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The coinage of the district which takes its name from the Lucanians, a people of Samnite race who migrated southwards about B.C. 400, consists—

(i) Of the money of the ancient Achaean and other Greek towns, Sybaris, Siris, and Metapontum on the east side, and Laüs and Pyxus on the west, together with that of Velia and Poseidonia.
(ii) Of that of the later Greek colonies Thurium and Heraclea.
(iii) Of that of the Lucanians after they had made themselves masters of Poseidonia, Laüs, and Metapontum, and had become partially Hellenized.
(iv) Of that of Paestum (Poseidonia), and Copia (Thurium), under the Romans.

Lucani. The coinage of the Lucanians, like that of the Bruttians, with which it is contemporary, did not commence before the beginning of the third century B.C. at the earliest, and it did not continue beyond the conclusion of the Second Punic War, when, after Hannibal's departure, Lucania was finally subdued by Rome.


(1) Time of the Pyrrhic war (?).
Head of bearded Ares helmeted. ΛΟΥΚΑΝΟΜ Athena fighting.
Æ 1.0
  „   Nike crowning trophy.
Æ 1.0
Head of Nike, with inscr. ΝΙΚΑ.   „  Zeus hurling fulmen.
Æ .65

(2) Time of the Hannibalic war (?) [1]
Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet (Evans, Horsemen, p. 207; Imhoof, Berl. Blätt., 1870, Pl. VIII. 1). ΛΟΥΚΑ Ear of corn with leaf on which, owl.
AR Drachm wt. 48.5 grs.
Head of Herakles in lion-skin. ΛΥΚΙΑΝΩΝ Athena fighting, wolf's head in field.
Æ 1.0
Head of Zeus.   „  Eagle with open wings, wolf’s head in field.
Æ .8

The wolf’s head shows that the Lucanians connected their name with λυκος.


Circ. B.C. 550-510.

SΜΑ (in ex.) Bull l. with head re- verted; on his back, locust. No inscr. Type of obv., incuse.
AR wt. 124 grs.

There seems to be no doubt about the reading of this rare coin. Prof. E. Pais (Rendiconti della R. Accad. dei Lincei, vol. xvi, fasc. I,

1 For other types see L. Sambon, Mon. de la Presqu'île ital., p. 258.

1907) attributes it to the town of Aminaea (see Pauly, Real-Encycl. s. v.), which, on the evidence of the coin he supposes to have been situated near Sybaris. Cf. also another uncertain coin reading Pal and Mol, p. 83, infra.

Heraclea (Policoro) was a colony jointly of Tarentum and Thurium, established B.C. 432 to occupy the territory of the ancient Siris, and to form an outpost against the growing power of the Lucanians. Hence it was chosen by Archytas, strategos at Tarentum, B.C. 380-345, as the seat of the general assembly of the Italiot Greeks. This was the cause of Heraclea becoming a place of considerable importance.

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Alexander of Epirus, during his Italian campaign circ. B.C. 330, removed the synod from Heraclea to the borders of the territory of Thurium out of enmity to the Tarentines (Strabo, vi. 3, 4). Shortly after this Heraclea may have fallen into the hands of the Lucanians (Lenormant, Grande Grèce, i. 168), but, if so, it does not appear to have been deprived of autonomy. In the Pyrrhic war it sided with the other Greek towns, but soon afterwards, B.C. 272, it accepted the Roman protectorate under a treaty especially favourable (Cic. Pro Balb. 22; Pro Arch. 4), and about this time or even earlier the weight of the didrachm was definitely reduced, as at Tarentum, to 105 grs. = 6 Roman scruples.

The coins of Heraclea should be studied in conjunction with those of its metropolis Tarentum, the standard of which they follow. They may be divided into the following classes:—

SILVER. I. Circ. B.C. 432-380. Diobols. wt. 22 grs.

Head of Herakles, bearded or young, in lion-skin. ΗΕ sometimes retrogr. Lion running. [B. M. Guide, Pl. XV. 5.]
Head of Athena in crested Athenian helmet on which hippocamp. ΗΕ Herakles kneeling, strangling lion. [Hunter Cat., I. 85.]

II. Circ. B.C. 400-370. Didrachms of the Italic-Tarentine standard, 123-110 grs.

coin image
FIG. 32.

1. Head of Athena-Nike (?), her hair bound with olive and turned up behind, the whole surrounded by aegis with border of serpents. ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΩΝ or ├ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙΩΝ Herakles naked reclining on rocks, holding wine-cup in his hand (Fig. 32).


III. Circ. B.C. 370-281. GOLD.

There is but one gold coin known of this town, a ¼ stater weighing 33 grs. [Garrucci, Pl. CI. 29, Paris.]

Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet adorned with griffin. Herakles seated on rock.

SILVER. Didrachms.

2. Head of Athena in crested Athenian helmet adorned with hippocamp or Skylla. ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΩΝ or ├ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙΩΝ Herakles contending with lion (Fig. 33).
3. Head of Athena facing.   „  Similar.
4. Head of Athena as on No. 2. Herakles standing facing, holding club and lion-skin.
5. Head of Athena as on No. 3.   „  Similar.
6. Head of Athena in Corinthian hel- met; in front, sometimes, ΑΘΑΝΑ.   „  Similar.

coin image
FIG. 33.

(See also Imhoof-Blumer, Mon. gr., p. 2, and Hunter Cat., I. 87. The inscr. which is usually on the rev. is, on some specimens, repeated on the obv., while on others it occurs only on the obv.)

Head of Athena as on No. 2. ├ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙΩΝ Owl on olive- branch.
Wt. 57 grs.

Head of Herakles. ├ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙΩΝ Herakles and lion.
Head of Athena.   „  Same, or Herakles standing.

Quincunx or Obol.
Head of Athens as on No. 1. Club and bow •••••

Club and bow.
Corn-grain. ├ΗΡ Plough.


IV. Circ. B.C. 281-268 ? Didrachms of the Roman six-scruple standard, 105 grs. max.

Head of Athena in crested Corinthian helmet, plain or adorned with hippocamp, Skylla, or griffin. ├ΗΡΑΚΛΕΙΩΝ or ├ΗΡΑΚΛΗΙΩΝ (inscr. sometimes on obv.) Herakles standing, usually facing, sacrificing before altar, or crowning himself, or crowned by Nike, often with magistrate’s name. [B. M. Guide, Pl. XLV. 17.]


The bronze money of Heraclea seems to belong to the periods between circ. B.C. 330-228 (see chronology of Tarentine coins, p. 56, supra). The chief types are :—

Head of Persephone. Ear of corn.
Æ .8
Head of Athena facing. Trophy.
Æ .55
Owl on fulmen. Forepart of horse.
Æ .45
Athena sacrificing at altar. Two figures of Herakles.
Æ .8
Bust of Athena. One figure of Herakles.
Æ .65

The double and single Herakles on these coins, like the double-bodied owl on coins of Athens, simply mean that the one coin is double the value of the other (cf. Macdonald, Coin Types, p. 122, for other instances).

Head of Athena. Marine divinity (Glaukos ?) armed with helmet, shield, and spear.
Æ .55
Head of Herakles. Club, quiver, and bow.
Æ .5

The coin-types of Heraclea reflect its double origin: the head of Athena is borrowed from Thurium, and the cultus of Herakles, who gave his name to the city, from the Dorian Tarentum. Some of the finer speci- mens of the didrachm bear signatures of mint officials, possibly engravers, ΑΡΙΣΤΟΞΕΝΟΣ, Κ or ΚΑΛ, ΦΙΛΙΣΤΙΩΝ, ΦΙΛΟ, &c., some of which occur also on coins of various other cities in Magna Graecia (see Evans, Horsemen of Tarentum).

Laüs (Laino) was an ancient Achaean port on the western side of Italy, near the mouth of the river of the same name. It was a colony of Sybaris, and after the destruction of the latter, B.C. 510, a portion of the Sybarite refugees took up their residence there.

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In B.C. 390 the town fell into the hands of the Lucanians.

The coins of Laüs are of three classes, (i) and (ii) Silver Staters (129 grs. max.), Thirds (42 grs.), and Sixths (21 grs.), mostly belonging to the period of archaic art, i. e. to the end of the sixth and first decade of the fifth century B.C., and (iii) Bronze coins, all of which are subsequent to the silver and (perhaps with a few exceptions) later than B.C. 350.


Period I. Circ. B.C. 550-500.

Thin plate-like coins with reverse-types incuse. Inscription divided, ΛΑFI, ΛΑS or ΛΑS being placed on one side of the coin and Ν◇Μ on the other. The whole word, viz. Λαινος, the sing. masc. of the ethnic, with or without the digamma, probably refers to the type or παρα- σημον of the city (cf. Macdonald, Coin Types, p. 131)

coin image
FIG. 34.

Bull with human head (River Laos ?) looking back. Bull as on obv., incuse (Fig. 34)
Stater, wt. 126 grs.

Period II. Circ. B.C. 500-450. ΛΑS on both sides; types in relief.

Bull with human head looking back; sometimes, acorn in exergue. Bull with human head, but not looking back. [B. M. Guide, Pl. VII. 9.]
Stater, wt. 126 grs. Third, wt. 42 grs.
Similar. Acorn Sixth,
Wt. 21 grs.

Period III. Circ. B.C. 350 or later.

Female head of finest style, wearing sphendone; magistrate ΕΥΘΥΜΟΥ. (Cf. Imhoof, Mon. gr., p. 3.) ΛΑΙΝΩΝ Crow to right; symbol, ram’s head; magistrate ΣΠΕΛ
Æ .8

Of this coin there are varieties without magistrates’ names.

ΛΑΙΝΩΝ Head of Persephone; around, dolphins. Crow; symbols, stag’s head and star; magistrates ΜΙ ΒΕ.
Æ .75
ΛΑ Head of a goddess; hair in sphen- done. Crow; magistrates ΚΟ ΜΟ.
Æ .55
ΛΑ Head of goddess, facing. Two crows passing one another in opposite directions.
Æ .6
Head of young River-god (Laos) horned. Two crows in opposite directions.
Æ .5

There are also coins of Laüs without the name of the town, struck perhaps in the names of Lucanian chiefs :—

Head of Dionysos. Crow. Legend ΣΤΑ ΟΨΙ
Æ .65
Bead of Herakles.   „  ,,  „  
Female head, hair rolled.   „    „  CΙ ΒΙ
Æ .6


The magistrates’ names ΣΤΑ and ΟΨΙ may perhaps be completed Statius and Opsidius (cf. ΣΤΑΤΙΟΥ on a coin of Nuceria in Bruttium); and CΙ ΒΙ, if correctly read, may be Vibius.

Metapontum was an Achaean colony of remote antiquity, which, after having been destroyed, was refounded from Sybaris, under the leader- ship of Leukippos, early in the sixth century B.C. It occupied a plain of extraordinary fertility on the Gulf of Tarentum, between the rivers Bradanos and Kasuentos. Its coinage in the earliest period consists of Staters (129 grs. max.), Thirds (42 grs.), Sixths (21 grs.), and Twelfths (11 grs.), inscribed ΜΕΤΑΠ◇ΝΤS, usually abbreviated and often retro- grade. In fabric the coins resemble those of the other Achaean cities, being thin plate-like disks with the reverse-type incuse.

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Period I. Circ. B.C. 550-470.

coin image
FIG. 35.

Ear of corn in high relief, often accom- panied by a locust (Fig. 35). Ear of corn incuse; where there is a locust on the obverse a dolphin usually takes its place on the reverse.
Staters, 129 grs. max.; Thirds, 42 grs.
Same. Bull’s head facing, incuse.
Sixth, 21 grs.
Same. Corn-grain.
Same. Corn-ear.
Same. Three crescents with four pellets.

Towards the close of this first period the fabric of the coins becomes more compact, and the pieces gain in thickness what they lose in super- ficies. The Locust is often replaced by a Ram’s head or a Lizard.

The badge of Metapontum, the Ear of corn, would seem to imply that Demeter was the divinity chiefly honoured there, though Busolt (i. 411) quotes authorities to show that it was Apollo rather than Demeter; connecting with this the offering of the Metapontines at Delphi of a θερος χρυσουν (Strab. vi. 264). May not, however, that offering have been simply the dedication of the παρασημον of the city ? (Mac- donald, Coin Types, p. 65). The locust, or some other creature destruc- tive to the crops, is, according to Lenormant (Grande Grèce, i. p. 128), intended as a sort of propitiation of the destroying influences in nature— the powers of death and destruction. It seems more probable, however, that it is merely a touch of local colour, like the beetle on the famous tetradrachm of Aetna (q. v.).


Period II. Circ. B.C. 470-400.

In this period the incuse reverse disappears, and its place is taken by a reverse-type in relief.

ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn. Symbol frequently a Locust. ΜΕΤΑΠ Five corn-grains in star pattern (B. M. C., p. 242)

coin image
FIG. 36.

ΜΕΤΑ retrogr., Ear of corn. Symbol frequently a Locust: cable border on both sides (Babelon, Traité, Pl. LXVI. 20). The River Acheloös in human form, bearded, and with bull’s horns and ears, naked but for chlamys, standing facing, holding phiale and long reed; inscr.
dolphin sometimes in field.
Same. Apollo naked, standing, holding laurel tree and bow; ill front sometimes an altar (Fig. 36)
Same. Herakles standing, naked, with club over shoulder.
Same. Herakles sacrificing at altar.
Same. Apollo seated, wearing chlamys, playing lyre; before him, laurel tree.
Same. Head of bull with human face in pro- file (Acheloös ?). Sixth.

The worship of Acheloös at Metapontum is proved by the remarkable inscription ‘Αχελοιο αεθλον, showing that games, for which these coins were struck, were celebrated in his honour.

Among the other divinities to whose worship at Metapontum the coins of the fifth century bear witness, are Herakles, who is said to have rested in the Metapontine plain while bringing the oxen of Geryon across Italy, and Apollo. The worship of Apollo was especially enjoined upon the Metapontines by Aristeas, the disciple and successor of Pytha- goras. The figure of Apollo with the laurel tree, on the stater described above, was probably suggested by the statue mentioned by Herodotus as standing in the agora at Metapontum with laurel trees round about it (περιξ δε αυτον δαφναι εστασι, Herod. iv. 15).

Period III. Circ. B.C. 400-350.

In the period of finest art the following are the most remarkable types of the stater :—

Head of Herakles in lion-skin. ΜΕΤΑ, &c. Ear of corn (sometimes with locust).

coin image
FIG. 37.

Young head with ram’s horn and ear. ΜΕΤΑ, &c. Ear of corn (Fig. 37).
Female head. Inscr. ├ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ (Fig. 38). ΜΕΤΑ, &c. Ear of corn.

coin image
FIG. 38.

Female head. Inscr. ├ΥΓΙΕΙΑ ΜΕΤΑ, &c. Ear of corn.
Female head. Inscr. ΔΑΜΑΤΗΡ   „  ,,  „   (ΒΑΛ Bird, &c.)
Female head; hair in sphendone.   „  ,,  „   (Murex.)
Female head; hair rolled.   „  ,,  „  (Vase.)
Female head, laur. Signed ΑΡΙΣΤΟΞΕ
Female head. Signed ΑΡΙΣΤΙ (?); behind head ΤΑΘΣ.   „  ,,  „   (Spink, Num. Circular, 1900, p. 3787.)
Female head; hair bound with cord wound four times round it.   „  ,,  „  (Honey-suckle.)
Female head with curly hair.   „  ,,  „  (ΖΟ.) [B. M. Guide, Pl. XXIV. 16.]
Female head with corn-wreath.   „  ,,  „  (Locust.)
Head of Zeus, sometimes with ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΟΣ   „  ,,  „  (Poppy-head.) [B. M. Guide, Pl. XXXIV. 18.]
Head of young Dionysos. Signed ΠΟΛΥ   „  ,,  „  (Owl flying.)
Head of Apollo, laur. Inscr. ΑΠΟΛ   „  ,,  „  (Σ sometimes.)

The purity and beauty of the work exemplified on the numerous varieties of the heads on these coins leave nothing to be desired. Of the inscriptions which accompany them, those at full length are evidently epithets or appellations (e.g. ├ΥΓΙΕΙΑ, ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΟΣ, ├ΟΜΟΝΟΙΑ), or the names of the divinities themselves (e.g. ΔΑΜΑΤΗΡ), while the abbreviated names may be the signatures’ of die-engravers, ΑΡΙΣΤΟΞΕ., ΑΠΟΛ., ΠΟΛΥ. Those in larger characters, usually on the reverse, are doubtless the signatures of monetary magistrates.

The goddess variously represented, and under various names, is probably Demeter or Persephone.

The young male head with ram’s horn and ear, may be either the Libyan Dionysos, or possibly Apollo Karneios, the god of flocks and herds.

The only small coins of this period appear to be Sixths with the young horned head, or with a bearded horned head, which may be Zeus Ammon.


Period IV. Circ. B.C. 350-330.

Head of Leukippos in Corinthian helmet ornamented with Skylla. Inscription ΛΕΥΚΙΠΠΟΣ Two ears of corn, ΣΙ [B. M. Guide, Pl. XXIV. 14]
wt. 44 grs.
Female head with flowing hair, wearing stephane. ΜΕΤΑΠΟΝ Ear of corn.
wt. 44 grs.


coin image
FIG. 39.

Head of bearded hero Leukippos in Corinthian helmet adorned with vic- torious chariot; symbol, forepart of lion. ΜΕΤΑΠΟΝΤΙΝΩΝ or ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn (Fig. 39).
Distater, wt. 240 grs.
Similar. Inscr. ΛΕΥΚΙΠΠΟΣ Same.
AR Stater, wt. 122 grs.

Magistrates’ names ΑΠΗ, ΑΜΙ, ΔΑ?, ├Η, &c.; various symbols.

Head of hero with slight whisker, in Corinthian helmet. Inscription ΘΑΡΡΑΓΟΡΑΣ ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn (Imhoof-Blumer, Mon. gr., Pl. A. 2)
AR Stater.
Apollo standing with bow. [Hunter Cat., 1. Pl. VI. 20.] ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn: the whole in olive-wreath.
½ Stater, wt. 52.5 grs.

In this period Metapontum appears to have assimilated her coinage to that of Thurium, and to have adopted a divisional system by two and four instead of by three and six.

Period V. Circ. B.C. 330-300 (some perhaps later).

On the coins of this period the head of Demeter (or Persephone) appears with flowing hair, usually in profile, but sometimes facing and accompanied by the epithet ΣΩΤΗΡΙΑ.

Another late type is a female head with the inscription ΝΙΚΑ. On the latest issues the execution is generally unworthy of the conception, and very careless.

It is improbable that any staters were struck in the name of Meta- pontum after the capture of the town by the Lucanians shortly before B.C. 300, for there are none of the reduced standard as at Tarentum and Heraclea, and magistrates’ names at full length do not occur.


Half-staters of declining weight are, however, met with, some of which may perhaps be assigned to the time of the Hannibalic occupa- tion of the city, B.C. 212-207 (Evans, Horsemen, p. 206). The following are the usual types of the stater in Period V:—

coin image
FIG. 40.

Head of Demeter with corn-wreath, and (i) flowing hair, in profile, or (ii) facing (with ΣΩΤΗΡΙΑ); (iii) hair rolled; (iv) hair in sphendone; (v) veil hanging down behind; (vi) hair in net; (vii) veiled. ΜΕΤΑ, &c. Ear of corn (Fig. 40). Symbols: plough, ant, cornucopiae, amphora, vine-branch, cicada, star, Nike, satyr, tongs, griffin, rake, Artemis, club and fulmen, bucra- nium, leaf, caduceus, tripod, mouse, krater, &c. Magistrates: ΜΑΝ, ΦΙ, ΔΙ, ΛΥ, ΑΘΑ, ΔΑ, ΠΡΟ, ΦΑ, ΚΡΙ, &c. [B. M. Guide, Pl. XXXIV. 20 and 21.]
Female head, (i) wearing laureate stephanos (inscr. ΝΙΚΑ). (ii) with hair in sphendone adorned with stars (ΝΙΚΑ). ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn. Symbols: locust, mouse, pomegranate, pear, &c. Ma- gistrate: ΣΤ, &c.
Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet. ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn. Symbols: owl and club.
Head of young Dionysos three-quarter- face, ivy-crowned. Mag.: ΚΑΛ. ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn. Symbol: serpent. Mag.: ΦΙΛ.


Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet. [Hunter Cat., 1. Pl. VI. 25.] ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn. Symbol: owl.
½ Stater, 62-49 grs.
Owl on olive-branch, ΣΙ. ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn.
½ Stater, wt. 49 grs.
Head in winged helmet (Roma ?). Ear of corn. (ΛΥΚ in mon.) Symbol: club.
Half-staters, 56-49 grs.
Head of Demeter with flowing hair. ΜΕΤΑ Ear of corn. Symbol: plough.
Diobol, wt. 21 grs.
ΜΕΤΑΠΟΝΤΙ Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet. Ear of corn. Symbols: plough, cornu- copiae, &c.
Diobol, wt. 21 grs.

BRONZE COINS. After, circ. B.C. 330. Inscr. ΜΕ, ΜΕΤ, ΜΕΤΑ.

Hermes sacrificing, ΕΥ. Ear of corn. Inscr. ΟΒΟΛΟΣ
Æ Size .85
ΜΕ Head of Demeter hair rolled.   „    „   ΟΒΟΛΟΣ.
Æ Size .8
Female head.   „  
Head of Herakles.   „  
Head of Zeus. Two ears of corn.
Head of Hermes. Three corn-grains.
Head of Athena.   „    „  

Head of Helios. Three corn-grains.
Young horned head. Ear of corn.
Head of Seilenos.   „  
Head of Artemis. Kantharos.
Head of Leukippos. Demeter with torch.
Head of Dionysos. Ear of corn.
Eagle on fulmen. Ear of corn and fulmen.
Athena fighting. Owl.
Mask. Corn-grain.
Female head in stephane.   „  
Tripod.   „  Inscr. ΤΕ and ΗΕ.

Of these bronze coins, which range in size from .85 to .45 inch, those with the inscription ΟΒΟΛΟΣ are interesting, as they prove that bronze was accepted at Metapontum merely as money of account. The small coins with ΤΕ and ΗΕ may likewise be Τεταρτημορια and Ημιτεταρτημορια.

Poseidonia (Pesto) was colonized from Sybaris in the seventh century B.C. In fabric its earliest coins resemble those of the other Achaean towns; but in two important points they differ from them, viz. in their weight and in their system of division, in both of which they follow the Cam- panian standard of the neighbouring Phocaean colony Velia (Staters 118 grs. and Drachms 59 grs. max.).


Period I Circ. B.C. 550-470.

coin image
FIG. 41.

ΠΟΜ (retrograde) Poseidon naked, with chlamys hanging loosely across his shoulders, wielding trident, and occasionally holding a wreath in his extended hand (an agonistic prize ?); a dolphin or pistrix sometimes as an adjunct symbol. ΠΟΜ (retrograde). Same type incuse. (Fig. 41.)
AR Stater, 118 grs.

Some of the coins of this period are inscribed ΠΟΜΕI FIIΜ (Babelon, Traité, p. 1434 sq.). Millingen (Considérations, p. 45) thought that FIIΜ might stand for an alliance between Poseidonia and Phistelia. Babelon takes it for the name of the little river Is (the modern Jun- carella), mentioned by Lycophron. Millingen’s suggestion is both chronologically and geographically impossible, but there is much more to be said in favour of the other hypothesis, for it is quite probable that local games may have been held on the banks of the river Is.

With considerable diffidence, however, I may offer a third suggestion. I am inclined to think that all the early coins of Poseidonia, like those

of so many other cities, were festival issues, and it is conceivable that this particular issue reading FIIΜ may have been specified as such; the abbreviated word Fiis being cognate tor the Oscan Fiisia = the Latin Feriae or Festus (Conway, Italic Dialects, p. 621). If so, the inscription might be interpreted as equivalent to ΠΟΣΕΙ ΙΕΡΑ indicating that the coin was issued for a Poseidonian Festival. The chief objection to this explanation seems to be the improbability of the adoption by Greek colonists of a native Italian name for ‘festival'.

Period II. Circ. B.C. 470-400.

Early in the fifth century a complete change was effected in the coinage of Poseidonia. The Campanian standard then gave way to the Achaean, the weight of the stater being raised to 129 grs. max., while Thirds (42 grs.), Sixths (21 grs.), and Twelfths (11 grs.) took the place of the older Halves. The fabric of the coins of this second class is thick and compact, and the types are in relief on both sides. The change in standard and in fabric is contemporary with the introduction 6f a new reverse type, the Bull, probably due to an influx of refugees from Sybaris (see Macdonald, Coin Types, p. 115). Inscr. ΠΟΜΕSΔΑΝSΑΤΑΜ (Ποσειδανιατας), more or less abbreviated, accompanied rarely by addi- tional inscriptions, e.g. ΜΕΙOld Italic ESΑ (retrogr.), which, like FSSΜ (retrogr.) on the coins mentioned above, may have been intended to specify the festival which necessitated this particular issue of silver staters.

The word ΜΕΙOld Italic ESΑ (retrogr.) in this sense might stand for Silaria, i. e. Games celebrated on the banks of the river Silaros, the northern boundary of the Poseidonian territory (cf. Αχελοιο αεθλον). The alter- native theory that there may have been a city named Silaros, between which and Poseidonia there was a monetary alliance, seems to me highly improbable. No such town is mentioned by any ancient writers.

coin image
FIG. 42.

Poseidon wielding trident. Bull. (Fig. 42.).
AR Stater, 126 grs.

Towards the close of the fifth or the beginning of the fourth century, another new type, the head of Hera Argoia (= Lakinia) facing, was adopted at Poseidonia (Strab. vi. 252); cf. the similar head on later coins of Neapolis, Hyria, &c.

Head of Hera Argoia facing, wearing stephanos. ΠΟΜΕΙΔ Bull.
AR Stater.

This is also the time to which the bronze coins, for the most part resembling in type the silver with Poseidon and Bull, and bearing the inscr. ΠΟΜΕI, or more often ΠΟΜΕΙΔ, belong. These are the last coins struck at Poseidonia before its capture by the Lucanians, circ. B.C. 400-390. By the Lucanians the name of the town was corrupted into Paestum.


Paestum. The coins of Paestum, as the barbarous Lucanians desig- nated the ancient and wealthy Greek city that had fallen into their hands, are all of a late period. It is doubtful indeed whether any money was struck there before the Roman colonization of the town in B.C. 273. The coins may be divided into the following classes :—

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I. Circ. B.C. 300-268, with Greek or semi-Greek inscr.

ΠΑΙSΤΑΝΟ Head of young river-god horned and crowned with reeds; behind, a swan. The Dioskuri on horseback (Sambon, Presqu'île, Pl. XX. 26).
AR Stater, 111 grs.
Head of. Poseidon. (Hunter Cat., I. Pl. VII. 6.) ΠΑΙΣΤΑΝΟ Winged Eros on dolphin.
Æ Size .85
  „   ΠΑΙ Dolphin.
Æ  „  .5
Heads of the Dioskuri. Π Dolphin.
Æ  „  .45

These coins may have been issued either by the Lucanians or under the Romans, before the coinage of silver was interdicted by Rome in B.C. 268.

II. Circ. B.C. 268-89, with ΠΑΙS and marks of value.

Semis. Head of Poseidon. Trident.
Triens. Head of young Dionysos. Cornucopiae.
Quadrans. Head of Poseidon. Dolphin.
Sextans.  „     „  
  „  Head of Demeter. Forepart of boar or whole boar.
Sescuncia.  „   Wolf.
Uncia. Head of Artemis. Ear of corn.

III. With PAES and marks of value.

Semis. Head of Poseidon. Anchor and rudder.
  „    „   Prow and dolphin.
Triens. Head of Dionysos. Cornucopiae.
  „  Shield.   „  and fulmen crossed.
  „    „     „  
  „  Lion.   „  
Sextans. Head of Demeter. Forepart of boar.
Sescuncia.  „   Wolf.

IV. With PAE, &c., marks of value, and names of Duumviri and other municipal magistrates.

This series extends down to the age of Augustus and Tiberius. Paestum, for some reason which remains unexplained, having been allowed by the express permission of the Roman Senate circ. B.C. 89 to continue the issue of small bronze coins long after that privilege had been withdrawn from all the other towns in Italy, the letters P. S. S. C. on late coins of Paestum stand for Paesti Signatum Senatus Consulto. Among these later coins of Paestum is one which illustrates the actual process of striking coins in the first century B.C. On the Obv. of this

piece is a balance, containing in one scale a weight and in the other a coin; while on the Rev. are two workmen, of whom one is in the act of striking with a hammer a coin-die or anvil placed on the top of a square block (Hill, Handbook, p. 148).

Pal.... Mol.... These abbreviated words are supposed to stand for two unknown cities, probably in Lucania. Circ. B.C. 550-500. Thin plate-like fabric.

coin image
FIG. 43.

ΠΑΛ Boar. (Fig. 43.) Μ◇Λ Boar incuse.
AR Stater, wt. 122 grs.

Siris and Pyxus. Siris, called after the river of that name, occupied a fertile territory on the bay of Tarentum. The history of the town is involved in much obscurity. There appears to have been in very remote times a town called Siris in these parts, but the city of which we possess coins was a subsequent Ionian settlement, the origin of which is ascribed to the early part of the seventh century B.C. This Ionian city rivalled in wealth and luxury its most powerful Achaean neighbours. We hear of it in the reign of Cleisthenes of Sicyon, circ. B.C. 572 (?), for one of its citizens was among the suitors of Agariste [1] but the details of this story can hardly be accepted as historical. It was attacked and probably destroyed by Metapontum, Croton, and Sybaris at some time previous to the fatal quarrel between the two last-named cities (Beloch, Siris in Hermes (1894); Holm, Gr. Gesch. I. 443; Busolt, Gr. Gesch. II. 759; and Pais, Ancient Italy, pp. 67-86).


Its coins cannot be ascribed to an earlier date than B.C. 560, and they are in all respects similar to the earliest money of Sybaris, of which Siris was probably a formidable commercial rival (Busolt, Gr. Gesch. I [2]. p. 412, and II. p. 758). They are also valuable historical documents, for they reveal to us the existence, in the sixth century B.C., of the town of Pyxus, which stood on the opposite shore of the Bruttian peninsula, facing the west. The territories of Siris and Pyxus were therefore probably adjacent to one another, a fact which may serve to explain a monetary alliance between them :—

ΜIΡIΝΟΜ (Σιρινος). Bull looking back. ΠVΧΟΕΜ (Πυξοες). Same type, incuse.
AR Stater, wt. 120 grs.
[B. M. Guide, Plate VIII. 14.]

1 Herod. vi. 127.


Πυξοες (Πυξους) is the name of the town in the nominative case. Σιρινος, like Λαινος, Ποσειδανιατας, &c., is an adjective, also in the nomina- tive, and doubtless refers to the type or παρασημον of the city (cf. Laüs, supra). Pyxus, which this remarkable coin shows to have been in inti- mate commercial relations with Siris circ. B.C. 560-510, is not mentioned before B.C. 471, when it is said to have been founded by Micythus, tyrant of Messene. The evidence of the coins proves that this statement is erroneous, or at least that Micythus cannot have been the original founder of the town (De Luynes, Nouv. Annales, i. p. 395), which had probably fallen into decay after the destruction of Sybaris (B.C. 510), with whose fortunes its geographical situation would link it closely.

Sybaris. The archaic coinage of this city, the most splendid and flourishing Achaean colony in Italy in early times, belongs to the sixth century B.C., and consists of the following denominations, inscribed MV, MVΒ, MVΒΑ (= ΣΥΒΑ) usually retrograde, and on one specimen [M]VbetaΑΡIΤΕM (Z. f. N., vii. 230, Pl. IV. 5).


coin image
FIG. 44.

Bull with head reverted (River-god Krathis ?); cable border (Fig. 44). Same type, incuse.
Staters 121 grs., Thirds 42 grs.
Similar. Amphora, incuse.
Sixths 21 grs.
Similar. No type. Inscr. MV.
Twelfths 10 grs.

The Sybarite refugees, who, after the destruction of their city in B.C. 510, would seem to have found a-home in Laüs, Scidrus, and probably also in Poseidonia, returned in B.C. 453, and with the help of the people of Poseidonia, rebuilt their ruined city at a short distance from the ancient site. This new Sybaris enjoyed but a short lease of life, for the Crotoniates, jealous of the revival of their ancient foe, expelled the unfortunate colonists and levelled to the ground their newly built walls B.C. 448. Nevertheless, this short interval of six years has left us a numismatic record, for to this time only can we attribute the following coins. Inscr. MV, MVΒ, or MVΒΑ, retrograde on obv, or rev.

Circ. B.C. 453-448.

Poseidon brandishing trident. Bull standing.
Sixths (?), wt. 25-17 grs.
Poseidon brandishing trident. Bird (dove?)
Sixth, wt. 20 grs.

In alliance with Poseidonia.

VM Poseidon brandishing trident. [B. M. C., Italy, p. 287.] ΠΟM Bull standing.
Sixth, wt. 13.5 grs.
V{SAN} ΒΑ Two phialae, [Garrucci, Pl. XXI. 17]. ΠΟ-MΕS Bull standing.
Sixth (?).

These alliance coins are a distinct proof that Poseidonia took part in the recolonization of Sybaris. A few years later the Sybarite exiles prevailed upon the Athenians to assist them in another attempt at the restoration of the unfortunate city, and this time the project resulted in a brilliant success, the foundation of the great Panhellenic settlement of New Sybaris, B.C. 443. The Sybarite element in the new colony was, how- ever, far outnumbered by colonists from other parts of Greece, and they made themselves so unpopular by claiming to take the lead in the management of affairs (Diod. xii. 11) that they were obliged to retire to a third site near the mouth of the river Traeis, where they founded another city for themselves. It is a moot point whether the following coins belong to this third foundation of exiled Sybarites or whether they are not the first coins of the Athenian colony called originally Sybaris, and, afterwards, Thurium (see Meyer, Gesch. des Alterthums, IV. 25; Busolt, Gr. Gesch., III. i. p. 528; and Hill, Hist. Gr. Coins, p. 51). This coinage cannot have lasted many years for it is uniform in style. It consists of Thirds, Sixths, and Twelfths of the old Achaean standard.

Circ. B.C. 443.

Head of Athena in Athenian helmet, bound with olive-wreath. [B. M. C., Italy, p. 286.] ΣΥΒΑΡΙ Bull with head reverted, or rushing, as on coins of Thurium.
AR Third, wt. 42 grs.
Same. ΣΥΒΑ Bull with head reverted.
AR Sixth, wt. 21 grs.
Same.   „  Bull’s head.
AR Twelfth, wt. 10 grs.

Thurium. This important colony was founded (B.C. 443) at a spot not far removed from the site of the deserted Sybaris, where there was a fountain named Thuria. It was called at first Sybaris, under which name it probably struck its earliest coins (see supra). Its rapid rise, after the expulsion of the old Sybarites and its change of name from Sybaris to Thurium, was doubtless in part due to the same local advantages which must have contributed so largely to the commercial prosperity of the ancient Sybaris, and in part also, perhaps, to a large influx of new colonists from Athens (Busolt, Gr. Gesch., III. i. p. 526 note). It must not be inferred from the advanced style of art exhibited by the earlier Thurian coins, or from the presence of the Ω in the inscription, that the Thurian mint was not active during the latter half of the fifth century (see Jørgensen in Corolla Num., p. 166), for it must be borne in mind that there was a predominant Ionic element in the population of Thurium, and there is no reason why the Ionic alphabet should not have been in use there from its first foundation (cf. the archaic coins of the Ionic Velia with ΥΕΛΗΤΩΝ struck certainly before B.C. 450).

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The coins of Thurium which fall into the period of the greatest prosperity of the city, circ. B.C. 425-400, take rank among the finest

specimens of numismatic art. For purity of style and delicacy of execu- tion nothing can excel the specimens with the letter Φ, which is of frequent occurrence also on coins of Heraclea, Neapolis (?), Velia, Terina, Tarentum, Metapontum, and Pandosia. [B. M. Guide, Pl. XV. 3, 7, 13, and Pl. XXV. 22.] [1]
coin image
FIG. 45.

Head of Athena in helmet bound with olive (Fig. 45). In field, Φ. ΘΟΥΡΙΩΝ Bull walking with head lowered, or rushing; beneath the bull is a little bird. In the exergue is a fish.
Stater or nomos, c. 120 grs.

Thirds, Sixths, and Twelfths, of the stater are also met with during this period and a few rare double-staters (c. 240 grs.) are known.

In B.C. 390 the Thurii suffered a severe defeat from the Lucanians (Diod. xiv. 101), but the city did not begin materially to decline before the middle of the fourth century, when the rise of the Bruttian power deprived it of its inland sources of wealth.

The coinage of this period, B.C. 400 to 350, reaches the highest point of excellence in respect of execution, without perhaps losing much of the severe delicacy of style which is so remarkable on the coins of the earlier time.

Circ. B.C. 400-350.

coin image
FIG. 46.

Head of Athena, her helmet richly adorned, generally with a figure of Skylla (Fig. 46), or occasionally with a hippocamp or a griffin. (Cf. Imhoof, Mon. gr., p. 7.) ΘΟΥΡΙΩΝ Rushing bull; in ex. usually a fish; other symbols, however, occur, and various letters, abbreviated names, and several signatures at full length, e.g. ΙΣΤΟΡΟΣ, ΜΟΛΟΣΣΟΣ, and ΝΙΚΑΝΔΡΟ, on the base be- neath the bull. Some of these may represent engravers (see A. J. Evans, N. C., 1896, p. 135 sq.)
AR Distater, Stater, and Sixth.
Head of Hera Lakinia full face, wear- ing stephanos. (See p. 106.) [Corolla Num., Pl. IX. 33]. Similar.
AR Stater.

1 McClean (N. C., 1907, 107) argues that the letter Φ on all these coins is not an artist's signature but a mark of value. See also von Fritze and Gaebler in Nomisma, I. p. 22.


The head of Athena on these coins is probably that of Athena Skyletria, a sea-goddess whose worship appears to have prevailed at the town of Skylletion (of which, however, we have no coins) as well as on the rocky Iapygian promontory, [1] at Heraclea, and perhaps at other dangerous points on the Bruttian coasts. [2] With regard to the meaning of the bull on the reverse of the coins of Thurium there has been much difference of opinion. Some take it to be a symbol of Dionysos, others to be the Βους θουριος or rushing bull indicative of the fountain Θουρια from which the city took its name, while others again, and perhaps with better reason, look upon it as symbolizing the river Krathis, and as merely an artistic outcome or development of the bull which was the constant type of the archaic coins of Sybaris.

Circ. B.C. 350-281.

In this period the names of magistrates occur with greater frequency, and a marked deterioration is noticeable both in the style and execution of the pieces (B. M. Guide, Pl. XXXIV. 22). The Sixths are of common occurrence, their types being the same as those of the larger coins. Regling (Klio, vi. pp. 517 and 522) has drawn attention to the noteworthy fact that there was a very remarkable increase in the weight of the Thurian staters, up to c. 128 grs., just before their reduction to the Roman six-scruple standard (c. 105 grs.).

Circ. B.C. 281-268 or later.

This attempt to restore the stater to its original weight failed, and about B.C. 281 the weight fans from 128 to 105 grs. max. This reduc- tion corresponds with a similar reduction at Tarentum and Heraclea, and marks the final adoption of the Roman six-scruple standard.

Head of Apollo, laureate. WΟΥΡΙΩΝ Rushing bull; magistrates’ names ΑΛΕ, API, ΖΩΙ, &c. [B. M. Guide, Pl. XLV. 18]
Stater 100 grs.
Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet. Similar type; above, owl.
Stater 100 grs.
Veiled female head; sceptre behind. WΟΥΡΙΩΝ Rushing bull.
AR 23 grs.

After B.C. 268 the coinage of silver ceases at Thurium, and is replaced by that of the Bruttii.

BRONZE. Circ. B.C. 400-300 and later.

The bronze coins of Thurium begin about B.C. 400. Their types, until about B.C. 300, resemble those of the silver coins, Obv. Head of Athena; Rev. Bull. Towards the middle of the fourth century a sudden and remarkable increase in their size and weight takes place. A similar rise is noticeable at the same time in the weight of the bronze money in Sicily.

1 Probably the three headlands to the north of the Skylletic Gulf. Strab. vi. 261. 2 Lycophron, l. 853. Lenormant, Gr. Grèce, ii. p. 338.


After B.C. 300 types referring to the worship of Apollo and Artemis replace the head of Athena and the bull. This new coinage was not of long duration.

Head of Apollo. Tripod.
Æ Size .7
  „    „   Lyre.
Æ .6
  „    „   Artemis huntress.
Æ .9
Head of Artemis. Apollo standing, holding lyre.
Æ .6
Head of Apollo. Cornucopiae.
Æ .5

Copia. Not until the dispatch of the Roman colony, B.C. 194, ‘in Thurinum agrum’ (Livy xxxiv. 53), does the coinage recommence, under a new name, Copia, and it is then restricted to small bronze coins struck according to the semuncial weight which was prevalent in Southern Italy before its legalization at Rome (Mommsen-Blacas, iii. p. 194). Cf. the coins of Paestum, Brundisium, Uxentum, and Valentia.

B.C. 194-89.

BRONZE, with marks of value. Semuncial weight.

As. Head of Janus. CΟΠΙΑ Cornucopiae.
Semis. Head of City veiled S   „    „  
Triens. Head of Athena ••••   „    „  
Quadrans. Head of Herakles•••   „    „  
  „  Head of Hermes.   „    „  

The Lex Plautia Papiria, B.C. 89, in legalizing the As of semuncial weight at Rome itself, put an end at the same time to all local issues, and enjoined upon the whole of Italy the exclusive use of the Roman money, all Italians being thenceforward admitted to the rights of Roman citizens.


Velia (Hyele, Elea) (Castell’ a Mare della Brucca ?), on the Tyrrhenian sea, some twenty miles south of Poseidonia, was founded about B.C. 540 by the Phocaeans who had voluntarily left their own land rather than submit to the Persians. They appear to have brought with them to their new home the system of weights with which they had been familiar in Asia, viz. the drachm of 60-58 grs., together with the Ionic alphabet, for the letters Η and Ω occur on the earliest inscribed coins of Velia.


Period I. Circ. B.C. 540-500.

No inscription. Forepart of lion devouring prey. [Babelon, Traité, Pl. LXVIII. 4-9.] Incuse square.
AR Drachm 60-58 grs. Diob. 18 grs. AR Obol grs.

These early coins are attributed to Velia, not only on account of their type, but also because they have been found in that district on more than one occasion.

Period II. Circ. B.C. 500-450.

In this period the didrachm of the Italic-Tarentine standard makes its first appearance at Velia:—

Lion’s head. [Babelon, Traité, Pl. LXVIII. 10.] No inscr. Head of fountain-nymph, Velia, of archaic style, hair turned up behind.
AR Didr. 125.7 grs.

coin image
FIG. 47.

Lion; above, Β. (Fig. 47.) VΕΛΗ or ΥΕΛΗΤΩΝ Similar head, of somewhat later style.
AR Didrachm, wt. 126 grs.
Head of nymph, Velia, wearing diadem of pearls, hair turned up behind. Style transitional. ΥΕΛΗΤΕΩΝ Lion; above, often an Owl flying[B. M. Guide, Pl. XV. 8]
AR Didrachm, wt. 118 grs.
Do., of archaic or transitional style. ΥΕΛΗ Owl on olive-branch.
AR Drachm, wt. 60 grs.

Period III. Circ. B.C. 450-400.

Didrachms and drachms of similar types, but of more advanced style.

Period IV. Circ. B.C. 400 and later.
Lion. Head of nymph, Velia, of finest style.
AR Didr. 118 grs.

coin image
FIG. 48.

Head of Athena in helmet bound with olive or richly adorned with griffin, &c. On some specimens the head is facing. On the helmet is occasion- ally seen an engraver’s name, ΚΛΕΥΔΩΡΟΥ, ΦΙΛΙΣΤΙΩΝΟΣ, ΗΡΑ, &c. ΥΕΛΗΤΩΝ Lion prowling, devouring prey, or seizing upon a stag. In field, various letters and symbols [Fig. 48. B. M. Guide, Pl. XXXIV. 23 and 24, and Hunter Cat., I. Pl. VIII].
AR Didrachm, wt. 118 grs.
Head of Athens in helmet bound with olive. ΥΕΛΗ Owl on olive-branch.
AR Drachm, wt. 59 grs.
Head of nymph, Velia. ΥΕΛΗ Owl with spread wings.
AR Diobol, wt. 16 grs.


During the whole of the fourth century the silver currency consisted, as in Campania, mainly of didrachms, the smaller divisions being rarely met with.

Some of the coins of this town are of great beauty.

BRONZE COINS. Circ. B.C. 350 and later.

The bronze coins belong chiefly to the latter half of the fourth century.

Head of Athena in helmet bound with olive. ΥΕΛΗ Forepart of lion devouring prey.
Æ .8
Head of young Herakles in lion’s skin.   „  Owl on olive-branch.
Æ .65
Head of Zeus.   „  Owl with spread wings.
Æ .65

The latest coins of all are the following:—

Head of Apollo. ΥΕΛΗ Tripod.
Æ .5
Rude helmeted head.   „    „  
Æ .5

Ursentum (?). The following bronze coins said to read ΟΡΣΑΝΤΙΝΩΝ have been attributed by L. Sambon (Presqu'île, p. 309) to an unknown town of this name. Imhoof (Zür Münzkunde Grossgriechenlands, 1887) suggests that the inscr. has been misread for [ΜΑΜΕΡ]ΤΙΝΩΝ.

Head of Artemis with quiver. ΟΡΣΑΝΤΙΝΩΝ Apollo standing.
Æ .6
Head of young Dionysos.   „  Demeter standing.
Æ .7
Female head.   „  Woman suckling child.
Æ .7