Akragas: Ancient Greek Temples between the Eagles' Sky

and the Crab's Sea -- an early Didrachm

Valley of Temples, Akragas, Sicily -- founded by Greeks from Rhodes, 580 BCE. Concordia Temple (left, top), 450 BCE, is one of the Greek World's three best preserved temples. The Temple of Hercules (right), 520 BCE, is the oldest of the valley. The temples, in modern Agrigento, face the sea and Porta Aurea. Positioned midway between the sky and sea, it is appropriate that this city's early coinage shows the eagle and crab which symbolize Zeus and Poseidon, respectively. [Anthony, Collecting Greek Coins, 1983, p.45]

Silver Didrachm, 490-483 BCE. Obverse: AKPA, eagle, right.

Reverse: crab, barley grain below. [SNG ANS 956]

Q: In addition to the Concordia, which are the other two best preserved Greek temples?

A: The Temple of Neptune in Paestum, and the Temple of Hephaistos in Athens. [Southern Italy, 1996, p.236] Ironically, two of the three best preserved Greek temples, the Concordia (above) and the Neptune, are in Italy.

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