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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
 


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

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |275| |-| |250| |B.C.|, |nomos|
In angst at not seducing Ulysses with her voice, the siren Parthenope, threw herself into the sea and died. Her body washed up on the shore near Neapolis. There she was not envisioned as one of the insidious monsters of Homer, but rather like a dead hero, she was enshrined and deified and her name was given to an early settlement on the site. Neapolis held funerary torch-races to commemorate Parthenope and her nearby tomb and sanctuary were among the local places of interest. The river god Achelous was her father.
SH95243. Silver nomos, SNG Cop 440; SNG ANS 381; BMC Italy 100, 63; Sambon 483; HN Italy 586; SNG Cop -, Choice VF, fine style, toned, well centered on a tight flan, porous, light marks, weight 7.114 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse head of siren Parthenope left, wearing taenia, triple-pendant earring, and necklace, EY behind neck; reverse the river-god Achelous in the form of a man-faced bull, walking left, head turned facing, Nike flying left above, placing wreath on river-god's head, ΛOY below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ in exergue; ex Forum (2018); $700.00 SALE |PRICE| $630.00
 


Terina, Bruttium, Italy, c. 440 - 400 B.C.

|Italy|, |Terina,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |440| |-| |400| |B.C.|, |stater|
Terina was on a hill top called Piano di Tirenathe on the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Euphemia, about 20 km (12 mi) from Lamezia Terme in Calabria. The hill is surrounded by two rivers merging, Savuto and Grande, perfectly matching a description by the Greek historian Strabo in his major work Geographica, first published around 20 A.D. The site of the city was found in 1922 near the modern village of Sant'Eufemia Vetere. A systematic archaeological investigation began in 1997. Coins, inscriptions and other artifacts retrieved from the site can be seen in the Museo Archeologico Lametino in Lamezia Terme.
SL51931. Silver stater, HN Italy 2610, SNG ANS 870, HGC 1 1745, NGC VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (5768432-006), weight 7.567 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, Terina mint, c. 440 - 400 B.C.; obverse TEPINAIΩN, head of Nymph Terina right, wearing ampyx and necklace; reverse TEPIN, winged Nike seated left on kippos, bird tipped scepter in right hand, left hand at side resting on kippos, Π lower right; rare; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
 


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
 


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 494 - 480 B.C.

|Italy|, |Rhegion,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |494| |-| |480| |B.C.|, |drachm|
Rhegion reached great artistic and cultural heights. It was home to academies, such as the Pythagorean School, and to poets, historians and sculptors such as Ibycus, Ippy, and Pythagoras. It was an important ally of the Roman Republic. Rhegium flourished during the Imperial Age but was devastated by several major earthquakes and tsunami. St. Paul passed through Rhegium on his final voyage to Rome.
SL91514. Silver drachm, HN Italy p. 190, 2469; SNG ANS 621; SNG Munchen 1565; SNG Cop 1923; BMC Italy p. 373, 1; HGC 1 1630 (R2), NGC VF, strike 4/5, surface 2/5 (2416171-008), weight 5.280 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 270o, Rhegium mint, c. 494 - 480 B.C.; obverse lion's scalp facing; reverse RE-CI-N-O-N (retrograde from 5:00), calf head left; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection, NGC| Lookup; very rare; $360.00 SALE |PRICE| $324.00
 


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, Italy, c. 300 - 250 B.C.

|Italy|, |Kroton,| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |c.| |300| |-| |250| |B.C.|, |AE| |18|
In 295 B.C., Kroton fell to the Syracusan tyrant Agathocles. When Pyrrhus invaded Italy in 280 B.C., it was still a considerable city, with twelve miles (19 km) of walls, but after the Pyrrhic War, half the town was deserted (Livy 24.3). What was left of its population submitted to Rome in 277 B.C. After the Battle of Cannae in the Second Punic War, Hannibal made it his winter quarters for three years and the city was not recaptured until 205 or 204 B.C. In 194 B.C., it became the site of a Roman colony. Little more is heard of it during the Republican and Imperial periods.
GB92021. Bronze AE 18, SNG ANS 444; SNG Munich 1480; HN Italy 2234; BMC Italy p. 356, 117; Lindgren 339, aVF, green patina, porous, very nice for this rare type, weight 3.836 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, Kroton mint, c. 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse head of Persephone right, wreathed in grain; reverse three narrow crescents with horns outward, K-P-O around clockwise, one letter within each crescent; ex CNG e-auctions 233 (26 May 2010), lot 106 (est. $250, realized $270 plus fees); rare; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00
 


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

|Italy|, |Osco-Latin,| |Central| |Italy,| |Late| |4th| |-| |Early| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.|, |Aes| |Formatum|
 
SH95336. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2e; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -, VF; cast from a bipod shell, weight 19.367 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, uncertain Osco-Latin mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00 ON RESERVE


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |300| |-| |275| |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.
GS94271. Silver didrachm, BMC Italy p. 100, 67; Sambon 476; SNG ANS 367; HN Italy 579; SNG Lockett -, aVF, nice rose toning, weight 6.801 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 90o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph right, wears earring and necklace, X behind; reverse man-faced bull right, head turned facing, crowned by Nike flying right above, Θ below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ exergue; $230.00 SALE |PRICE| $207.00
 




  



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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).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Naville Co. Monnaies grecques antiques S. Pozzi. Auction 1 (4 April 1921, Geneva).
Noe, S. The coinage of Metapontum, Parts 1 and 2. ANSNNM 32 and 47. (1927 and 1931).
Noe, S. The Thurian Distaters. ANSNNM 71. (New York, 1935).
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Sambon, A. Les monnaies antiques de l'Italie. (Paris, 1903).
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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).
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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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