obolos 16
11. October 2020
Webauction
Lot 553
Starting Price: 100 CHF
Hammer Price: 460 CHF
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CALABRIA. Tarentum. Circa 240-228 BC. Drachm (Silver, 14.5 mm, 3.19 g, 4 h), struck under the magistrate Olympis. Athena wearing Attic helmet with crest to right, her helmet decorated with a figure of Skylla to right, throwing a boulder with her right hand. Rev. ΟΛΥΜΠΙΣ Owl, with closed wings and with its head facing, standing to right on an olive branch; in field to right, A. HN Italy 1060. Cf. Vlasto 1103 (wreath instead of A). Clear and well-struck. Very fine.



Founded on the harbor of Taranto in southern Italy during the 8th century BC by Dorian colonists from Sparta, Tarentum soon became a the most prosperous center of trade in Magna Graecia. In fact, its wealth was such that it normally did not field its own armies to fight its barbarian neighbors but instead hired mercenaries from either its mother city, Sparta, or from elsewhere. During the early 3rd century Tarentum became involved in conflict with Rome, whose imperial ambitions had brought it to southern Italy. The Tarentines hired the services of King Pyrrhus of Epirus, who inflicted heavy casualties on the Romans, but nevertheless were conquered in 272 BC. The city's artworks were looted and 30,000 of its inhabitants were sold into slavery.

This coin was struck a few decades after the Roman conquest, when Tarentum was rebuilding its prosperity. The devices - the helmeted head of Athena on the obverse paired with the facing owl of the reverse - were borrowed from the coins of Athens, which at this time were still widely recognized for their weight and purity and thus used in trade. It perhaps seems unusual that a city that claimed descent from Sparta would use Athenian types, but by this time the Peloponnesian Wars were long over and Tarentum was striving to reclaim its former glory as a cultural center. What better way to do this than to claim as her own Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and her beloved all-seeing owl?
Current Status
Online bidding closes:
11 Oct 2020 18:36:30 CEST
Current Date & Time:
05 Dec 2020 23:27:25 CET
Remaining Time:
Closed
Hammer Price:
460 CHF by MailBidder6589 (Bids: 15)

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Lot 553
Starting Price: 100 CHF
CALABRIA. Tarentum. Circa 240-228 BC. Drachm (Silver, 14.5 mm, 3.19 g, 4 h), struck under the magistrate Olympis. Athena wearing Attic helmet with crest to right, her helmet decorated with a figure of Skylla to right, throwing a boulder with her right hand. Rev. ΟΛΥΜΠΙΣ Owl, with closed wings and with its head facing, standing to right on an olive branch; in field to right, A. HN Italy 1060. Cf. Vlasto 1103 (wreath instead of A). Clear and well-struck. Very fine.
Hammer Price: 460 CHF
Lot 554
Starting Price: 200 CHF
LUCANIA. Herakleia. Circa 281-278 BC. Nomos (Silver, 20 mm, 7.83 g, 5 h), time of Pyrrhos, struck under the magistrate Aris... ˫ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙΩΝ Head of Athena to right, wearing Corinthian helmet adorned with ketos to right, a pendant earring and a simple necklace; behind Athena's neck, [E]. Rev. Youthful Herakles standing facing, nude but for lion's skin over his left arm, holding club in right hand, bow and an arrow in left; above club, owl standing right, head facing; in field to left, APIΣ. HN III 1385. SNG ANS 78-9. Clear and nicely centered. Light surface granularity, otherwise, good very fine.
Hammer Price: 360 CHF
Lot 555
Starting Price: 200 CHF
LUCANIA. Metapontum. Circa 400-340 BC. Nomos (Silver, 20.5 mm, 7.68 g, 3 h). Head of Demeter to right, her hair bound by a net, wearing a double-curved earring and a simple pearl necklace. Rev. META[Π] Ear of barley with a leaf to the right; above leaf, a pear. BMC 143 (same dies). HN III 1542. Noe 487 (same dies). McClean 967 (same dies). Some flatness in strike, otherwise, good very fine.
Hammer Price: 420 CHF
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