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Messana, Sicily (hippocamp coll.)


[b]Messana, Sicily (hippocamp coll.; 412-408 BC.) AR Tetradrachm[/b] [u]Obv[/u]: Female charioteer (city goddess Messana), facing left, driving a trotting biga, holding kentron and reins; Nike flying above, facing right, crowning charioteer. [u]Rev[/u]: Hare springing right; hippocamp below, facing left; partially visible MESSANION legend. [u]Attribution[/u]: Caltabiano 599(D215/R231);SNG ANS 380(same dies);Naville 494. [u]Provenance[/u]: ex. Edward J. Waddell (lot#6), 11.30.05 [u]Weight[/u]: 17.30 gm. [u]Maximal Diameter[/u]: 25 mm [u]Axis[/u]: 12 [u]Notes[/u]: Coin minted ~10 yrs. before Messana was destroyed by Carthage (397/6 BC); a blow from which the city only slowly recovered over the course of the 4th century with the aid of Dionysios of Syracusa. Messana originally was colonized by settlers from Cumae and Euboea who named the city Zancle. It prospered for more than two centuries before in 490/89 it was captured by Anaxilas, the tyrant of Rhegium, a Greek colony on the Italian shore across the Straits of Messina. Since Anaxilas was of Messenian descent, he changed the city’s name from Zancle to Messana, and populated it with new arrivals from Messenia and Samos. He is credited with introducing the hare to Sicily, and he probably introduced the worship of Pan, a god native to Arcadia, a neighbouring district of his own Messina in the Peloponnesus. The local worship of Pan is amply demonstrated by the fact that the standard reverse type of the city’s tetradrachms is a leaping hare. GK205

From the album:

Hippocamp Collection

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