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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Italy||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Greek Coins of Italy (Magna Graecia)
Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 330 - 290 B.C.

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |330| |-| |290| |B.C.|, |nomos|
Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshiped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
SH95240. Silver nomos, Johnston C6; BMC Italy p. 252, 108; SNG ANS 489; SNG Munchen 977; SNG Lockett 421; SNG Fitzwilliam 509; SNG Oxford 760; HN Italy 1589, VF, attractive style, struck with high relief dies, light toning, tight flan, weight 7.524 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 270o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 330 - 290 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter left, wreathed in grain; reverse barley ear with seven rows of grains, leaf on left, griffin springing right above leaf, ΛY below leaf, META on right; ex Forum (2013); $800.00 SALE |PRICE| $720.00


Luceria, Apulia, Italy, c. 211 - 200 B.C.

|Italy|, |Luceria,| |Apulia,| |Italy,| |c.| |211| |-| |200| |B.C.|, |uncia|
In 321 B.C., the Romans, deceived into thinking Lucera was under siege by the Samnites, walked into an ambush and were defeated. The town threw out the Samnites, sought Roman protection, and in 320 B.C. was granted the status of Colonia Togata, which meant it was ruled by the Roman Senate. To strengthen ties, 2,500 Romans moved to Lucera. Roman culture merged with the native one slowly, probably accompanied by cross-cultural marriages, but Lucera was a steadfast supporter of Rome. By the 2nd century B.C., the rustic town was transformed into a proper Roman city with houses, public buildings, paved roads, sidewalks and services for travelers, accommodation for livestock with running water, and warehouses for storing goods.
GB86125. Bronze uncia, SNG ANS 709; SNG Cop 663; SNG BnF 1368; SNG Munchen 504; HN Italy 682; BMC Italy p. 141, 62; Hunterian -, VF, rough, weight 4.084 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Luceria mint, c. 211 - 200 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, bow and quiver at shoulder, pellet behind; reverse LOVC-ERI, toad seen from above; very rare; $380.00 SALE |PRICE| $342.00


Brettian League, Bruttium, Italy, c. 214 - 211 B.C.

|Italy|, |Brettian| |League,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |214| |-| |211| |B.C.|, |sextans|
All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied with Hannibal. The Brettii joined Hannibal after his victory at Cannae. Hannibal's last base in Italy was Castra Hannibalis, in Bruttium. The ravages of war inflicted a severe blow to the prosperity of Bruttium. Roman punishment for their rebellion completed their humiliation. They lost most of their territory and the whole nation reduced to a state bordering on servitude. They were not admitted like the other nations of Italy to rank as allies but were pronounced incapable of military service, and were only employed by Rome for menial work.
GI95364. Bronze sextans, Scheu Bronze 11; SNG ANS 43; SNG Cop 1652; BMC Italy p. 326, 62 corr.; HN Italy 1975; HGC I 1361 (R1), gVF, smooth olive brown patina, well centered, light marks, minor flan flaws, weight 16.641 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, c. 214 - 211 B.C.; obverse head of Ares left, wearing crested helmet decorated with griffin leaping left, harpa below; reverse Nike sanding left, crowning trophy of captured arms with right hand, palm frond in left hand, KB monogram left, anchor with flukes up in center, BPETTIΩN downward on right; ex Pegasi Numismatics; $330.00 SALE |PRICE| $297.00


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 440 - 430 B.C.

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |440| |-| |430| |B.C.|, |obol|
Metapontum was one of the cities where the doctrines and sect of Pythagoras obtained the firmest footing. Even when the Pythagoreans were expelled from Crotona, they maintained themselves at Metapontum, where the philosopher himself retired, and where he ended his days. The Metapontines paid the greatest respect to his memory; they consecrated the house in which he had lived as a temple to Ceres, and gave to the street in which it was situated the name of the Museum. His tomb was still shown there in the days of Cicero.
GS91978. Silver obol, Noe-Johnston 2, pl. 44, 346.3; SNG Ash 680; SNG Stockholm 192; HN Italy 1500 var. (horns downward); HGC I 1087 (R2) var. (same); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, flow lines, slightly off center, tiny edge splits, weight 0.435 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 0o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 440 - 430 B.C.; obverse ear of barley in border of large dots; reverse ox head facing with horns pointed upward; ex FORVM (2009); very rare; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00


Kroton, Bruttium, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

|Italy|, |Kroton,| |Bruttium,| |c.| |350| |-| |300| |B.C.|, |AE| |19|
 
SL86538. Bronze AE 19, Attianese 504; BMC Italy p. 356, 114; cf. HN Italy 2225 (2.7g); Weber 1047 (same); Mnchen 1478 (head left, 3.3g); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, NGC F, strike 4/5, surface 3/5 (2490384-011), weight 5.058 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 270o, Kroton (Crotone, Calbria, Italy) mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse crab seen from above, KPΩ below, within a shallow round incuse; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; NGC| Lookup; very rare; $225.00 SALE |PRICE| $203.00


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 350 - 326 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |350| |-| |326| |B.C.|, |quarter| |or| |half| |unit|
This is either an underweight early half unit or an overweight quarter unit. The usual half unit has a star on the man-faced bull's shoulder, but a few heavy specimens suggest an early series of half-units was struck without the star. Perhaps the star was introduced after they discovered it could difficult to differentiate between the denominations. Click to see a larger image.
GI89069. Bronze quarter or half unit, cf. Potamikon 195 (half unit) or Potamikon 196 ff. (quarter unit), aF, heavy flan, green and red mottled patina, reverse die wear and break at 10:00, tiny edge cracks, weight 4.283 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 225o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 350 - 326 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, laurel leaves in triple clusters; reverse NEOΠOΛITEΩN (or similar, clockwise starting behind), forepart of river-god Acheloios Sebethos as a man-faced bull right, head in profile, linear border, no star on shoulder; very rare; $220.00 SALE |PRICE| $198.00


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 275 - 250 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |275| |-| |250| |B.C.|, |didrachm|NEW
Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became an important hub of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society. Naples remained influential under Rome and more so after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861.
SL94272. Silver didrachm, SNG ANS 1, 382; SNG BnF 6.1, 762-765; SNG Lockett 87; SNG Cop 441; HN Italy 586, NGC VF, strike 4/5, surface 1/5 (5770028-012), weight 6.995 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the siren Parthenope left, wearing triple-pendant earring and pearl necklace, TAP behind neck, EYΞ below neck truncation; reverse river-god Acheloios as a man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, crowned with wreath by Nike flying right above, EΠI below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $195.00 SALE |PRICE| $175.00


Capua, Campania, Italy, c. 216 - 214 B.C.

|Italy|, |Capua,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |216| |-| |214| |B.C.|, |biunx|NEW
The name of Capua comes from the Etruscan Capeva. The meaning is 'City of Marshes.' Its foundation is attributed by Cato the Elder to the Etruscans, and the date given as about 260 years before it was "taken" by Rome. If this is true it refers not to its capture in the Second Punic War (211 B.C.) but to its submission to Rome in 338 B.C., placing the date of foundation at about 600 B.C., while Etruscan power was at its highest. In the area several settlements of the Villanovian civilization were present in prehistoric times, and these were probably enlarged by the Oscans and subsequently by the Etruscans.
GI93427. Bronze biunx, HN Italy 488; SNG Cop 334; SNG ANS 206; BMC Italy p.????, 9; Weber 293; Sambon 1032, aF, scrapes, porosity/corrosion, weight 14.592 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 225o, Capua (Santa Maria Capua Vetere, Italy) mint, c. 216 - 214 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Jupiter right, three pellets behind; reverse Diana driving a biga right, two stars above, Oscan inscription KAPU in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $145.00 SALE |PRICE| $130.00


Thourioi, Lucania, Italy, 350 - 300 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

|Italy|, |Thourioi,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |350| |-| |300| |B.C.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit|, |stater|
The possible plating breaks are so darkly toned black within that we cannot detect any copper color. So, why do we think this coin is a plated counterfeit? It is about a full gram under normal weight. Another indicator is behind Athena's head. Fourree were often made by wrapping a bronze blank in two pieces of thin silver foil. A piece of foil was applied on each side and folded tightly around the edge. Striking would fuse the foil to the core. Behind Athena's head you can see an irregular darker line roughly following the edge. We believe this was the edge of the foil applied to the reverse and folded over on the obverse.
GS93383. Fouree silver plated stater, cf. HN Italy 1813; SNG ANS 1056; BMC Italy, p. 293, 63; HGC I - (official, solid silver, Thourioi mint), VF, toned, underweight, obverse off center, scratches and bumps, possible plating breaks, weight 6.581 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, unofficial mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with Skylla; reverse ΘOYPIΩN, bull butting right, tail raised above, head turned facing, I above, dotted exergue line, tunny right below; from the Errett Bishop Collection (purchased by Dr. Bishop as official, but we strongly suspect it is plated); $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 250 - 225 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |250| |-| |225| |B.C.|, |AE| |16|
Naples is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the area in the second millennium B.C. The city was refounded as Neapolis in the sixth century B.C. and became a lynchpin of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society and becoming a cultural center of the Roman Republic. During the Samnite Wars, the city, now a bustling center of trade, was captured by the Samnites; however, the Romans soon took the city and made it a Roman colony. During the Punic Wars, when this coin was struck, the strong walls surrounding Neapolis repelled the forces of the Carthaginian general Hannibal.
GB92739. Bronze AE 16, Sambon 761; HN Italy 593; cf. SNG ANS 538 ff. (initials); SNG Cop 555 ff. (same); BMC Italy p. 117, 249 (same); HGC 1 479 (R1, same), aF, some corrosion, weight 3.609 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 250 - 225 B.C.; obverse head (a Dioskuros?) right, star with eight rays behind; reverse rider (Kastor?) on horse galloping right, wearing pileus, chlamys flying behind, XAI (magistrate initials or control) below, NEAΠOΛIT in exergue; very rare; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00




  



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REFERENCES|

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Jameson, R. Collection R. Jameson. Monnaies grecques antiques. (Paris, 1913-1932).
Johnston, A. "The Bronze Coinage of Metapontum" in Kraay-Mrkholm Essays, pp. 121-136.
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