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Ancient Greek Coins of Italy (Magna Graecia)
Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 385 - 380 B.C.

|Italy|, |Taras,| |Calabria,| |Italy,| |c.| |385| |-| |380| |B.C.|, |nomos|
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 nul|lified 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.
GS95128. Silver nomos, Fischer-Bossert 930, SNG ANS 1012, Vlasto 634, aEF, centered on a tight flan, die wear/damage, weight 7.805 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 385 - 380 B.C.; obverse horseman right, nude, circular shield on left arm, two couched spears in left hand, a third spear in his raised right hand, E-Π-A clockwise above, API below horse's belly; reverse Taras astride a dolphin left, kantharos in right, oar behind in left hand, KA upper left, TAPAΣ curving downward on right; from the CEB Collection; $600.00 SALE |PRICE| $540.00
 


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. 320 - 300 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |320| |-| |300| |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.
MA95428. Silver didrachm, cf. HGC 1 451 (R1), HN Italy 571, gF, a little off center, some corrosion, weight 7.152 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 320 - 300 B.C.; obverse diademed head siren Parthenope right, wearing necklace and triple-pendant earring; reverse river-god Achelous in the form of a man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, being crowned by Nike flying right above, monogram(?) below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; rare; $114.74 (€105.56)


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 ON RESERVE


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
 


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
 


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
 


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
 


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
 




  






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).
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).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale, Vol. 6, Part 1: Italy (Etruria-Calabria). (Paris, 2003).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain II, Lloyd Collection. (London. 1933-1937).
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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).
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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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