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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Italy||View Options:  |  |  |   

Ancient Greek Coins of Italy (Magna Graecia)
Luceria, Apulia, Italy, c. 211 - 200 B.C.

|Italy|, |Luceria,| |Apulia,| |Italy,| |c.| |211| |-| |200| |B.C.||uncia|
In 321 B.C., the Romans, deceived into thinking Lucera was under siege by the Samnites, walked into an ambush and were defeated. The town threw out the Samnites, sought Roman protection, and in 320 B.C. was granted the status of Colonia Togata, which meant it was ruled by the Roman Senate. To strengthen ties, 2,500 Romans moved to Lucera. Roman culture merged with the native one slowly, probably accompanied by cross-cultural marriages, but Lucera was a steadfast supporter of Rome. By the 2nd century B.C., the rustic town was transformed into a proper Roman city with houses, public buildings, paved roads, sidewalks and services for travelers, accommodation for livestock with running water, and warehouses for storing goods.
GB86125. Bronze uncia, SNG ANS 709; SNG Cop 663; SNG BnF 1368; SNG Munchen 504; HN Italy 682; BMC Italy p. 141, 62; Hunterian -, VF, rough, weight 4.084 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 0o, Luceria mint, c. 211 - 200 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, bow and quiver at shoulder, pellet behind; reverse LOVC-ERI, toad seen from above; very rare; $380.00 SALE |PRICE| $300.00
 


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 440 - 430 B.C.

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |440| |-| |430| |B.C.||obol|
Metapontum was one of the cities where the doctrines and sect of Pythagoras obtained the firmest footing. Even when the Pythagoreans were expelled from Crotona, they maintained themselves at Metapontum, where the philosopher himself retired, and where he ended his days. The Metapontines paid the greatest respect to his memory; they consecrated the house in which he had lived as a temple to Ceres, and gave to the street in which it was situated the name of the Museum. His tomb was still shown there in the days of Cicero.
GS91978. Silver obol, Noe-Johnston 2, pl. 44, 346.3; SNG Ash 680; SNG Stockholm 192; HN Italy 1500 var. (horns downward); HGC I 1087 (R2) var. (same); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, flow lines, slightly off center, tiny edge splits, weight 0.435 g, maximum diameter 8.4 mm, die axis 0o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 440 - 430 B.C.; obverse ear of barley in border of large dots; reverse ox head facing with horns pointed upward; ex FORVM (2009); very rare; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00
 


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
 


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. 275 - 250 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |275| |-| |250| |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.
SL94272. Silver didrachm, SNG ANS 1, 382; SNG BnF 6.1, 762-765; SNG Lockett 87; SNG Cop 441; HN Italy 586, NGC VF, strike 4/5, surface 1/5 (5770028-012), weight 6.995 g, maximum diameter 18.8 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the siren Parthenope left, wearing triple-pendant earring and pearl necklace, TAP behind neck, EYΞ below neck truncation; reverse river-god Acheloios as a man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, crowned with wreath by Nike flying right above, EΠI below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue; NGC| Lookup; $195.00 SALE |PRICE| $175.00
 


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

|Italy|, |Osco-Latin,| |Central| |Italy,| |Late| |4th| |-| |Early| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.||Aes| |Formatum|NEW
 
GA97025. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2e; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -, VF, edge flaw, weight 13.3 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, uncertain Osco-Latin mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; cast from a bipod shell; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $173.00 ON RESERVE


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 350 - 275 B.C.

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |350| |-| |275| |B.C.||AE| |14|NEW
The unusual blue encrustation on this coin is "Egyptian Blue," calcium copper silicate, a reaction of the copper with sand, lime, and natron. In crushed form, it was one of the earliest Egyptian pigments.
GI95303. Bronze AE 14, Johnston Bronze 31; HN Italy 1666; HGC I 1136 (R2); SNG Munchen 1027; SNG Evans 229; Weber 804; BMC Italy p. , 177; Winterthur 391, VF/aF, fine style, encrustations, scratches, marks, corrosion, weight 2.043 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 270o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 350 - 275 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter left, wreathed in grain; reverse barley kernel, M-E divided high across field, ant on left, AΓ monogram right; rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

|Italy|, |Osco-Latin,| |Central| |Italy,| |Late| |4th| |-| |Early| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.||Aes| |Formatum|NEW
 
GA96094. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2e; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -, weight 22.906 g, maximum diameter 35.4 mm, uncertain Osco-Latin mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; similar bronze Aes formatum were cast in molds made from seashells, but this specimen was not cast from a mold made with a shell - the shape and lines are the work of a human hand; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


Roman Republic, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |c.| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||Aes| |Rude|NEW
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.
RR97048. Bronze Aes Rude, cf. BMCRR I p. 1, Haeberlin pl. 1, Vecchi ICC pl. 1, Thurlow-Vecchi pl. 2, Bertol-Farac pl. 1, SRCV I 505; maximum length 63.5mm, weight 164.4g, one side fairly flat, an edge of a large ingot., $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


Thourioi, Lucania, Italy, 350 - 300 B.C., Ancient Counterfeit

|Italy|, |Thourioi,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |350| |-| |300| |B.C.,| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||stater|
The possible plating breaks are so darkly toned black within that we cannot detect any copper color. So, why do we think this coin is a plated counterfeit? It is about a full gram under normal weight. Another indicator is behind Athena's head. Fourree were often made by wrapping a bronze blank in two pieces of thin silver foil. A piece of foil was applied on each side and folded tightly around the edge. Striking would fuse the foil to the core. Behind Athena's head you can see an irregular darker line roughly following the edge. We believe this was the edge of the foil applied to the reverse and folded over on the obverse.
GS93383. Fouree silver plated stater, cf. HN Italy 1813; SNG ANS 1056; BMC Italy, p. 293, 63; HGC I - (official, solid silver, Thourioi mint), VF, toned, underweight, obverse off center, scratches and bumps, possible plating breaks, weight 6.581 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 225o, unofficial mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with Skylla; reverse ΘOYPIΩN, bull butting right, tail raised above, head turned facing, I above, dotted exergue line, tunny right below; from the Errett Bishop Collection (purchased by Dr. Bishop as official, but we strongly suspect it is plated); $130.00 SALE |PRICE| $117.00
 




  



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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).
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Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
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Noe, S. The Thurian Distaters. ANSNNM 71. (New York, 1935).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain X, John Morcom Collection. (Oxford, 1995).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 3: Bruttium - Sicily 1 (Abacaenum-Eryx). (New York, 1975).
Taliercio Mensitieri, M. "Simboli, lettere, sigle sul bronzo di Neapolis" in Studi Breglia.
van Keuren, F. The Coinage of Heraclea Lucaniae. (Rome, 1994).
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