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Locri Epizephyrii, Bruttium, Italy, 280 - 275 B.C., Time of Pyrrhus
Relations between Locri and Syracuse were close and in the late 5th century B.C. they were allied against Athenian aggression. In 282 B.C. the city received a Roman garrison for defense against the Bretti, but in 280 joined Pyrrhus and became his main South Italian mint. The Romans regained control in 275 and held it until 212 - 205 when Bruttium became the last stronghold of Hannibal and his Brettian allies.GI87398. Bronze AE 23, Lindgren II 359 (this coin), HN Italy 2386, SNG ANS 573, SNG Cop 1889, BMC Corinth -, VF, burgundy-brown patina, porous, weight 8.985 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 90o, Locri Epizephyrii mint, 280 - 275 B.C.; obversehead of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet, necklace and drop earring, barley ear behind; reverse ΛOKPΩN (below), Pegasus flying left, AΓ monogram below; this is the Lindgren plate coin, ex FORUM (2013); $220.00 (€187.00)
Syracuse, Sicily, Pyrrhus of Epirus, 278 - 276 B.C.
In 279 B.C., Pyrrhus' forces, supporting the Greek cities of southern Italy, met and defeated the Romans at the battle of Asculum in Apulia. Pyrrhus, however, lost many men, several close associates, and all of his baggage. When one of his soldiers congratulated him on his victory, he famously replied: "Another such victory and we are ruined!" From this we have the term Pyrrhic victory, a victory achieved at ruinous cost.GB82757. Bronze litra, Calciati II p. 325, 178; BMC Sicily p. 207, 505; SNG Cop 814, SNG ANS 850; HGC 2 1451 (R1), SNG München -, VF, brown and green patina, minor edge split, weight 9.262 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, 278 - 276 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles left, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress; reverse ΣYPA-KOΣIΩN (clockwise starting at 3:00), Athena Promachos advancing right, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, oval shield on left arm, owl in lower right field; rare; $180.00 (€153.00)
Epirote Republic, Epirus, Greece, c. 232 - 168 B.C.
In 233 B.C., the last surviving member of the Aeacid royal house, Deidamia, was murdered. The Epirote League, a federal republic, was established, though with diminished territory; Western Acarnania asserted its independence and the Aetolians seized Ambracia, Amphilochia, and lands north of the Ambracian Gulf. The Epirote capital was at Phoenice, the political center of the Chaonians. Epirus remained a substantial power but faced the growing threat of Rome. The League remained neutral in the first two Macedonian Wars but split in the Third; the Molossians siding with the Macedonians and the Chaonians and Thesprotians siding with Rome. The outcome was disastrous; Molossia fell to Rome in 167 B.C. and 150,000 of its inhabitants were enslaved. GS87514. Silver drachm, Franke291 (V150/R231); BMC Thessaly p. 90, 30 corr.; HGC 3 171; SNG Cop 115 var. (another monogram behind Zeus), F, well centered, light toning, bumps and scratches, edge splits, minor flan flaw behind head, weight 3.805 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 0o, c. 232 - 168 B.C.; obverseHead of Zeus Dodonaeus right wearing oak wreath, monogram below neck truncation; reverseeagle standing right on thunderbolt, head right, wings closed, AΠEI/ΠTAN divided in two upward lines starting on the left, all within an oak wreath, A at the top of the wreath, E on the knot at the bottom; $130.00 (€110.50)
The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.
In 67, Jewish leaders in Jerusalem were divided by a power struggle, a brutal civil war erupted, the Zealots and the Sicarii executed anyone who tried to leave the city. JD87704. Bronze prutah, Hendin 1360, Meshorer TJC 196, F, well centered, dark patina, scratches, weight 2.987 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverseamphora with broad rim and two handles, year 2 (in Hebrew) around; reverse vine leaf on small branch, the freedom of Zion (in Hebrew) around; $120.00 (€102.00)
Carthage, Zeugitana, NorthAfrica, 300 - 264 B.C.
In 278 B.C., envoys from the Sicilian cities of Agrigentum, Syracuse, and Leontini asked Pyrrhus for military aid to remove the Carthaginian dominance over that island. With an army of 20,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, 20 War Elephants, and some 200 ships, Pyrrhus defeated the Carthaginian forces and captured the city-fortress of Eryx. Carthage sued for peace, but Pyrrhus demanded Carthage renounce its claims on Sicily entirely. Pyrrhus set his sights on conquering Carthage itself, and began outfitting an expedition. However, his ruthless treatment of the Sicilian cities and his execution of two Sicilian rulers led to such animosity that he was forced out of Sicily and abandoned his plan. GB87736. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 149, Alexandropoulos 57, Müller Afrique 268, aVF, dark patina, a little off center, pre-strike flan casting sprue, weight 5.096 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sardinian mint, 300 - 264 B.C.; obversehead of Tanit left wearing wreath of grain and plain necklace, dotted border; reverse horse's head right; $90.00 (€76.50)
Carthage, Zeugitana, NorthAfrica, c. 400 - 350 B.C.
By 400 B.C., Carthage was obsessed with taking Sicily. Over the next sixty years, Carthaginian and Greek forces engaged in a constant series of skirmishes. In 398, Dionysius took the Carthaginian stronghold of Motya. Milch responded by retaking Motya and capturing Messina. Himilco then laid siege to Syracuse itself. He was close to success in 397, but in 396 a plague ravaged the Carthaginian forces and they collapsed. The fighting swung in favor of Carthage in 387. After winning a naval battle off Catania, Himilco laid siege to Syracuse with 50,000 Carthaginians, but yet another epidemic struck down thousands of them. Dionysius' surprise counterattack destroyed all the Carthaginian ships while most of the men were ashore. At the same time, his ground forces stormed the besiegers' lines. Himilco and his chief officers abandoned their army and fled to Carthage in disgrace. He was very badly received and later committed suicide by starving himself. By 340 B.C., Carthage had been pushed entirely into the southwest corner of the island. GB87739. Bronze AE 16, Alexandropoulos 18, SNG Cop 109 ff., Müller Afrique 163, SGCV II 6444, VF, toned bare bronze, nice detail, a little rough, weight 2.517 g, maximum diameter 16.2 mm, die axis 180o, Sicilian(?) mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obversehead of Tanit left, wearing barley wreath, triple-pendant earring, and necklace with many pendants; reverse unbridled horse right, date palm tree in center background, three pellets forming a triangle right; $90.00 (€76.50)
Brettian League, Bruttium, Italy, c. 214 - 211 B.C., Time of Hannibal
All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied themselves with Hannibal.GI84833. Bronze quarter unit, Scheu Bronze 27, SNG Cop 1679, HN Italy 1982, F, toned copper surfaces, a little rough, weight 2.682 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 135o, Brettii mint, c. 214 - 211 B.C.; obverse NIKA, diademed head of Nike left, head of grain behind; reverse BPETTIΩN, Zeus standing right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, long scepter in extended left hand, star between legs, cornucopia right; $65.00 (€55.25)
Thessalian League, Thessaly, Greece, c. 170 B.C.
The object on the reverse was long considered somewhat mysterious. Roger identified it as a lyre. Robinson suggested a diadem or more probably a sling. Warren argued it is a stylized depiction of a dart sling, or Kestrosphendone, a weapon first introduced during the Third Macedonian War between Rome and Perseus of Macedon. Warren suggests this type was struck at Demetrias, under orders from Perseus, to commemorate the success of the weapon.GB84862. Bronze chalkous, Warren, "Two Notes," NC 1961, pl. I, 11; BCD Thessaly II 24.2; HGC 4 236; Rogers 4 var., VF, dark green patina, cleaning scratches, earthen deposits, weight 2.535 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, Demetrias(?) mint, c. 170 B.C.; obverse Macedonian shield with star in central boss; reverse kestrosphendone (dart sling) with dart inside, ΘEΣΣA/ΛΩN divided in two lines, the first above, ending below; ex John Jencek; rare; $120.00 (€102.00)