Of the many traditions we have inherited from the ancient Greeks, the use of coins should rank as one of the most important. From its first ... Show synopsis Of the many traditions we have inherited from the ancient Greeks, the use of coins should rank as one of the most important. From its first appearance in the region of Lydia (western Turkey) in the late-17th century BC, coinage gradually spread throughout the Greek world, and the history of the ancient Greeks is reflected in its evolution. Designs on Greek coins include the badges of city-states, portraits of rulers, images of Greek gods, scenes from myths and objects of daily life, and are often works of art in themselves. The dies, carved by craftsmen, sometimes bear the name or initials of the mint official responsible for their issue, and the coins might have circulated in trade, been used as gifts or dedications, or hoarded as valuables. This text is an accessible introduction to the evolution of the first coinage, from the 7th to the 1st century BC. The book shows how Greek coins can throw light on an ancient world of wide geographical boundaries and great cultural diversity. It also considers the lasting impact of Greek coins on later civilizations. The illustrations present the full range of the die-carver's achievement, revealing many Greek coins to be miniature masterpieces of sculpture.