AR Didrachm. 7.4g, 22.8mm
MINTED: LUCANIA, Metapontion, circa 400-340 BC
REF: HN III 1531; Noe 454 (same dies); SNG ANS 344 (this obv die)
OBVERSE: Youthful head of Dionysos to left, wearing a diadem adorned with a maeander pattern and upright ivy-leaves; below chin, E.
REVERSE: META, Barley ear with leaf to left.
Good Fine. Lightly toned and struck from dies of good style.
Ex Vineyard Collection; ex Henzen (23 June 1998), lot 11
Founded in the late 8th century BC by Achaean Greek colonists, the coastal city of Metapontion possessed fertile lands on which bountiful harvests of grain, olives and grapes were grown each year. Capitalizing on its agriculture and trade, Metapontion grew exceptionally wealthy between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, a fact evidenced by the massive amount of silver coinage it produced during this period.
After he was expelled from Kroton, the famed philospher and mathematician Pythagoras made his home in Metapontion, where he died in 495 BC. Metapontion thrived through the course of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) and down to the end of the 4th century BC. Thereafter, its fortunes began to decline, in particular after it allied itself to Hannibal during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC) between Carthage and the Roman Republic. When Hannibal was forced to retreat from Lucania, he helped the citizens of Metapontion flee the city en masse to avoid being slaughtered or put to slavery by the Romans.
LUCANIA, Metapontion . 400-340 BC . AR Didrachm . Ex Vineyard Collection
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