American University of Beirut

The Phoenician hero Cadmus

In Greek mythology, when the Phoenician princess Europa was abducted by Zeus the king of Gods, her father Agenor, the Phoenician king of Sidon, ordered her brothers to search for her and to return only when they found her.

Cadmus, the youngest, accompanied by his mother Telephassa, searched for Europa to no avail. They settled in Thrace where Telephassa died of grief at the loss of her daughter. Cadmus went on a pilgrimage to the oracle of Delphi to ask for his sister but the latter advised him to give up the search for Europa and to found a new city “Boeotian Thebes".

At the AUB Museum, Europa's brother, the Phoenician hero Cadmus (Inv.# C1127, AD 116 – 117), is featured on a bronze coin from Sidon, stepping onto a ship to begin his travels.

He is wearing a cloak fastened around his neck, moving towards the prow and pointing forward with his extended right hand, but looking back, and holding a cloak with his left hand.

On the left field:

On the right field:

The head of Trajan with laureate is depicted on the obverse.
On the left field: AYTONEP
On the right field: TPAIAN....

Follow us to discover more artifacts from the AUB Archaeological Museum!

Cadmus on his ship (reverse)                          Head of Trajan (obverse)      ​

Inv. # C1127
AD 116 – 117
Diameter: 2.3 cms.
Weight: 8.57gms.


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