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Very Rare Sybaris Nomos


LUCANIA, Sybaris. Circa 453-450 BC. AR Nomos - 17mm (8.03 g). Poseidon (?) standing right and hurling spear; bird flying right before / Bull standing left on double exergual line. Kraay, "The Coinage of Sybaris After 510 BC," in NumChron 1958, pl. 3, 9 (same dies); SNG Fitzwilliam 580 (same dies); SNG ANS -; SNG Copenhagen -; HN Italy 1743. Nice VF, some minor roughness. Extremely rare issue, fewer than 6 specimens traceable, only two known to Kraay in 1958. The history of Sybaris is one of continual defeat at the hands of the Krotoniates. First in 510, again in 476 and a third time in 470 BC, they were defeated and forced to flee. But the Sybarites were a tenacious group, and time after time they refounded their city. In 453 they once again established themselves in their old home, this time with the help of the Poseidonians and the Laotians. The coinage of this 'third Sybaris' reflects the influence of Poseidonia with types nearly identical to that of Poseidonia: Poseidon/Bull. The addition of the small bird in the right field perhaps reflect the assistance given by Laos. Three denominations were issued, all of which are extremely rare today. Not long after the Sybarites had established their third city though, the Krotoniates proved too strong once again, and in 446 an appeal for help was made to mainland Greece. In 443, with the help of the Athenians, the city was rebuilt yet again, but its name would be changed to Thourioi.

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