BRUTTIUM. Kroton. Circa 350-300 BC. Nomos (Silver, 22.5 mm, 7.66 g, 3 h). Eagle standing left on hair, with wings displayed and head raised. Rev. KPO Tripod surmounted by wreath; to right, stork standing left on Δ. HN III 2175. SNG ANS 369. Graffiti in fields, otherwise, very fine.
On the obverse this nomos from Kroton bears an eagle, its wings displayed and head uplifted and, on the reverse, a tripod. The eagle was the bird of Zeus, the leader of the gods residing on Mount Olympos, and whose presence heralded victory. As such it was often used as an oracular device in artistic convention. Here it is combined with the olive branch on which it stands, another symbol of victory, along with a tripod, a three-legged furnishing used in religious ceremony to hold offerings or libations to the gods. The small wreath atop the tripod is another sign of victory. All these symbols of victory must have heralded back to Kroton's past, as during the mid to late 4th century when this coin was struck, Kroton had already been conquered first by Dionysios of Syracuse, and afterwards occupied by the Brettii - certainly not the triumphant powerhouse that the types seem to proclaim.