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    Description

    ZEUGITANA. Time of Hannibal Barca. Carthage. Ca. 213-210 BC. AR half-shekel (3.11 gm). NGC AU 5/5 - 3/5, edge scuff. Carthage or uncertain mint in Sicily, ca. 213-210 BC. Laureate male head (Hannibal?) left / Elephant advancing right; in exergue, Punic aleph. A. Burnett, "The Enna hoard and the silver coinage of the Syracusan democracy," SNR 62 (1983), 116-31. SNG Copenhagen 383. Rare, with an outstanding head of fine style. Minor scuff on cheek, some edge delamination.

    This intriguing coin was tentatively assigned by E. S. G. Robinson to an uncertain mint in Spain, probably located at Gades (op. cit. pp. 43-5), and dated to 209 BC. In light of both the Enna hoard, which contained several examples, and an additional hoard from Campania, both Jenkins (SNG Copenhagen) and Villaronga (Gaceta Numismatica 40 [March 1976]: 15-6) reattributed them to the period of the Punic expedition to Sicily of 213-210 BC. There still remains the question of mint, however, with the fixed 12 h die-axis strongly indicating Carthage as opposed to a Siculo-Punic mint of the time. Nevertheless, the discovery of additional hoards in Sicily indicates the certainty that the issue was struck for use as payment to the mercenaries stationed on the island.


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    January, 2017
    17th-18th Tuesday-Wednesday
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