AR Rhegium, Bruttium Drachm 494-486 B.C. (5.60g)
Rhegium , ancient city, S Italy, on the Strait of Messina. It is the modern Reggio di Calabria . Founded (c.720 BC) as a colony of Chalcis, many Messenians later settled there. It was powerful until its defeat and destruction (386 BC) by Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse. The Romans, who favored it, called the city Rhegium Julium. It is mentioned in Acts 28.13. The name is also spelled Regium.
First coinage, circa 494/3-480 BC.
O: Lion´s scalp facing; Cf. Caltabiano pl. 58, 1 (D1/R-, unlisted reverse die); SNG ANS 621; SNG Lloyd 668; HN Italy 2470; Hunterian 1 (same obv. die); McClean 1852 (same obv. die).
R: RE-CIO-N (retrograde), calf´s head left.
G: Rare. Toned EF.
S: Freeman & Sear 11/22/08
Ex CNG Nomos AG,3, Triton VI (14 January 2003), lot 87, and Sternberg XXXI (27 October 1996), lot 353.
"In 493 BC, Zankle in Sicily invited a group of Samian refugees to settle nearby after Samos fell to the Persians. The Samians chose instead to seize the undefended city itself, at the behest of the tyrant Anaxilas of Rhegion. Upon doing so, the Samians in turn betrayed Anaxilas, and allied themselves with Hippocrates of Gela. Around 488 BC, Anaxilas suppressed the Samians, seized Zankle, and resettled it with colonists from Peloponnesian Messenia. In honor of their loyalty, Anaxilas renamed the city Messana, after their homeland. On the occasion of Anaxilas’ dominance of the Straits of Messana a joint coinage was struck for Messana and Rhegion, the initial coinage in the name of Messana and the first coinage for Rhegion excepting an extremely rare incuse issue about thirty years previous. The first coinage was established on the standard of the Chalkidian tridrachm or stater rather that the Attic tetradrachm, and was in circulation for only a few years until 480 BC, when Messana introduced the Olympic mule cart type tetradrachm. After the death of Anaxilas in 476 BC the coinages of the two cities diverged and Messana fell more and more under the hegemony of Syracuse." CNG