Taras riding dolphin, 3rd c. BC silver stater
Respected and loved today, this intelligent marine mammal had a venerable treatment in the Hellenic antiquity as well - as reflected in artifacts, mythology, and finally - coinage. In some sense, Aesop's well-known fable where the duplicitous monkey is juxtaposed to the honest, yet not gullible dolphin, summarizes ancient views of this noble sea animal. Tales of dophins' rescues of humans in distress abound, and some of them - like that of the poet-singer Arion, and particularly the one of Taras, the founder of Tarentum in Sicily - have found artistically impressive expression on coinage. Other times, dolphins appear in less obvious contexts (like the impressive "eagle attacking dolphin" composition of two Black Sea cities), as attributes of Poseidon, or perhaps just as an apparent symbol of grace in the marine world.
Search for coins depicting humans riding dolphins.