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

Ancient Greek Coins of Italy (Magna Graecia)
Neapolis, Campania, Italy, c. 300 - 275 B.C.

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |c.| |300| |-| |275| |B.C.||didrachm|NEW
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.
SH95912. Silver didrachm, SNG BnF 749 - 753 (same dies), Sambon 477, SNG ANS 370, SNG Ashmolean 116, SNG Delepierre 153, de Luynes 166, HN Italy 579, HGC Italy 453 (S), aVF, centered on a tight flan, attractive old collection toning, marks, scratches, trace of inscribed circle from pre-strike flan on rev., test cut on edge, weight 6.697 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 45o, Neapolis (Naples, Italy) mint, c. 300 - 275 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph right, wearing triple-pendant earring, X (control letter) behind neck (unstruck); reverse man-faced bull walking right, head turned facing, Nike flying right above crowning bull with wreath, EYΞ (magistrate initials?) below, NEOΠOΛITΩN in exergue (off flan); from the Errett Bishop Collection; $550.00 (€506.00)
 


Metapontion, Lucania, Italy, c. 340 - 330 B.C.

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |340| |-| |330| |B.C.||stater|NEW
Leukippos (or Leucippus) was a son of king Oinomaos of Pisa. He fell in love with the nymph Daphne and disguised himself as a girl to join her company. When she discovered his true identity in the bath, he was slain by the nymphs. Based on this portrait, clearly his plan was doomed from the start.

Another Leukippos, unrelated to the coin, was a philosopher in the first half of 5th century B.C. This Leukippos was the first Greek to develop the theory of atomism; the idea that everything is composed entirely of various imperishable, indivisible elements called atoms. His theory was elaborated in far greater detail by his pupil and successor, Democritus. Leukippos was born in Miletus or Abdera.
GI95918. Silver stater, Johnston Class B, 2; SNG Cop 1208; SNG ANS 432 ff.; HN Italy 1575; HGC Italy -, F, centered on a tight flan, toned, bumps and scratches, inscription poorly struck, weight 7.525 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Metapontion (Metaponto, Italy) mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Leukippos right, wearing Corinthian helmet, lion head right (control symbol) behind neck, monogram below chin (off flan); reverse barley ear with leaf to left; club above leaf, AMI (magistrate) below leaf on left (off flan), META on right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $300.00 (€276.00)
 


Roman Republic and Central Italy, Middle 5th - 4th Century B.C.

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic| |and| |Central| |Italy,| |Middle| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||Aes| |Formatum|
In the middle of the 5th century B.C., bronze replaced cattle as the primary measure of value in the Roman Republic and central Italy. Axe heads, rings, cast bronze shells, domed discs, rods, bars, ingots and bricks, traded alongside aes rude. All bronze objects were suitable for trade by their weight and were frequently broken to adjust their weight and to make change.
RR95747. Bronze Aes Formatum, 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 215.456g, Italian mint, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.; $220.00 (€202.40)
 


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; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


Neapolis, Campania, Italy, 275 - 250 B.C., Possibly an Ancient Counterfeit

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |275| |-| |250| |B.C.,| |Possibly| |an| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||drachm|NEW
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.
GI95913. Silver drachm, cf. Sambon 546 (controls); SNG BnF 865 (same); SNG ANS 420 (same); HN Italy 588; HGC Italy 456 (R2) (all solid silver, official, none with BΦ), F, a few bumps, encrustations, corrosion, no clear core exposure but the weight is light and signs of possible plating exist, perhaps a silver plated fouree, weight 3.092 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Neapolis or unofficial(?) mint, 275 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of nymph (Parthenope?) left, BΦ behind neck; reverse man-faced bull (river-god Achelous) walking right, head turned facing, Nike above flying right and placing wreath on bull's head, IΣ below, NEOΠOΛITHΣ exergue; apparently unpublished with BΦ behind the Nymph's neck, we were unable to find another specimen with this control mark; from the Errett Bishop Collection; very rare; $150.00 (€138.00)
 


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|
 
GA96094. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. Fallai IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2c; 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; $130.00 (€119.60)
 


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; $105.00 (€96.60)
 


Art and Coinage of Magna Graecia, R. Ross Holloway, 1978

|Greek| |Books|, |Art| |and| |Coinage| |of| |Magna| |Graecia,| |R.| |Ross| |Holloway,| |1978|
Superb coins of the south Italian Greek cities from the fifth and forth centuries B. C. presented as artistic documents. In comparison with the major trends of Greek arts of the period, parallels are illustrated from sculpture, vase painting, tomb painting and decorative bronze reliefs.
BK20313. Art and Coinage of Magna Graecia, 1978 by R. Ross Holloway, hardcover, dust cover wear, 173 pages, beautifully illustrated, new, some shelf-wear, international shipping at the actual cost of postage; $100.00 (€92.00) Out of Stock!


Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 380 - 325 B.C.

|Italy|, |Taras,| |Calabria,| |Italy,| |c.| |380| |-| |325| |B.C.||diobol|NEW
The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by his cousin King Eurystheus, was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight, the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.

This type was struck with dozens of different pose variations on the reverse. In some scenes, it even appears Herakles might lose. There are so many variations that it might be possible to take photographs of the reverses and arrange them in a flip book to animate the fight.
GI95916. Silver diobol, Vlasto 1319, SNG ANS 1405, HN Italy 911, HGC Italy 830, gF, toned, high points flatly struck, corrosion, scratches, lamination defects, small edge split, weight 0.650 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 0o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 380 - 325 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Attic helmet decorated with Skylla; reverse Herakles naked crouching right, strangling the Nemean Lion with both hands, club behind, magistrates initial (A?) upper right (off flan); from the Errett Bishop Collection; $100.00 (€92.00)
 


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|
 
GA96779. Cast bronze Aes Formatum, cf. Fallai IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2c; Alvarez-Burgos P28; Thurlow-Vecchi -, Fair, weight 13.617 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, uncertain Osco-Latin mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; cast from a bipod shell; $90.00 (€82.80)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

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Grunauer von Hoerschelmann, S. "Die Bronzeprägung von Poseidonia" in AIIN 18/19 Suppl. (1973).
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).
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).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain II, Lloyd Collection. (London. 1933-1937).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain X, John Morcom Collection. (Oxford, 1995).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 1: Etruria - Calabria. (New York, 1969).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 2: Lucania. (New York, 1972).
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).
Williams, R. Silver Coinage of Velia. (London, 1992).

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