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   View Categories Home > Catalog > |Greek Coins| > |Geographic - All Periods| > |Italy| > SH27015
Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 380 - 370 B.C.
|Italy|, |Taras,| |Calabria,| |Italy,| |c.| |380| |-| |370| |B.C.|, Taras, the only Spartan colony, was founded in 706 B.C. The founders were Partheniae ("sons of virgins"), sons of unmarried Spartan women and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta). These out-of-wedlock unions were permitted to increase the prospective number of soldiers (only the citizens could be soldiers) during the bloody Messenian wars. Later, however, when they were no longer needed, their citizenship was retroactively nu|llified and the sons were obliged to leave Greece forever. Their leader, Phalanthus, consulted the oracle at Delphi and was told to make the harbor of Taranto their home. They named the city Taras after the son of Poseidon, and of a local nymph, Satyrion. The reverse depicts Taras being saved from a shipwreck by a dolphin sent to him by Poseidon. This symbol of the ancient Greek city is still the symbol of modern Taranto today.
SH27015. Silver nomos, BMC Italy p. 195, 261; SNG Cop 813 var. (control-marks), VF, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, weight 7.798g, maximum diameter 22.2mm, die axis 90o, c. 380 - 370 B.C; obverse naked horseman dismounting from horse galloping to left, shield in left, Π below; reverse TAPAΣ, Taras astride dolphin left, holding small dolphin in extended right hand, P / TAPAΣ below; scarce earlier issue; SOLD











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