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

Ancient Greek Coins of Italy (Magna Graecia)
Thourioi, Lucania, Italy, c. 443 - 410 B.C.

|Italy|, |Thourioi,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |443| |-| |410| |B.C.||didrachm|NEW
Nearly 70 years after Sybaris was destroyed by the Crotoniats, a new colony was founded on the site on the Gulf of Taranto. Soon after, on the advice of an oracle, the settlers moved a short distance away near a fountain named Thuria, after which the new city was named. The head of Athena is probably that of the sea-goddess Athena Skyletria. The bull may have been adopted from the archaic coins of Sybaris and symbolize the river Krathis or it may represent the rushing waters of the fountain Thuria from which the city took its name. This denomination is described as a stater, nomos or didrachm in various references and sales listings.
SH96811. Silver didrachm, cf. SNG ANS 876; SNG Cop 1412; HGC 1 1258 (R2); HN Italy 1775; Pozzi 221; Jörgensen p. 168, 3 & pl. VIII, 4, VF, high relief, attractive style, well centered on a tight flan, flow lines, die wear, graffito on reverse, weight 7.918 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 325o, Thourioi mint, c. 443 - 410 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Athenian helmet ornamented with an olive wreath, not control letter visible; reverse bull walking left with head lowered, ΘOYPIΩN above, tunny fish left in exergue, no control letter visible; very rare; $900.00 (€828.00)
 


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; $200.00 (€184.00)
 


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; $195.00 (€179.40)
 


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 (€179.40)
 


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

|Italy|, |Metapontion,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |350| |-| |275| |B.C.||AE| |14|
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 (€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. 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 (€138.00)
 


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; $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!


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. G. Fallai, IAPN 8, pl. 6, 2-2e; 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; $100.00 (€92.00)
 







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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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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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