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Roman Republic and Central Italy, Cast Aes Rude, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C., 20 Fragments
In Italy, as with other nations, early trade used a system of barter. Aes rude (Latin: "rough bronze"), used perhaps as early as the early 8th century B.C., was the earliest metal proto-currency in central Italy. In the 5th century B.C., bronze replaced cattle as the primary measure of value in trade. Aes rude are rough lumpy bronze ingots with no marks or design, some are flat and oblong, others are square, while many are irregular and shapeless. The metal is mostly copper with roughly 5% tin. Weight varies considerably with some exceeding twelve pounds and others under an ounce. Many smaller examples are fragments of broken larger specimens. A balance was necessary to measure value for commercial transactions.LT96143. Bronze Lot, Lot of 20 aes rude fragments, cf. BMCRR I p. 1, Haeberlin pl. 1, Vecchi ICC pl. 1, Thurlow-Vecchi pl. 2, SRCV I 505, 13.908g - 65.836g, no tags or flips, actual pieces in the photograph, as-is, no returns; $500.00 (€410.00)
Paestum, Lucania, Italy, c. 218 - 201 B.C.
Paestum (originally Poseidonia) was founded near the end of the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Sybaris. From the archaeological evidence it appears that Greeks and Oscans thrived alongside one another. Poseidonia became the Roman city of Paestum in 273 B.C. after the residents sided with Pyrrhus, the loser in a war against Rome. Paestum remained faithful to Rome against Hannibal and afterward was granted special favors, including minting coins. The city declined after the 4th century and was abandoned during the Middle Ages. Its ruins only came to notice again in the 18th century, after the rediscovery Pompeii and Herculaneum.
On 9 September 1943, the U.S. 36th Infantry Division landed at Paestum. Heavy fighting persisted within and around the town for nine days before the Germans withdrew.GI93428. Bronze sextans, Crawford Paestum 19/3; SNG ANS 760; HN Italy 1211; BMC Italy p. 276, 27, VF, rough green patina, weight 2.405 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Paestum mint, Second Punic War, c. 218 - 201 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter (or Ceres) right, wreathed with grain, two pellets (mark of value) behind; reverse wild boar running right, QVA (VA ligate) over two pellets (mark of value) below; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $100.00 (€82.00)
Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.
In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG Munchen 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $80.00 (€65.60)
Brettian League, Bruttium, Italy, c. 216 - 214 B.C., Time of Hannibal
All coinage of the Brettii was issued during the Second Punic War when they allied themselves with Hannibal.GI93433. Bronze triobol, HN Italy 1943, HGC I 1370 (R1), SNG Cop 1678, SNG ANS 4, F, a little rough, corrosion, earthen deposits, weight 5.305 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 315o, Brettii mint, c. 216 - 214 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Nike left, hair tied in a bun at the back, NIKA upward lower left, control symbol below; reverse Zeus standing right, nude, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, long scepter in extended left hand, BPETTIΩN upward on left; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $80.00 (€65.60)
Syracuse, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 212 - 133 B.C.
Overcoming formidable resistance and the ingenious devices of Archimedes, the Roman General Marcus Claudius Marcellus took Syracuse in the summer of 212 B.C. Archimedes was killed during the attack. The plundered artworks taken back to Rome from Syracuse lit the initial spark of Greek influence on Roman culture.GI93809. Bronze AE 15, Calciati II p. 422, 221; SNG ANS 1080; SNG Cop 895; SNG Munchen 1463; HGC 2 1516 (R1); Grose 2975, F, well centered, dark patina, porosity/corrosion, light earthen deposits, weight 2.684 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 212 - 180 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left, with short hair, somewhat archaic style; reverse vertical long torch, ΣYP-AKO/ΣI-ΩN in two divided lines across lower field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 (€49.20)
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Crawford, M. "Paestum and Rome: The form and function of a subsidiary coinage" in La monetazione di bronzo do Poseidonia-Paestum. Annali 18-19 Supp. (Naples, 1971).
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Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Sicily. (London, 1876).
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Sear, D.R. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. (London, 1998).
Sydenham, E. The Coinage of the Roman Republic. (London, 1952). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 1: Italy - Sicily. (West Milford, NJ, 1981). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 1: Hispania-Sikelia. (Berlin, 1981). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Part 1: Roman Provincial Coins: Spain–Kingdoms of Asia Minor. (Oxford, 2004). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Grèce 1, Collection Réna H. Evelpidis, Part 1: Italie. Sicile - Thrace. (Athens, 1970). (Italy, Sicily - Thrace). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part| 3: Bruttium - Sicily 1 (Abacaenum-Eryx). (New York, 1975). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part| 4: Sicily 2 (Galaria - Styella). (New York, 1977). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part| 5: Sicily 3 (Syracuse - Siceliotes). (New York, 1988).
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