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

Ancient Greek Coins of Italy (Magna Graecia)
Sybaris, Lucania, Italy, c. 550 - 510 B.C.

|Italy|, |Sybaris,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |c.| |550| |-| |510| |B.C.||nomos|NEW
The origin of this unusual design is difficult to pinpoint (Rutter 1997). It served no practical purpose in facilitating the stacking of coins, since even with matching images in relief and negative, irregularities would have hindered this method of storage. It has been suggested that Pythagoras, who lived in all three of the cities that pioneered incuse coins and died in Metapontum itself, introduced the technique in an attempt to realize in concrete form a confrontation of opposites that was characteristic of the Pythagorean system of thought. Despite the poetic appeal of this suggestion, it seems highly unlikely, considering that the incuse technique appears to have been adopted about twenty years before Pythagoras made it to southern Italy.
SH98006. Silver nomos, Dewing 405, SNG ANS 817, HN Italy 1729, HGC I 1231 (S), F, porous, scratches, weight 6.930 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Sybaris mint, c. 550 - 510 B.C.; obverse bull standing left, head turned back right, YM above, dotted border between two circles; reverse incuse of obverse; from the CEB Collection, ex Frank L. Kovacs; scarce; $800.00 (€656.00)
 


Roman Republic and Central Italy, Cast Aes Rude, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C., 20 Fragments

|before| |211| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic| |and| |Central| |Italy,| |Cast| |Aes| |Rude,| |c.| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.,| |20| |Fragments||Lot|
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)
 


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

|before| |211| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic| |and| |Central| |Italy,| |Aes| |Rude,| |Middle| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||Aes| |Formatum|
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 scale was necessary to measure value for commercial transactions.
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, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.; $220.00 (€180.40)
 


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; $180.00 (€147.60)
 


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

|Italy|, |Neapolis,| |Campania,| |Italy,| |275| |-| |250| |B.C.,| |Possibly| |an| |Ancient| |Counterfeit||drachm|
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 (€123.00)
 


Vibo Valentia (Hipponion), Bruttium, Italy, 193 - 150 B.C.

|Italy|, |Vibo| |Valentia| |(Hipponion),| |Bruttium,| |Italy,| |193| |-| |150| |B.C.||semis|
Vibo Valentia was originally the Greek colony of Hipponion. It was founded, probably around the late 7th century B.C., by inhabitants of Locri, a city south of Vibo Valentia on the Ionian Sea. In 388 B.C., the city was taken by Dionysius the Elder, tyrant of Syracuse, who deported the entire population. The population came back in 378 B.C., with the help of the Carthaginians. In the following years Hipponion came under the dominion of the Bruttii. The town fell to Rome and became a Roman colony in 194 B.C. with the name of Vibo Valentia. After a phase of prosperity during the late Republic and early Empire, the town was almost completely abandoned after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
GI93431. Bronze semis, HN Italy 2263; SNG ANS 483, SNG Cop 1849; SNG München 1378; BMC Italy p. 361, 16: HGC I 1407 (R1), VF, black patina, light earthen deposits, weight 3.283 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 180o, Vibo Valentia mint, 193 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of Juno (Hera) right, wearing stephane, S (mark of value) behind; reverse double cornucopia overflowing with grain and grapes, VALENTIA downward on left, carnyx (control symbol) and S (mark of value) on right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $130.00 (€106.60)
 


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Cast Aes Formatum, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C., Imitating a Bipod Shell

|Italy|, |Osco-Latin,| |Central| |Italy,| |Cast| |Aes| |Formatum,| |Late| |4th| |-| |Early| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.,| |Imitating| |a| |Bipod| |Shell||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 (€106.60)
 


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; $90.00 (€73.80) Out of Stock!


Osco-Latin, Central Italy, Cast Aes Formatum, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C., Bipod Shell

|Italy|, |Osco-Latin,| |Central| |Italy,| |Cast| |Aes| |Formatum,| |Late| |4th| |-| |Early| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.,| |Bipod| |Shell||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 (€73.80)
 


Roman Republic and Central Italy, Aes Rude, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.

|before| |211| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic| |and| |Central| |Italy,| |Aes| |Rude,| |c.| |5th| |-| |4th| |Century| |B.C.||Aes| |Rude|
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.
RR95743. 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 54.4mm, weight 83.917g, broken and well worn fragment of an ingot, weight 83.917 g, maximum diameter 54.5 mm, c. 5th - 4th Century B.C.; $180.00 (€147.60)
 







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REFERENCES|

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van Keuren, F. The Coinage of Heraclea Lucaniae. (Rome, 1994).
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