing the inscription "Pericles, son of Xanthippus, Athenian". Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from c. 430 BC)
Lettering: ΠΕΡΙΚΛΗΣ.

Reverse: The Parthenon is surrounded with the facial value according to the former spelling ("20 ΔΡΑΧΜΑΙ") and the inscription "ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ" (Republic of Greece).
Engraver: L. Orphanos.

Edge: Plain with lettering: "ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ" (Republic of Greece).
Lettering: ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ Translation: Greek Democracy.

Years: 1976-1980.
Value: 20 Drachmai (20 GRD).
Metal: Copper-nickel.
Weight: 11.15 g.
Diameter: 29 mm.
Thickness: 2.25 mm.
Shape: Round.

Pericles (c. 495–429 BCE, whose name means "surrounded by glory") was a prominent statesman, famous orator, and general (in Greek 'Strategos’) of Athens during the Golden Age of Athens. So profound was his influence that the period in which he led Athens has been called the 'Age of Pericles’.
  This statesman’s influence on Athenian society was so great that Thucydides, his contemporary admirer and historian, called him "the first citizen of Athens". Pericles led the Delian League forward to form the Athenian empire and guided his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian Wars.
  Pericles promoted the arts, literature, and philosophy and gave free reign to some of the most inspired writers and thinkers of his time. During the Age of Pericles, Athens blossomed as a center of education, art, culture, and democracy. Artists and sculptors, playwrights and poets, architects and philosophers all found Athens an exciting and enlivening atmosphere for their work. Athens under Pericles saw the building of the Acropolis and the glory of the Parthenon. The playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes (in short, all of the great Greek writers for the stage) invented theater as it is known in the modern-day. Hippocrates (who inspired the Hippocratic Oath still taken by physicians today) practiced medicine in Athens then while sculptors like the famous Phidias (who created the statue of Zeus at Olympia, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, as well as the statue of Athena Parthenos for the Parthenon) and Myron (who produced the masterpiece Discus Thrower) worked in their marble and stone. The great philosophers Protagoras, Zeno of Elea, and Anaxagoras were all personal friends of Pericles (Anaxagoras especially, who influenced Pericles’ public demeanor and acceptance of fate, especially after the death of Pericles’ sons) and Socrates, the man considered the 'father of western philosophy', all lived in Athens at the time.
  Pericles family's nobility, prestige, and wealth allowed him to pursue his inclination toward education, and he is recognized as the first politician to attribute great importance to philosophy as a practical discipline which could help guide and direct one’s thought and actions rather than a mere speculative past-time or the trade of the Sophists.
  Pericles’ early years were quiet and the introverted young man took to avoiding public appearances and speeches, instead preferring to devote his time to his studies. Later in life, this initial shyness would lend credence to the claims of his detractors that his consort Aspasia taught him how to speak and wrote his speeches for him (it was a grave insult to a man of Athens, especially a statesman, to claim a woman was responsible for his successful career).
  At the beginning of 431 BCE Athens entered into the long, drawn-out Peloponnesian Wars with Sparta. Thucydides recorded Pericles’ famous Funeral Oration given at the service for the Athenian dead in which he said, in part, “Grief is felt not so much for the want of what we have never known as for the loss of that to which we have been long accustomed.” It was shortly after this speech that Athens itself would lose what it was accustomed to as the tide of the war turned against it. In 429 BCE the plague struck the city and Pericles was among the victims.
  Bereft of his leadership, the Athenians made mistake after mistake in their military decisions leading eventually to their defeat by the Spartans in 404 BCE, the destruction of their city’s walls, and their occupation and rule by Sparta. In his histories, Thucydides makes abundantly clear what a disaster Pericles’ death was for Athens in that those who came after him desired to be popular rather than effective, and in so doing doomed the city to ruin. With the death of Pericles, his 'age’ ended and Athens fell into an intellectual, cultural, and spiritual darkness which the Athenians would struggle with over the next 30 years. It culminated in the execution of Socrates in the year 399 BCE.