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00017Q00.JPG
Bruttium, The Brettii (Circa 211-208 BC)28 views∆ Double Unit (Didrachm)

26 mm, 16.19 g

Obverse: Head of Ares left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet decorated with griffin

Reverse: BRET-TIWN, Hera Hoplosima (or Athena) advancing right, holding spear and shield; racing torch right.

Scheu 72; SNG ANS 82; HN Italy 1987

The Brettii were an indigenous Italian people who emerged in southern Italy in the mid-fourth century BC. Ancient authors describe them as a group of revolted slaves and miscellaneous fugitives who came together after seeking refuge in the rugged mountains of the area. Nonetheless, it is more likely that most of these people were native Oenotrians or Pelasgians who had escaped from domination by the Greek cities and other native groups to the north. By the mid-third century BC, this disparate congregation of people, now known as the Brettii, had become the predominant power over most of Italy south of the river Laos, including the important mints of Consentia, Medma, Hipponium, Terina, and Thurium (Diod. XVI.15; Strabo VI). Their rising power, however, was eventually checked by the expansion of Roman authority in their region. In the 280s BC, they united with their neighbors, the Lucanians, against Rome, an adventure that proved inconclusive. Soon thereafter, they aided Pyrrhos in his war against Rome, an unsuccessful endeavor that resulted in the Romans carrying on the conflict against the Brettians after defeating the Epiran leader. The Brettians submitted to the Romans, but in the face of Hannibal's successes against Rome, they again allied themselves with Rome's enemy during the Second Punic War (Livy XXII. 61). In this conflict, the Brettians were completely invested in the alliance with Carthage, such that the entire region of Bruttium became a veritable Punic fortress, and it was during this war that the entire series of Brettian coinage was struck. Once again, though, the Brettii had supported the losing side, and this time the Romans were determined to squash any further ability of the Brettians to threaten them. In the aftermath of Hannibal's defeat, the Romans subjugated Bruttium through annual military deployments and the establishment of three colonies, at Tempsa, Kroton, and Vibo Valentia (Livy XXXIV. 45 and XXXV. 40). Unlike other Italian populations that had been conquered by the Romans, the Brettii were also not admitted as Roman allies and could not serve in the Roman military (Appian, Annib. 61). Little is known of the Brettii thereafter.
1 commentsNathan P
EB0904_scaled.JPG
EB0904 Athena / Bull10 viewsThurium, stater, ca 350 BC.
Obverse: Head of Athena right, in crested helmet decorated with Skylla.
Reverse: ΘOYΡIΩN, bull butting right (on double exergual line); I above, [dolphin? in ex].
References: -.
Diameter: 20.5mm, Weight: 6.58g.
1 commentsEB
Thurium_AR_Stater~0.jpg
Greek, Italy, Lucania, Thurium94 viewsAR Stater, 7.79g. 22mm. c.410-400 B.C.

Engraver, Phrygillos (?). Head of Athena to right wearing crested helmet decorated with Skylla; "phi" in field to right. Rv. Bull pawing ground with head down to right; fish in exergue. SNG Oxford 871. HN 1782; a few small marks and some small metal breaks in front of face. Toned and of fine style

Ex: Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auction O, 2004, lot 1157.
Ex: A.D.M. Collection
1 commentsLeo
Street_of_Thurium.jpg
Italy, Cosenza, Sibari (Thurium), Street204 viewsLucania, Thourioi.
Today Sibari (Cosenza), Italy
Taras
Thurium_AR_Stater.jpg
Italy, Lucania, Thurium56 viewsAR Stater, 7.79g. 22mm. c.410-400 B.C.

Engraver, Phrygillos (?). Head of Athena to right wearing crested helmet decorated with Skylla; "phi" in field to right. Rv. Bull pawing ground with head down to right; fish in exergue. SNG Oxford 871. HN 1782; a few small marks and some small metal breaks in front of face. Toned and of fine style

Ex: Numismatica Ars Classica, Zurich, Auction O, 2004, lot 1157.

Located on a fertile plain on the Gulf of Taranto near the site of Sybaris, Thurium was founded by Achaeans late in the 8th Century B.C. At the peak of its success, Sybaris had amassed a population nearly equal to that of Athens, had a six-mile defensive wall, and according to Strabo had as many as 25 cities and four native peoples under its authority. However, the thriving settlement was destroyed by Croton in 510 B.C. After two attempts to establish a new foundation on the ruined site that had been thwarted by Croton, a fresh attempt was made in the period 446 to 444/3 B.C. This remarkable undertaking was originally conceived by descendants of the Sybarites, but when the Crotonites opposed that enterprise as well, help was sought from Athens. Pericles came to their aid by sending colonists whom he had gathered from throughout Greece to participate in what he envisioned as a Panhellenic experiment in colonization. With financial and military support from Athens, the colonists set up their city, drawing on the talents of Protagoras of Abdera for its civil laws, Lampon of Athens for its sacred laws and Hippodamus of Miletus for its city-plan. Even the historian Herodotus is counted among the talented participants. As Thurium began to flourish its colonists from Greece soon ejected their co-founding Sybarites (who established another city on the river Traeis) and eventually distanced themselves even from their benefactor Athens. The city continued to prosper even after it came under Roman control following the defeat of Tarentum in 272. During the Second Punic War, Thurium was still a regional power and it held out as a Roman ally until the spring of 212, when resisting the Carthaginians became impossible. It was the last Greek city to fall to Hannibal, yet it also was the last city outside of Bruttium to remain in his camp. This was not appreciated by the Romans who consequently added its land to their ager publicus and, in 194 or 193, by which time the site was largely abandoned, founded in its place the Latin colony of Copia. Thurian coinage is substantial, and is renowned for the fine artistry of its dies. The head of Athena as an obverse type clearly is inspired by the coinage of Athens. The standing bull on the cityís early coins likely was derived from the old badge of Sybaris, yet the charging version of that animal may refer to the local spring Thuria, from which the new foundation took its name. On this example the bowl of Athenaís helmet is vividly decorated with Scylla, whose ribbed serpent-tail and dog foreparts are particularly well-engraved. Athenaís face retains the severe dignity of even the earliest issues of Thurium, making it a fine example of Attic-inspired art. The bull, as on all Thurian issues of this era, is fully animated with its tail lashing as it charges forth to engage some unseen foe.
Ex: A.D.M. Collection
2 commentsLeo
Thourioi.jpg
Italy, Thurium, Planning assumptions of Thurium (Lucania)254 viewsPlanning assumptions of Thurium, by Archaeological Museum of Sibaritide (Sibari, Cs, Italy).1 commentsTaras
Lucania_1a_img.jpg
Lucania, Thurium, Ar Nomos, 4th C. B.C.90 viewsObv:- Head of Athena in Attic helmet decorated with Skylla
Rev:- ΘOYPIΩN above, Bull butting right, tunny fish in exe.
Minted in Thurium. 4th Century B.C.
3 commentsmaridvnvm
Lucania_Thurium.jpg
Lucania, Thurium, diobol28 views13mm, 1.13g
obv: head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with Skylla hurling rock
rev: bull butting right
1 commentsareich
fullsizeoutput_d9.jpeg
LUCANIA. Sybaris. AR Stater53 viewsCirca 550-510 B.C. (28mm, 8.43 g, 12h). Obverse: bull standing left, head reverted; VM in exergue. Reverse: incuse bull standing right, head reverted. S & S Class B, pl. XLVIII, 4-8 Gorini 2; HN Italy 1729. VF, toned.

Ex. Volteia Collection

This coin was minted before the destruction of Sybaris by its neighboring city state Kroton in 510 B.C. We do not know the exact nature why Kroton destroyed this prosperous city. Ancient sources provided us several accounts of Sybaris being a place of hedonism and excess to the point that the very name Sybaris became a byword for opulent luxury, and its destruction was a result of some divine punishment (Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Aelianus, Athenaeus). Modern revisionist view of the possible demise of Sybaris might be the result of its vast natural wealth and successful trade with its neighbors, which gave Kroton the economic reason to subjugate it. The Sybarites established a new city called Thourioi (Thurii/Thurium) with the help of Athenian settlers. However, the Sybarites were again expelled by the Athenians in 445 B.C. and founded another city for the last time called Sybaris on the Traeis.
Sybaris might be the first to mint coins with an incuse reverse and this practice spread to other Greek city states like Kroton, Metapontion, and Poseidonia. The similar weight and technique in producing these incuse-type coins facilitated trade between the cities mentioned. The bull might represent the river god Crathis or Sybaris, or both: each deity could represent either the obverse or reverse of the coin. The ethnic VM (or YM) in exergue are the first two Greek letters of Sybaris spelled retrogradely. A curious placement of the letter sigma sideways made it appear as letter M on most coins of Sybaris.
5 commentsJason T
00030v00.jpg
Thurium, Lucania (Circa 400-350 BC)46 viewsAR Nomos

20 mm, 7.45g

Obverse: Head of Athena with Attic helmet, on the helmet boiler Scylla

Reverse: Bull, in section fish.

SNG ANS 1034 (av., Stgl.), HN Italy 1787.

Located on a fertile plain on the Gulf of Taranto near the site of Sybaris, Thurium was founded by Achaeans late in the 8th Century B.C. At its peak, Sybaris had amassed a population nearly equal to that of Athens, had a six-mile defensive wall, and according to Strabo had as many as 25 cities and four native peoples under its authority. However, the thriving settlement was destroyed by Croton in 510 B.C.

After two attempts to establish a new foundation on the ruined site that had been thwarted by Croton, a fresh attempt was made in the period 446 to 444/3 B.C. This remarkable undertaking was originally conceived by descendants of the Sybarites, but when the Crotonites opposed that enterprise as well, help was sought from Athens. Pericles came to their aid by sending colonists whom he had gathered from throughout Greece to participate in what he envisioned as a Panhellenic experiment in colonization. With financial and military support from Athens, the colonists set up their city, drawing on the talents of Protagoras of Abdera for its civil laws, Lampon of Athens for its sacred laws and Hippodamus of Miletus for its city-plan. Even the historian Herodotus is counted among the talented participants.

As Thurium began to flourish its colonists from Greece soon ejected their co-founding Sybarites (who established another city on the river Traeis) and eventually distanced themselves even from their benefactor Athens. The city continued to prosper even after it came under Roman control following the defeat of Tarentum in 272. During the Second Punic War, Thurium was still a regional power and it held out as a Roman ally until the spring of 212, when resisting the Carthaginians became impossible. It was the last Greek city to fall to Hannibal, yet it also was the last city outside of Bruttium to remain in his camp. This was not appreciated by the Romans who consequently added its land to their ager publicus and, in 194 or 193, by which time the site was largely abandoned, founded in its place the Latin colony of Copia.

Thurian coinage is substantial, and is renowned for the fine artistry of its dies. The head of Athena as an obverse type clearly is inspired by the coinage of Athens. The standing bull on the cityís early coins likely was derived from the old badge of Sybaris, yet the charging version of that animal may refer to the local spring Thuria, from which the new foundation took its name. On this example the bowl of Athenaís helmet is decorated with Scylla, whose serpent-tail is visible. The bull, as on all Thurian issues of this era, is fully animated with its tail lashing as it charges forth to engage some unseen foe.
1 commentsNathan P
   
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