21 March 2023
Wonderful Classical Style
BRUTTIUM. Kroton. Circa 400-325 BC. Nomos (Silver, 23 mm, 7.77 g, 11 h). Head of Hera Lakinia facing, head turned slightly to right, wearing stephane ornamented with palmette and pearl necklace; to right, B. Rev. KPO-TΩNI-ATAΣ Herakles reclining left on a rock draped with lion's skin, holding one-handled cup in his right hand and resting his left on his club; below, bow. Attianese 138. HN Italy 2169. SNG ANS 375. Lovely Classical style with a gorgeous head of Hera and a finely engraved figure of Herakles. The usual die-break on the obverse, light porosity on the reverse, otherwise, nearly extremely fine.
Kroton was an Achaean foundation that goes back to the late 8th century. It became ever more powerful until, in 510, it destroyed its wealthy neighbor Sybaris and was the dominant city in the area. The foundation of Thurium in 444 weakened Kroton but during the 4th century it was the center of resistance to Syracusan expansion. The present coin bears a head of Hera that is, like so many other facing heads, derived from Kimon’s Arethusa. The figure of Herakles probably is taken from a 5th century statue that was erected in his honor as the mythical founder of the city.