Silver Tetradrachm, Ancient Greece - Athens, c. 454-404 BC.
Obv: Bust of Athena, right.
Rev: Owl with head facing, olive branch to left.
22 mm, 16.96 gm (Sear-G 2526)
In Greek mythology, a Little Owl (Athene noctua) traditionally represents or accompanies Athena, the virgin goddess of wisdom, or Minerva, her syncretic incarnation in Roman mythology. Because of such association, the bird — often referred to as the "owl of Athena" or the "owl of Minerva" — has been used as a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, perspicacity and erudition throughout the Western world.