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Carthago Nova, Hispania (Carthaginian Reign)


[B]Carthago Nova, Hispania (228-221 BC.) AE 19[/B] [u]Obv[/u]: Male head wearing crested Corinthian helmet, facing right; dotted circular border. [u]Rev[/u]: Palm tree; dotted circular border. [u]Attribution[/u]: SNG BM Spain 94; Villaronga, L. (1973). La monedas hispano-cartaginesas. Barcelona. 113; Villaronga, L. (1994). Corpus nummum hispaniae ante augusti aetatem. Madrid. pg. 69, 41.; SNG Cop. 292 [u]Provenance[/u]: ex. CNG e173(#275), 9.26.07; ex. NAC1(#304), 3.29.89; ex. Alain Lagrange Coll. [u]Weight[/u]: 4.74 gm. [u]Maximal Diameter[/u]: 19 mm [u]Axis[/u]: 12 [u]Note[/u]: The Carthaginians, after losing the first Punic war (241 BC.), disembarked in Gaddir (237 BC.) in order to conquer the Iberian Peninsula and to use its wealth to face the Roman threat, using it as operational base. Important personages of this time are Hamilcar (237-229 BC.), Hasdrubal (229-228 BC.) and Hannibal (221-213 BC.). This last personage extended the Carthaginian dominion to his Maxima extension in the peninsula, marching towards Italy crossing the North coast of the Mediterranean, and initiating with his action the second Punic war. Like answer, Rome initiated in the peninsula the fight between the two great powers, that finished with the conquest of Gaddir (206 BC.), last Carthaginian redoubt in the peninsula. Carthago Nova ("New Carthage", Carthage already meaning "new city" in Punic), founded in 228 BC., is the Latin name of the most important Carthaginian coastal trading colony in the Iberian peninsula. It was founded on the coast of what became known in modern times as Murcia by the Carthaginian Hasdrubal, who extended the newly acquired Carthaginian empire in Iberia by skilful diplomacy, and consolidated it by the foundation of Carthago Nova in an excellent haven as the capital of a new province. By a treaty with Rome he fixed the river Ebro as the boundary between the two powers. Ruins identified as a temple to Melqart have been uncovered. The city was captured by Rome during the Second Punic War 218—204 BCE. The modern city is known as Cartagena, and still is the main military haven of Spain. ------------------------ CNG associated attribution information (N.B., speculative at best given paucity of evidence to support their claims): [I]The portrait on this Carthaginian bronze of Spain is of exceptional interest because of the direct parallel it offers to the portrait on silver didrachms struck by the Epirote king Pyrrhus during his campaign in southern Italy (Rutter, Greek Coinages of Southern Italy and Sicily, no. 98; BMC Thessaly pl. XX, 11). They compare so favorably in both style and content that either one was inspired by the other, or, more likely, they share the same sculptural prototype. The fact that on the Spanish bronze the head faces right, and on the Pyrrhic silver it faces left, supports the idea of a sculptural prototype. The Pyrrhic issue seems securely dated to circa 288-277 B.C., and perhaps calls for a reconsideration of an earlier date for the Spanish bronze. The head on the Pyrrhic coinage is generally identified with the Trojan War hero Achilles, and if accurate, that attribution should be applied to the present coin without hesitation. However, an identification with Alexander the Great may be more appropriate.[/I] GK266

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