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Denomination: Silver Stater Date: 370 -- 330 BC
Description: Pamphylia, Aspendos AR Stater. c370-330 BC. Obverse: Two wrestlers grappling, DA between Reverse: ESTFEDIIUS, slinger standing right, triskeles in right field.
Aspendos (Greek Άσπενδος) was an ancient Greco-Roman city in Antalya province of Turkey. Aspendos was one of the earliest cities to mint coins. It began issuing coinage around 500 BC, first staters and later drachmas. The city's numismatic history extends from archaic Greek to late Roman times. The Olympic games originated with the ancient Greeks, who were as fond of athletic competition as they were of war, religion, poetry, wine and music.
A vivid scene of athletics appears on this silver coin. It depicts two nude wrestlers grasping each other by the forearms, preparing to face off for a match. This event is still practiced in the modern Olympic Games as "Greco-Roman Wrestling." Wrestling was only one of many athletic competitions held at the ancient Olympics. Particularly significant to the people of Aspendus, a city near the southern coast of modern Turkey, was the sling, which served as a measure of athletic skill, and also had practical applications in hunting and in war. The back of this coin depicts a slinger preparing to discharge a sling bullet.