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Ancient Coins (other than Roman) from Italy including Magna Graecia in the Forum Ancient Coins shop

There is reason to believe that the coinage of Tarentum was current in Apulia throughout the period of the Tarentine dominion in those parts, and that the silver unit of Tarentum (perhaps the diobol of 22 grs.) remained the silver unit in Apulia when the Apulian towns began to coin silver money of their own; for the well-known type of the Tarentine diobol, Herakles strangling the lion, recurs on diobols of Arpi, Caelia, Rubi, and Teate. The didrachms and drachms of Teate have also types

borrowed from Tarentum. On the equivalent in bronze of the Tarentine coin of 22 grs. the aes grave of Apulia, and perhaps of all the provinces situate to the east of the Apennines, may possibly have been based. In all these countries the weight of the As exceeds that of the Roman pound.

The currency of Apulia from the earlier part of the third century B.C. consisted

(i) Of silver diobols and didrachms of Tarentum, ultimately replaced by local Apulian silver issued at Arpi, Caelia, Canusium, Rubi, and Teate. The didrachms both at Arpi and at Teate were assimilated in weight to those of Campania, while the smaller divisions seem to be either Tarentine diobols of light weight or Roman scruples of circ. 17 grs.

(ii) Of libral aes grave of Luceria and Venusia. About B.C. 250 the aes grave of these two towns underwent a reduction which may be compared with the semi-libral reduction at Rome.

(iii) Meanwhile at Arpi, Ausculum, Canusium, Herdoniae (?), Hyrium. Neapolis, Rubi, Salapia, &c., bronze coins continued to be struck after the Greek fashion, with Greek inscriptions and without marks of value.

(iv) Little by little, under Roman influence, these Greek bronze coins were superseded by bronze coins of the Roman sextantal and uncial systems, with marks of value, struck chiefly at Barium, Caelia, Luceria, Teate, and Venusia, the denominations being the double nummus (N. II.), the nummus (N), the quincunx (•••••), the triens (••••), the quadrans (•••), the sextans (••), the sescuncia (• S), the uncia (•), and the semuncia (Σ).

Arpi (Arpa). This town during the second Samnite war concluded an alliance with Rome, B.C. 326 (Livy ix. 13). In the war with Pyrrhus, it was again on the side of Rome, but after the battle of Cannae (B.C. 217) it passed over to the side of Hannibal until B.C. 213, when it was recovered by the Romans.


FIG. 22.

ΑΡΠΑΝΩΝ Head of Persephone. Prancing horse. ΔΑΖΟΥ.
AR Didr. Average wt. 107 grs. (Fig. 22).
ΑΡΠΑ Head of Ares. Three ears of corn.
AR ½ Drachm.
  „  Head of Athena. Herakles and lion.
AR Diobol.
  „     „   Prancing horse.
  „     „   Ear of corn.
AR Obol.
Α A hook (harpa ?). Prancing horse.



Head of Zeus, ΔΑΙΟΥ. ΑΡΠΑΝΩΝ Kalydonian boar and spear head.
Ζ Size .8
Head of Apollo. ΕΙΝΜΑΝ [Berlin Cat., p. 182.] ΑΡΠΑΝΩ[Ν] Lion, above, pentagram: copied from coin of Velia.
Ζ Size .8
Bust of Artemis. [Berlin Cat. p. 183.] ΕΙΝΜΑΝ Fulmen.
Ζ Size .55
Rushing bull, ΠΟΥΛΛΙ or ΠΥΛΛΟΥ or ΠΥΛΛΥ ΑΡΠΑΝΟΥ Prancing horse.
Ζ Size .8
Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet. ΑΡΠΑΝΟΥ Grapes.
Ζ Size .8

All these coins are of the third century. The legend ΕΙΝΜΑΝ is unexplained. The coins reading ΔΑΖΟΥ are supposed to have been issued by Altinius Dasius, ruler of Arpi during the Hannibalic war. The names of Dasius and of Pyllus occur also on contemporary coins of Salapia, and that of Dasius on coins of Rubi.

Ausculum (Ascoli), an inland Apulian town, is first mentioned in the account of the battle between Pyrrhus and the Romans, B.C. 279. For a series of aes grave which may belong to this town see Asculum Piceni. The coins which belong certainly to Ausculum bear inscriptions, ΑΥ├ΥΣΚΛΙ, &c., which show that the original form of the name was Ausculum, not Asculum. Its coinage is wholly of bronze, and is of two distinct periods:—

(i) Before B.C. 300, of good style.
Horse 's head (Carelli, Pl. LXIII. 1). ΑΥ├ΥΣΚΛΙ Ear of corn.
Ζ Size .75
ΑΥ├ΥΣΚΛ Greyhound running r. on round shield (Carelli, Pl. LXIII. 2). ΑΥ├Υ Ear of corn with leaf, as on coins of Metapontum.
Ζ Size .65

(ii) Circ. B.C. 300-200, of base style.
ΑΥCΚ Boar and spear-head. Ear of corn.
Ζ Size .8
Head of Herakles. ΑΥCΚΛΑ Nike with wreath and palm.
Ζ Size .7

Azetium, a small town about eight miles south-east of Caelia. Bronze coins of the third century B.C.

Head of Athena. ΑΖΕΤΙΝΩΝ Owl on column.
Ζ Size .8
Eagle on fulmen.   „   Ear of corn.
Ζ   „   .6
ΑΖΕΤΙ Dolphin and trident. Scallop-shell.
Ζ .5

Barium (Bari), on the Adriatic coast, near Caelia. Struck bronze coins of the end of the third century with marks of value. The Sextans and Uncia weigh about 90 and 45 grs. respectively, but as they are doubtless only token coins their weight is of no special interest.

Sextans. •• Bust of Zeus. ΒΑΡΙΝWΝ Eros on Prow.
Uncia. •  „     „    „  
½ Uncia (?).   „   ΒΑΡΙ Prow.


Butuntum (Bitonto), a small town between Rubi and Barium. Bronze coins of the third century B.C., with types borrowed chiefly from older coins of Metapontum and Tarentum. Inscr. ΒΥΤΟΝΤΙΝΩΝ :—

Head of Athena. Ear of corn.
Ζ .8
Boy on dolphin. Scallop.
Ζ .7
Owl on branch. Fulmen.
Ζ .6
Crab. Inscr. but no type.
Ζ .7

Caelia, about eight miles inland from Barium. Small silver coins of the third century B.C.

Head of Athena. ΚΑΙ Herakles and Lion.
AR 15.8 grs.
  „   ΚΑΙΛΙΝΩΝ Amphora.
AR 7 grs.
ΚΑΙ Bull 's head facing; cf. coin of Rubi (p. 48). Lyre.
AR 5 grs.

Struck bronze, with marks of value, circ. B.C. 268-200.

Sextans. •• Head of Athena. ΚΑΙΛΙΝΩΝ Trophy.
  „    „    „     „   Nike with wreath and trophy.
  „    „  Head of Zeus.   „  Athena running.
Uncia. • Head of Athena.   „  Trophy.
  „    „    „   ΚΑΙΛΙ Eagle on fulmen between two stars.
  „    „   Head of Zeus. ΚΑΙΛΙΝΩΝ Fulmen.
Uncia?  „    „   ΚΑΙΛΙ The Dioskuri on horseback.
Quadrans. ••• Head of Athena (reduced weight). ΚΑΙΛΙΝΩΝ Three crescents.

For other types see B. M. C., Italy, p. 134, and Berlin Cat., III. i. pp. 185 sqq.

Canusium (Canosa), on the river Aufidus, about eight miles from its mouth, was one of the chief towns of Apulia. Silver and bronze coins, circa B.C. 300; also bronze coins, with marks of value, of the end of the third century.

Amphora between cornucopia and oenochoλ. ΚΑ Lyre.
AR 7.3 grs.
Male head bare. ΚΑΝΥΣΙΝΩΝ Horseman galloping.
Ζ size .85
Sextans. Head of Herakles. •• ΚΑΝΥ Club.
Ζ size .55
  „  Head of Hermes. ••  „    „  
Ζ size .55
  „   Head of Zeus. ΚΑ Club within wreath.
Ζ size .5

Grumum (Grumo), about fourteen miles SW. of Barium. Bronze, circa B.C. 300, with Greek types.

Female head (Hunter Cat., 1. 55). ΓΡΥ Galloping horse.
Ζ size .5
Male head diademed.   „  Rushing bull.
Ζ size .6


Herdoniae (?), midway between Ausculum and the sea, was destroyed by Hannibal circa B.C. 210, shortly before which event it may have issued the following bronze coins. The inscription is, however, somewhat doubtful, and the attribution conjectural.

ΟΡΔΑΝΩΝ Head of young Herakles in lion 's skin. Ear of corn; in field, club; magistrate 's name ΤΡΕΒΙΟΥ.
Ζ size .5
[Imhoof, Mon. gr., Pl. A. 14.]

Hyrium or Uria. (Rodi) was a maritime town situated on the northern side of the promontory of Garganum. Its coins are of bronze, without marks of value, and belong apparently to the latter part of the third century.

Head of Athena. ΥΡΙΑΤΙΝΩΝ Rudder and dolphin.
Ζ size .55
Head of Zeus.   „   Fulmen.
Ζ size .4

Luceria. (Lucera) after various vicissitudes fell finally into the hands of the Romans in B.C. 314. Its coinage consists of aes grave of a Libral system, circ. B.C. 314-268, and of two other series in part contemporary with one another and with the Roman Sextantal and Uncial reductions. The difficult question of the chronology and metrology of the various issues of the autonomous and Roman mints at Luceria is discussed by H. Grueber in Corolla Numismatica, pp. 115 sqq.

1st Series. Aes grave, Libral system, B.C. 314-268 (1).

As. No inscription. Head of Herakles. Head of horse.
As. and magistrates ' names. Head of Apollo. Horse prancing; above, star.
As. Similar. Mark of value, Ι. Cock.
Quincunx. Wheel without tire, or oblique cross. Wheel without tire, or oblique cross •••••
Triens. Fulmen. Club ••••
Quadrans. Star. Dolphin •••
Sextans. Cockle-shell. Astragalos ••
Uncia. Frog or toad. Spear-head •
  „     „   Ear of corn •
Semuncia(?) Crescent. Polypus or thyrsos (?).

2nd Series. Aes grave, of reduced weight, after B.C. 268.
As. Head of Herakles. Horse prancing; above, star.

All the other denominations as in Series 1, but with the addition of the letter on the reverse.

3rd Series. Struck coins. Sextantal System (?) before B.C. 217.
Quincunx. Head of Athena ••••• ΟVCΕRΙ Wheel.
Triens. Head of Herakles ••••   „  Quiver, club, and bow.
Quadrans. Head of Poseidon •••   „  Dolphin and trident.
Sextans. Head of Demeter ••   „  Cockle-shell.
Uncia. Head of Apollo •   „   Toad.
Semuncia (?) Heads of the Dioskuri.   „  Horses of the Dioskuri.
  „   Head of Artemis.   „  Crescent.


In addition to these autonomous coins of Luceria there is a series of Roman coins, both silver and copper, with the inscription RΟΜΑ and the mint-mark of Luceria (), which we may call Romano-Lucerian (see Grueber, loc. cit.).

Mateola. (Pliny, iii. 11, s. 16.) Perhaps the modern Matera, near the frontiers of Lucania. On the attribution of the following coins see Berlin Cat., III. i. 195.

Bronze coins with marks of value; circ. B.C. 250-217.
Sextans. Head of Athena •• ΜΑΤ (in monogram). Lion seated with spear in mouth.
Uncia. ,,   „   Herakles leaning on club in the attitude of the Farnese Herakles.

Neapolis Peucetiae (Polignano ?), on the Adriatic Coast east of Caelia, a town not mentioned by any writer. The attribution rests upon the evidence of numerous finds.

Bronze, with Greek types, circ. B.C. 300 or later.
Bust of Maenad or Dionysos with thyrsos over shoulder. ΝΕΑΠ  „  Vine-branch and grapes
Ζ .7
Female head in stephanos (Amphitrite ?). ΝΕΑΠΟΛ Trident.
Ζ .5
Veiled head of Demeter.   „   Ear of corn.
Ζ .6
Head of Artemis. [ΝΕΑ]Π Quiver and bow.
Ζ .5
Dolphin. ΝΕΑΠΟΛ Rudder.
Ζ .5

For other varieties see Berlin Cat., III. i. 196.

Rubi (Rubastini), between Canusium and Butuntum, is one of the few Apulian towns of which silver coins are known. There are also bronze coins of late style.

SILVER. Third century B.C.

Head of Athena. ΡΥ Ear of corn and cornucopia.
AR Diobol 16.8 grs.
,,   „   Herakles and lion, sometimes with the name ΔΑΖΟΥ. Cf. coins of Arpi and Salapia.
AR Diobol 14 grs.
Bull 's head facing.   „   Lyre.
AR Obol 6.6 grs.
,,   „   Fulmen.
  „  8 grs.
ΡΥ Bull 's head facing. Lyre [Berlin Cat., Pl. IX. 131].
  „   6.5 grs.
Amphora between cornucopia and oenochoλ; in field, ΔΑ. ΡΥ Lyre.
  „   6.6 grs.
Head of Helios.   „   Two crescents; above, ΔΑ.
AR Obol 7 grs.

Head of Athena. ΡΥΒΑ or ΡΥΨ Nike with wreath and palm.
Ζ .45
Head of Zeus. ΡΥΨ Eagle on fulmen.
Ζ .75
Head of Herakles. ΡΥΨ Club, bow, and quiver.
Ζ .7
Head of Athena. ΡΥΒΑΣΤΕΙΝΩΝ Owl on olive-branch
Ζ .6
Head of Zeus; behind, ΓΡΟCΕ·E.
[Berlin Cat., III. i. Pl. IX. 134.]
ΡΥ Female figure with phiale and cornucopia.
Ζ .65

Salapia. (Salpi), the seaport of Arpi, Canusium, and Rubi, must have been, during the Hannibalic, war, closely united, not only commercially but politically, with those cities. Cf. the names ΔΑΖΟΥ and ΠΥΛΛΟΥ on coins of Arpi, Rubi, and Salapia.

BRONZE. Third century B.C.
ΣΑΛΑΠΝΩΝ Head of Zeus. Kalydonian boar.
Ζ .85
  „   Head of Apollo. Horse prancing.
Ζ .9
  „  Dolphin. Dolphin.
Ζ .6
CΑΛΠΝΩΝ Horse. Dolphin.
Ζ .85
CΑΛΑΠΝΩΝ Head of young satyr. Eagle on capital of column.
Ζ .7

For varieties of coins of Salapia and magistrates ' names, ΔΑΖΟΥ, ΠΥΛΛΟΥ, ΠΛΩΤΙΟΥ, ΔΟΜΥΛΑR (?), ΤΡΩΔΑΝΤΙΟΥ, and others more or less fragmentary or uncertain, see Berlin Cat., III. i. pp. 201 sqq., and B. M. C., pp. 144 sqq.

Samadi (?) (Berlin Blδtt., 1868, p. 138). Site unknown. Bronze coins of the third century B.C. Obv. Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet; Rev. ΣΑΜΑΔΙ, around four or three crescents. Ζ .5. Attributed in Journ. Int., vii. p. 389, to Sandalium in Pisidia.

Sidis (?). Site unknown. B. M. C., Italy, p. 395. Bronze coins of the third century B.C. Obv. Head of Zeus; Rev. ΣΙΔΙΝΩΝ, Herakles leaning on club in the attitude of the Farnese Herakles, as on coins of Mateola. Size .55.

Teate (Chieti). The earliest coins of this Apulian town are bronze pieces of the well-known Campanian types, with the Oscan inscr. VΙΤΙΙΤ. Obv. Head of Apollo; Rev. Man-headed bull, above which, fulmen or lyre. Ζ size .7 (Friedlander, Osk. Mόnzen, Pl. VI. 1). Cf. similar coins at Teanum Sidicinum and Larinum, pp. 28 and 42. They may be earlier than B.C. 268, and are followed by silver and bronze coins with the Latin inscr. TIATI. The silver didrachms are of the Campano-Tarentine type, and weigh on the average about 110 grs.

SILVER. Circ. B.C. 300, or later.
Female head diademed. [Berlin Cat., Pl. IX. 137.] TIATI Naked horseman crowning his horse.
  „     „   Owl on olive-branch.
AR Drachm.
Head of Athena. Herakles and lion.
AR Diobol.


Next in order of date comes a series of bronze coins with marks of value, and of weights which seem to correspond with those of the Roman Uncial reduction, circ. B.C. 217.

BRONZE. Circ. B.C. 217.
Nummus. Head of Zeus Dodonaeos. ΤΙΑΤΙ Eagle on Fulmen Ν
Quincunx. Head of Athena.   „  Owl •••••
Triens. Head of Herakles.   „  Lion ••••
Quadrans. Head of Poseidon (?) •••   „  Taras on dolphin.
  „   Head of Athena.   „  Owl •••
Sextans.   „     „    „  ••
Uncia.   „     „     „  •

For other varieties see Berlin Cat., III. i. pp. 204 sqq.

Venusia. (Venosa), on the confines of Apulia and Lucania, was captured and colonized by Rome, B.C. 292. It was a stronghold of the Romans in the war with Hannibal. Its coinage may be compared with that of Luceria, with which it is contemporary. It consists of the following series, of which the first has been assigned to Venusia chiefly on account of the provenance of the specimens (Mommsen-Blacas, I. p. 349).

1st Series. Aes grave of a Libral system. Circ. B.C. 292-268 (?).

As. Forepart of boar. Head of Herakles.
  „     „   Head of dog or wolf.
  „     „   Spear-head.
Quincunx. Head of Athena ••••• Owl •••••
Triens. Head of boar •••• Lyre ••••
Quadrans. Forepart of boar ••• Head of Herakles •••
Sextans. Head of boar •• Owl ••
Uncia. Crescent • Crescent •

Aes grave of uncertain systems, with in monogram.
Quadrans. Three crescents. Cockle-shell.
  „     „   Dolphin.
Sextans. Dolphin ••   „   ••
Uncia. Crescent. Crescent.

2nd Series. Struck coins of reduced Weight, after circ. B.C. 268 (?).
Quadrans. Head of Zeus ••• Three crescents with stars.
Sextans. Head of Athena •• VΕ. Two dolphins.
Uncia. Bust of Herakles •   „  Lion seated holding spear.
Semuncia. Boar 's head Σ   „  Owl.


3rd Series. Struck coins probably contemporary with the Roman coins of Sextantal and Uncial reductions.
Circ. B.C. 268-217 and later.
II Nummi. Bust of Herakles (mark of value N·II·). The Dioskuri. G.A.Q.
[Berlin Cat., III. i. p. 209.]
I Nummus. Head of Dionysos. N.I. Dionysos seated, holding grapes and thyrsos.
Quincunx. Head of Zeus ••••• Eagle on thunderbolt.
Quadrans. Head of Hera veiled •••   „   Three crescents containing stars.
Sextans. Head of Athena ••   „   Owl on olive-branch.
Sescuncia. Bust of Helios.   „  Crescent and star. •S
Uncia. Head of bearded Herakles.   „   Lion seated, holding spear.

4th Series. Struck coins, uncertain system.

Semis. Head of Hermes. Winged shoe and Caduceus. S
Uncia (?). Toad.   „   Crab.

For fuller descriptions see Berlin Cat., III. i. pp. 208 sqq.



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