ISLANDS off THESSALY, Skyros. c. 485-480 BC. Didrachm (Silver, 23mm, 8.33 g). Two long horned and bearded goats, opposed vertically, back to back, with their heads turned inwards and their legs extended; between them, five-lobed fig leaf. Rev. Stellate design composed of a large central globule surrounded by four smaller ones and by two rays (towards the upper left and lower right) and two three-lobed fig leaves (towards the upper right and lower left); all within incuse square; die breaks at top, mid left edge and lower left edge. ANS Norman Davis 126 = Balcer 13, dies A.7/P.4 (this coin). BMFA 936. SNG Copenhagen 732. Very rare. Nicely toned and clear. Overstruck on an uncertain earlier issue. Crudely struck as usual, otherwise, good very fine.
From an American Collection and from the collection of Norman Davis.
Skyros is a fairly rough island and was never particularly prosperous. In the early 5th century BC it became the stronghold of the Dolopian Pirates who proceeded to terrorize the northern Aegaean until they were destroyed by the Athenians under Kimon c. 475. After that the island was settled by Athenian cleruchs and lapsed into obscurity: it is known for being the burial place of both Theseus (whose supposed bones, probably those of a giant sloth, were taken to Athens by Kimon) and the British poet Rupert Brooke (who had died of sepsis from a mosquito bite on the way to Gallipoli in World War I).
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