Currency of Greece 50 Greek Drachmas banknote 1978 Poseidon
Bank of Greece - Τράπεζα της Ελλάδος
Obverse: Head of Poseidon to right, wearing wreath of sea plant on his flowing locks (Head of Poseidon taken from an Ancient Greek coins - maybe from Tetradrachm of Kingdom of Macedonia). On the bottom right, Argus (son of Arestor) builds the ship Argo in which Jason and the Argonauts will sail to Colchis to steal the Golden Fleece: Athena (on the left) adjusts the sail; Tiphys (centre) holds the yard; Argos (on the right) sits across the stern.
Signatures: Evangelos Devletoglou or Georgios Drakos (Members of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Greece) at left and Xenophon Zolotas (Governor of the Bank of Greece from 27 November 1974 to 29 October 1981) at right.
Reverse: The detail of the famous oil painting of Laskarina Bouboulina, heroine of the Greek War of Independence by the German master Peter Von Hess, showing Bouboulina commanding the bombardment of the fortress of Palamidi at Nafplion. Bouboulina sailed with eight ships to Nafplio and began a naval blockade. During the Greek War of Independence, Nafplio was a major Ottoman stronghold and was besieged for more than a year. The town finally surrendered on account of forced starvation. After its capture, because of its strong fortifications, it became the seat of the provisional government of Greece.
Watermark: Head of Charioteer of Delphi (Heniokhos), commissioned by tyrant Polyzalus, Delphi Archaeological Museum.
(The Charioteer, also known as Heniokhos (the rein-holder), is one of the best-known statues surviving from Ancient Greece, and is considered one of the finest examples of ancient bronze statues. The life-size statue of a chariot driver was found in 1896 at the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi, and it is now in the Delphi Archaeological Museum.)
Dimensions: 144 x 64 mm.
Design: I. Stinis, V. Sabatakos, P. Sotiriou and N. Nikolaou.
Engraving: L. Orphanos, G. Angelopoulos, I. Pipinis and E. Perraki.
Printer: Idryma Trapezis tis Ellados - The Banknote Printing Works of the Bank of Greece (IETA).
On January 1, 2002, the Greek drachma was officially replaced as the circulating currency by the euro. Following the introduction of euro banknotes and coins, drachma notes and coins ceased to be legal tender on 28 February 2002. Drachma banknotes exchanged for euro at the Bank of Greece until 1st March 2012. The exchange rate was fixed at 340.75 drachmas to 1 euro.
50 Greek Drachmas: equivalent in Euro - 0.1467 Euro
Poseidon, in Greek religion, god of the sea (and of water generally), earthquakes, and horses. He is distinguished from Pontus, the personification of the sea and the oldest Greek divinity of the waters. The name Poseidon means either “husband of the earth” or “lord of the earth.” Traditionally, he was a son of Cronus (the youngest of the 12 Titans) and of Cronus’s sister and consort Rhea, a fertility goddess. Poseidon was a brother of Zeus, the sky god and chief deity of ancient Greece, and of Hades, god of the underworld. When the three brothers deposed their father, the kingdom of the sea fell by lot to Poseidon. His weapon and main symbol was the trident, perhaps once a fish spear. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, Poseidon’s trident, like Zeus’s thunderbolt and Hades’ helmet, was fashioned by the three Cyclopes.
As the god of earthquakes, Poseidon was also connected to dry land, and many of his oldest places of worship in Greece were inland, though these were sometimes centred on pools and streams or otherwise associated with water. In this aspect, he was known as enosichthon and ennosigaios (“earth-shaker”) and was worshipped as asphalios (“stabilizer”). As the god of horses, Poseidon is thought likely to have been introduced to Greece by the earliest Hellenes, who also introduced the first horses to the country about the 2nd century BCE. Poseidon himself fathered many horses, best known of which was the winged horse Pegasus by the Gorgon Medusa.
Poseidon came into conflict with a variety of figures in land disputes. Notable among these was a contest for sovereignty over Attica, which he lost to the goddess Athena. Despite losing, Poseidon was also worshipped there, particularly at Colonus (as hippios, “of horses”).
Poseidon’s offspring were myriad. He was the father of Pelias and Neleus by Tyro, the daughter of Salmoneus, and thus became the divine ancestor of the royal families of Thessaly and Messenia. Many of his sons became rulers in other parts of the ancient Greek world. Otherwise he had many monstrous offspring, including giants and savage creatures, such as Orion, Antaeus, and Polyphemus. Progenitor of many, with several consorts, Poseidon also was married to the Oceanid Amphitrite, with whom he also had multiple offspring, including the sea creature Triton.
The chief festival in Poseidon’s honour was the Isthmia, the scene of famous athletic contests (including horse races), celebrated in alternate years near the Isthmus of Corinth. His character as a sea god eventually became his most prominent in art, and he was represented with the attributes of the trident, the dolphin, and the tuna. The Romans, ignoring his other aspects, identified him with Neptune as sea god.
Laskarina "Bouboulina" Pinotsis (Greek: Λασκαρίνα "Μπουμπουλίνα" Πινότση; 11 May 1771 – 22 May 1825) was a Greek naval commander, heroine of the Greek War of Independence in 1821, and allegedly first woman-admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy.
Bouboulina was born in a prison in Constantinople; she originated from the local native Arvanite population of the island of Hydra. She was the daughter of Stavrianos Pinotsis, a captain from Hydra island, and his wife Skevo. The Ottomans had imprisoned Pinotsis for his part in the failed Orlof Revolution of 1769–1770 against the Ottoman rule. During one of her mother's visits she was born. Her father died soon afterward and the mother and child returned to Hydra. They moved to the island of Spetses four years later when her mother married Dimitrios Lazarou-Orlof. Bouboulina had eight half-siblings.
She married twice, first Dimitrios Yiannouzas and later the wealthy shipowner and captain Dimitrios Bouboulis, taking his surname. Bouboulis was killed in battle against Algerian pirates in 1811. Then 40 years old, Bouboulina took over his fortune and his trading business and had four more ships built at her own expense, including the large warship Agamemnon.
In 1816, the Ottomans tried to confiscate Bouboulina's property because her second husband had fought for the Russians against the Turks in the last Turko-Russian war. She sailed to Constantinople to meet Russian ambassador Stroganov and seek his protection. In recognition of Bouboulis's service to the Russians, Strogonov sent her to safety in Crimea. She also met with the mother of Mahmud II, who afterward reportedly convinced her son to leave Bouboulina's property alone. After three months of exile in the Crimea, Bouboulina returned to Spetses.
Support of the independence movement
Allegedly Bouboulina joined the Filiki Etaireia, an underground organization that was preparing Greece for revolution against Ottoman rule. She would have been one of few women but she is not named in historical members lists. She bought arms and ammunition at her own expense and brought them secretly to Spetses in her ships, to fight "for the sake of my nation." Construction of the ship Agamemnon was finished in 1820. She bribed Turkish officials to ignore the ship's size and it was later one of the largest warships in the hands of Greek rebels. She also organized her own armed troops, composed of men from Spetses. She used most of her fortune to provide food and ammunition for the sailors and soldiers under her command.
On 13 March 1821 Bouboulina raised on the mast of Agamemnon her own Greek flag, based on the flag of the Comnenus dynasty of Byzantine emperors. The people of Spetses revolted on 3 April (O.S.) and later joined forces with ships from other Greek islands. Bouboulina sailed with eight ships to Nafplion and began a naval blockade. Later she took part in the naval blockade and capture of Monemvasia and Pylos. Her son Yiannis Yiannouzas died in May 1821, in battle at Argos against superior numbers of Ottoman troops.
She arrived at Tripolis in time to witness its fall on 11 September 1821 and to meet general Theodoros Kolokotronis. Their children Eleni Boubouli and Panos Kolokotronis later married. During the ensuing defeat of the Ottoman garrison, Bouboulina saved most of the female members of the sultan's household.
When the opposing factions erupted into civil war in 1824, the Greek government arrested Bouboulina for her family connection with Kolokotronis; her son-in-law was killed during the events. Eventually she was exiled back to Spetses. She had exhausted her fortune for the war of independence.
Death in feud
Laskarina Bouboulina was killed in 1825 as the result of a family feud in Spetses. The daughter of a Koutsis family and Bouboulina's son Georgios Yiannouzas had eloped. Seeking her, the girl's father Christodoulos Koutsis went to Bouboulina's house with armed members of his family. Infuriated, Bouboulina confronted them from the balcony. After her argument with Christodoulos Koutsis, someone shot at her. She was hit in the forehead and killed instantly; the killer was not identified.
After her death, Emperor Alexander I of Russia granted Bouboulina the honorary rank of Admiral of the Russian Navy, making her, until recently, the only woman in world naval history to hold this title. Her descendants sold the ship Agamemnon to the Greek state, which renamed it Spetsai. It was burned by Andreas Miaoulis along with the frigate Hellas and the corvette Hydra in the naval base of Poros, during the next Greek civil war in 1831.
On the island of Spetses the "Bouboulina Museum" is housed in the 300-year-old mansion of Bouboulina's second husband Bouboulis, where her descendants still live. Her statue stands in the harbor in Spetses. Various streets all over Greece and Cyprus are named in her honor, notably Bouboulina Street near the National Technical University of Athens (the Polytechnion) and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, in central Athens, and also in Piraeus and in Nicosia.
Bouboulina was depicted on the reverse of both the Greek 50 drachmae banknote of 1978 and the Greek 1 drachma coin of 1988-2001.
A Greek fiction film, Bouboulina, was made in 1959, directed and written by Kostas Andritsos and starring Irene Papas.
Ego I Laskarina, a play starring Greek actress Mimi Denisi [el], was produced in 1999.
A documentary film based in a fictionalized account of her life and deeds, The Brave Stepped Back: The Life and Times of Laskarina Bouboulina, was made about her in 2005, and shown at the Armata Festival in Spetses, Greece.