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

Ancient Greek Coins of Italy (Magna Graecia)
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| $300.00
 


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); München 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|
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
 


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
 


Art and Coinage of Magna Graecia, R. Ross Holloway, 1978

|Greek| |Books|, |Art| |and| |Coinage| |of| |Magna| |Graecia,| |R.| |Ross| |Holloway,| |1978|,
Superb coins of the south Italian Greek cities from the fifth and forth centuries B. C. presented as artistic documents. In comparison with the major trends of Greek arts of the period, parallels are illustrated from sculpture, vase painting, tomb painting and decorative bronze reliefs.
BK20313. Art and Coinage of Magna Graecia, 1978 by R. Ross Holloway, hardcover, dust cover wear, 173 pages, beautifully illustrated, new, some shelf-wear, international shipping at the actual cost of postage; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00
 


Brettii, Bruttium, Italy, c. 208 - 203 B.C., Time of Hannibal

|Italy|, |Brettii,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |208| |-| |203| |B.C.,| |Time| |of| |Hannibal|, |reduced| |uncia|
All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied themselves with Hannibal.
GB88317. Bronze reduced uncia, Scheu Bronze p. 60, 101; HN Italy 2008; SNG Munchen 1292 var. (thunderbolt over crab); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, aVF, green patina, earthen deposits, weight 6.151 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 180o, Brettii mint, c. 208 - 203 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right, no control symbol; reverse BPET−TIΩN (clockwise from upper right), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, crab (control symbol) left, bucranium (control symbol) lower left; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
 


Petelia, Bruttium, Italy, c. 216 - 204 B.C., Time of Hannibal

|Italy|, |Petelia,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |216| |-| |204| |B.C.,| |Time| |of| |Hannibal|, |AE| |21|
"In 216, when most of South Italy joined Hannibal after Cannae, Petelia remained faithful to Rome and sought the dispatch of a Roman garrison. The Senate, however, felt it self unable to lend aid to so distant and ally; the town was besieged and after eleven months fell to the Carthaginians, who handed it over to the Bretti. After the defeat of Hannibal a substantial contingent of refugees who had escaped to Rome were restored to Petelia in recognition of their loyalty to Rome." -- N.K. Rutter, Historia Numorum Italy
GB88309. Bronze AE 21, BMC Italy p. 372, 8 (also Λ); HN Italy 2454; SNG ANS 602 var. (control); SNG Cop 1908 var. (same); SNG Munchen 1551 - 1552 var. (same), F, uneven strike with weak areas, olive green and red patina, areas of corrosion, weight 7.431 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 90o, Petelia mint, under Hannibal, c. 216 - 204 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing veil and wreath of barley; reverse ΠETHΛINΩN (clockwise on left), Zeus in fighting stance left, head right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, transverse long scepter in left hand, star with five rays around a central pellet left, Λ (control letter) lower right; ex Rudnik Numismatics; scarce; $70.00 SALE |PRICE| $63.00
 




  



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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-Mørkholm Essays, pp. 121-136.
Johnston, A. The Coinage of Metapontum, Part 3. ANSNNM 164. (1990).
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Naville Co. Monnaies grecques antiques S. Pozzi. Auction 1 (4 April 1921, Geneva).
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Noe, S. The Thurian Distaters. ANSNNM 71. (New York, 1935).
Ravel, O., Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Tarentine Coins formed by M.P. Vlasto. (London, 1947).
Rutter, N., ed. Historia Numorum. Italy. (London, 2001).
Poole, R., ed. A Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum: Italy. (London, 1873).
Sambon, A. Les monnaies antiques de l'Italie. (Paris, 1903).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1, Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 1: Italy - Sicily. (New Jersey, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 1: Hispania-Sikelia. (Berlin, 1981).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain II, Lloyd Collection. (London. 1933-1937).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection, Part 1: Spain - Italy (gold and silver). (London, 1938).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain V, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. (London. 1951 - 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 1: Spain (Emporiae, Rhoda)-Italy. (London, 1940).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain X, John Morcom Collection. (Oxford, 1995).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 1: Etruria - Calabria. (New York, 1969).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 2: Lucania. (New York, 1972).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 3: Bruttium - Sicily 1 (Abacaenum-Eryx). (New York, 1975).
Taliercio Mensitieri, M. "Simboli, lettere, sigle sul bronzo di Neapolis" in Studi Breglia.
van Keuren, F. The Coinage of Heraclea Lucaniae. (Rome, 1994).
Williams, R. Silver Coinage of Velia. (London, 1992).

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