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Tanit was a Phoenician lunar goddess, worshiped as the patron goddess at Carthage.
Carthage, Zeugitana, NorthAfrica, 300 - 264 B.C.
In 278 B.C., envoys from the Sicilian cities of Agrigentum, Syracuse, and Leontini asked Pyrrhus for military aid to remove the Carthaginian dominance over that island. With an army of 20,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, 20 War Elephants, and some 200 ships, Pyrrhus defeated the Carthaginian forces and captured the city-fortress of Eryx. Carthage sued for peace, but Pyrrhus demanded Carthage renounce its claims on Sicily entirely. Pyrrhus set his sights on conquering Carthage itself, and began outfitting an expedition. However, his ruthless treatment of the Sicilian cities and his execution of two Sicilian rulers led to such animosity that he was forced out of Sicily and abandoned his plan. GB87736. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 149, Alexandropoulos 57, MŁller Afrique 268, aVF, dark patina, a little off center, pre-strike flan casting sprue, weight 5.096 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sardinian mint, 300 - 264 B.C.; obversehead of Tanit left wearing wreath of grain and plain necklace, dotted border; reverse horse's head right; $90.00 (Ä76.50)
Carthage, Zeugitana, NorthAfrica, c. 400 - 350 B.C.
By 400 B.C., Carthage was obsessed with taking Sicily. Over the next sixty years, Carthaginian and Greek forces engaged in a constant series of skirmishes. In 398, Dionysius took the Carthaginian stronghold of Motya. Milch responded by retaking Motya and capturing Messina. Himilco then laid siege to Syracuse itself. He was close to success in 397, but in 396 a plague ravaged the Carthaginian forces and they collapsed. The fighting swung in favor of Carthage in 387. After winning a naval battle off Catania, Himilco laid siege to Syracuse with 50,000 Carthaginians, but yet another epidemic struck down thousands of them. Dionysius' surprise counterattack destroyed all the Carthaginian ships while most of the men were ashore. At the same time, his ground forces stormed the besiegers' lines. Himilco and his chief officers abandoned their army and fled to Carthage in disgrace. He was very badly received and later committed suicide by starving himself. By 340 B.C., Carthage had been pushed entirely into the southwest corner of the island. GB87739. Bronze AE 16, Alexandropoulos 18, SNG Cop 109 ff., MŁller Afrique 163, SGCV II 6444, VF, toned bare bronze, nice detail, a little rough, weight 2.517 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 180o, Sicilian(?) mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obversehead of Tanit left, wearing barley wreath, triple-pendant earring, and necklace with many pendants; reverse unbridled horse right, date palm tree in center background, three pellets forming a triangle right; $90.00 (Ä76.50)
Carthage, Zeugitana, NorthAfrica, c. 310 - 290 B.C.
In 311 B.C., Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse, invaded the Carthaginian holdings on Sicily and laid siege to Akragas. Hamilcar led the Carthaginian response, and by 310 controlled almost all of Sicily and laid siege to Syracuse itself. In desperation, Agathocles secretly led an expedition of 14,000 men to Africa, hoping to save his rule by leading a counterstrike against Carthage itself. Carthage was forced to recall Hamilcar and most of his army from Sicily. Agathocles was eventually defeated in 307 B.C., but he escaped back to Sicily and negotiated a peace which maintained Syracuse as a stronghold of Greek power in Sicily.
Jenkins and Lewis report that Group V is 55% - 60% gold.SH57451. Electrumstater, Jenkins and Lewis group V, 266 (same dies), Alexandropoulos 12, SNG Cop 136, gVF, marks, weight 7.532 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, Carthage or Sicilian mint, obversehead of Tanit left, wreathed in grain, wearing necklace and triple-drop earring, pellet before neck; reverse horse standing right on exergual line, nearer legs back, two pellets below; nicely centered and struck, marks in the fields; SOLD