AE15. 4.22g, 16.7mm
MINTED: LUCANIA, Metapontion, after 280 BC
REF: SNG Cop 1257
OBVERSE: Head of Persephone or Demeter right.
REVERSE: Two ears of barley; META upwards to left.
Fine/Good. Dark green patina; rough surfaces.
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 . after 280 BC . AE16 . Ears of Barley
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