Sparta’s considerable military accomplishments were the cornerstone of its reputation in the ancient world: not just for its victories but for the fortitude and discipline of hoplites who in at least one case became legendary for battling to the last man at the “hot gates” of Thermopylae. Its soldiers were not invincible or superhuman, but their accomplishments were real, and the savvy approach to public relations of their leadership was even more impressive. Even when Sparta’s military and political power faded, they contrived to craft their state into a kind of living museum of their martial traditions during the time of the Roman Empire. This preserved their legacy down the centuries, as attested by the 2023 Proof Cook Islands Sparta 3 oz Silver Coin.
The 2023 Silver Proof Cook Islands Sparta Coin features detailed artwork of hoplites and other ancient Greek artistic motifs, accentuated by gilded decorations and offset beautifully against a mirror-like proof finish. It ships in an original mint capsule, along with a Certificate of Authenticity.
The obverse side features “The Return of Helen in a Quadriga,” a motif of Spartan exploits in the Trojan War. Above this, the late British monarch Elizabeth II appears in an insert, surrounded by the inscriptions “Elizabeth II,” “20 Dollars,” “Cook Islands” and “2023.”
The coin’s reverse side shows a group of Spartan hoplites — their leader bearing gilded decorations on helm and shield — alongside a modernized portrait of Helen of Troy, with decorative motifs in the background. The design is accompanied by the inscription “Sparta.”
Sparta was more than just a prominent military power in its heyday. It also enjoyed a legendary reputation for its intricate oligarchic constitution, its educational system focused on producing disciplined hoplite, and a mythic past that few other city-states could match. The city-state could trace its heritage back to a hero descended from Zeus and laid claim to a particularly prominent position in the Trojan War: Helen “of Troy” was originally Helen of Sparta, and it was Sparta that laid claim to the singular feat of rescuing her from Troy and returning her to her homeland. This legendary past, combined with its accomplishments in the classical era, made for a formidable reputation that has survived down the centuries into the present day.
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|Mint Mark||Not Shown|
|Certificate of Authenticity||Yes|
|Metal Content||3 Troy Ounces|
|Shipping||Orders over $199 Ship Free|