Gaul, Massalia. c. 125-90 BC

Gaul, Massalia. c. 125-90 BC

1,450.00

AR Tetrobol, 2.68g (15.5mm, 5h). Draped bust of Artemis right, wearing stephane, bow and quiver over shoulder / Lion standing right, forepaw raised; Λ below, AΘ in exergue.

Pedigree: Ex Leo A. Young 18th CSNA Convention Sale (20 April 1956), lot 1660

References: F&P DRM-44-4; Depeyrot, Marseille 44/4; SNG Copenhagen –; Dewing 22; De La Tour 1090 var. 

Grade: Good VF, attractively toned with lovely iridescence, light deposits on obverse. (gk1311)

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Massalia was the earliest city founded by the Phokaian Greeks around 600 BC. Ancient Massalia, modern day Marseilles, is located on the Meditarranean coast. This coin was struck around the time that Massalia was under constant threat by other Celtic tribes. The Romans used the situation to conquer the area and later formed the Roman province of Gallia Transalpina. The earlier coins of Massalia had a beautiful Greek style but this slowly was diminished due to the large output required as it was the main currency of Southern Gaul. The coins were also extensively copied by various Celtic tribes as barbarous versions. In fact, the barbarous versions are far more common than those of finer Greek style. Eventually after 200 BC the coins from Massalia changed in weight (reduced) and style. Massalia finally lost its right to coin money after its capture by C. Trebonius of Caesar’s legends in 49 BC.