Lucania, Poseidonia - Founded by Sybaris

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Little is known of Poseidonia from its foundation at around the end of the Seventh Century BC by colonists from Sybaris, other than that information which can be gleaned from archaeological study of the city and its remaining artefacts. Evidence from votive figurines and the city's architecture suggest close trade relations with Metapontion during the Sixth and Fifth Centuries, but the city is not mentioned in the classical sources until the Fifth Century, when the city was conquered by the Lucani. A sizeable Greek population must have remained despite the conquest however, as the archaeological record shows both Greek and Oscan culture continuing to thrive alongside one another. 

As a Lucanian city, Poseidonia sided with Pyrrhos of Epeiros when he landed in Italy and upon the latter's withdrawal, the Lucani suffered severe reprisals from Rome throughout a ten year punitive campaign. When Hannibal invaded Italy it is unsurprising then that most of the Lucani sided with the Carthaginians. Poseidonia however, having become a Roman city in 273 BC, remained faithful to Rome's cause and was granted civic honours as a result, including the right to mint its own coins once more.

Lucania, Poseidonia AR Stater. Circa 445-420 BC. Poseidon standing right wielding trident, chlamys draped over both arms; ΠOMEΣ before / Bull standing left, ΠOMEΣ (retrograde) above. HN Italy 1114; SNG ANS 657. 8.07g, 18mm, 9h.

Extremely Fine. Attractive old tone with iridescent flashes.

Ex NGSA 7, 27 November 2012, lot 129;
Ex Swiss private collection, acquired in April 1977.