BRUTTIUM. Caulonia. Late 6th century BC. AR stater or nomo...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionBRUTTIUM. Caulonia. Late 6th century BC. AR stater or nomos (30mm, 8.15 gm, 12h). NGC AU 4/5 - 5/5. KAVΛ, full-length figure of nude Apollo advancing right, olive branch in left hand, small winged figure (daemon) atop extended right arm, running right and holding branch in each hand; stag standing right, head reverted, in right field, guilloche border / Incuse of obverse, reversed and without ethnic; reeded border. Noe 23-25. HN Italy 2035. SNG ANS 151.
Ex The Lexington Collection of Jonathan K. Kern (Heritage Auction 3033, ANA Platinum Night, 8 August 2014), lot 23002.
Caulonia was founded in the 7th century BC by Achaean Greeks, either emigres from the homeland or from the nearby city of Croton. The location, on the underside of Italy's "toe" on a headland jutting out into the sea, has in the centuries since disappeared beneath the waves, but underwater archaeology has located more than 100 fluted columns and two spectacular mosaics, both depicting dragons, dating to the 5th-4th centuries BC. The columns were likely for a large shrine to Apollo, the deity depicted on the city's beautiful and intriguing coinage. On this magnificent piece, Apollo's entire nude body is shown in refined Archaic form, striding to right, with a small winged daemon on his left arm; to his right stands a stag, sacred to both Apollo and his sister Artemis. The unusual fabric of this piece follows a style peculiar to Greek southern Italy in the archaic period - broad, thin flan, obverse depicted in relief, reverse repeating the obverse motif but in negative relief, or incuse, and reversed. Creating such coins required a high degree of technical skill and quality control. The reasons for the popularity of this fabric are poorly understood; some scholars have postulated a connection to the mathematician-philosopher Pythagoras, who was active in Italy during this period and taught a creed which stressed the duality of mankind's nature and all existence.
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