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Home > Catalog > |Greek Coins| > |Geographic - All Periods| > |Italy| > SH14736
Taras, Calabria, Italy, period of Roman alliance, 272 - c. 235 B.C.
Taras, the only Spartan colony, was founded in 706 B.C. by the Partheniae ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta). When they were forced to leave Greece, their leader, Phalanthos, consulted the oracle at Delphi and was told to make Taranto their home. They named the city Taras after the son of Poseidon and a local nymph, Satyrion. According to one legend, Phalanthos was rescued by a dolphin after a shipwreck near Delphi. Some descriptions of this and similar coin types identify the dolphin rider as Phalanthos. But Aristotle wrote that it was Taras, not Phalanthos, who was saved by a dolphin. On this coin the rider holds a trident, supporting Aristotle and suggesting he is the son of Poseidon. This symbol of the ancient Greek city is still the symbol of modern Taranto today.
SH14736. Silver nomos, Ravel 908, EF, rainbow toning, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, weight 6.253g, maximum diameter 19.2mm, die axis 135o, 272 - 235 B.C.; obverse naked boy riding and crowning horse right, crowned by Victory flying above, ΦI on right above foreleg, APIΣTO/KPATHΣ below; reverse Taras (or Phalanthos) seated left on dolphin, kantharos extended in right, trident in left, ithyphallic term behind, TAPAΣ below (off flan); scarce; SOLD

Catalog current as of Wednesday, September 18, 2019.
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