Lucania, Metapontum. c. 290-280 BC

Lucania, Metapontum. c. 290-280 BC

4,250.00

AR Stater, 7.81g (20mm, 7h). Head of Demeter r. / META, Barley ear; leaf to r. on which stand two tall narrow amphoras with star above.

Pedigree: Ex Bank Leu 100, 2007, lot 122

References: Johnston, Class D, 4.16. SNG Oxford 791

Grade: Beautiful toning and luster. Sharp strike with complete details. The star which is often off the flan on this issue is present. Mint State (gk1211)

Scroll down for more information about this coin.

Add To Cart
 

The coinage of Metapontum features the goddess Demeter, who represented harvest and agriculture and was the goddess of fertility of the earth. This imagery was well suited for the coinage of Metapontum since it was well known for its agricultural superiority in growing barley so the coins always allude to this strength. Many ancient Greek coins share this in common; an allusion to the chief god/goddesses or exports from that given city state. The earliest coins from Metapontum are one-sided (reverse is an incuse of the obverse) and show a barley grain. While the style changed over time it still maintained its strong relationship with the harvest.

This coin was struck just previous to the life altering Pyrrhic War which brought the burgeoning Roman power against southern Italy. King Pyrrhus of Epirus led the southern Italians in their fight. While historical records do not speak directly of Metapontum involvement in the war, it is unquestionable that they took some part in the fight.  Shortly after the war which in fact was a Pyrrhic victory the southern Italian cities fell under Roman domination. King Pyrrhus famously said that if he won another such victory he would go back alone to Epirus.