Apollo’s laurel tree

The image of Apollo was quite common on Roman coins, on which he was represented as he is here (a bust in profile). We recognise his long, curly hair and fine-featured face, and he also wears a crown of leaves which we can assume to be laurel, since the laurel tree was dedicated to him. This evokes one of Apollo’s misadventures: one day he saw and fell in love with the nymph Daphne, daughter of the river god Peneus, but she did not return his affection and fled to the mountains. When the god pursued her, she begged her father to transform her - and this is how she became a laurel tree. The laurel also symbolized the Delphic oracle (the Pythia chewed laurel leaves during her prophetic trances).