Arkadia, Kleitor. c. 460-450 BC

Arkadia, Kleitor. c. 460-450 BC


AR Obol, 0.87g (8mm). Forepart of bridled horse right / Quadripartite incuse square divided diagonally.

Pedigree: From the J. Cohen Collection. Ex Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 363 (11 November 2015), lot 120; Classical Numismatic Group 49 (17 March 1999), lot 524

References: BCD Peloponnesos 1414; HGC 5, 869

Grade: Somewhat porous surfaces but interesting imagery and good strike. Good VF  (gk1070)

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There is not a lot of information written in regards to the ancient city of Kleitor. An 1854 book entitled, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, gives a bit more information. The city was also called Clitorium. The name was likely derived as Kleitor was located in an enclosed plain. Due to its topography, with no water on any side of it, Arkadia remained mostly separated from the rest of the Greek world. The Arkadians were known for their pastoral spirit and their land was considered paradise by the other Greeks. It was characterized as such in Greek and Roman poetry. The Arkadians mainly stayed away from the conflicts of the other Greeks but when they did side it was mainly with the Spartans.

Kleitor was also the location of a celebrated fountain which was to make anyone that tasted its waters lose their taste for wine. Another myth involving Kleitor are the singing fish which are prevalent in the Aroanius River, which flows through Kleitor. Apparently these fish were said to make bird-like noises similar to a thrush. Both Pliny and Athenaeus write about the singing fish.