This dazzling representation of the sun god Helios crowned with sunbeams dates from the Hellenistic period. This is how we refer to the period which begins with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and ends with the Roman conquest of Greece and Macedonia in 146 BC.
The unification of Greece under the Macedonian kings and the conquests of Alexander profoundly marked Greek thought and civilization, whose centre was displaced towards the Orient. The late 4th century saw the spread of Hellenism throughout the Mediterranean basin and the assimilation, by Greek art and culture, of powerful currents from Egypt and Asia.
The enrichment of a new middle class permitted an intensive artistic production. This finely-chased gold jewel shows the radiant face of Helios. The usual representations of this Titan, god of Light, show him standing in his chariot, conducting his spirited team and hurtling through the sky in his perpetual course.