Late 6th Century BC BRUTTIUM, CAULONIA AR Stater NGC VF30 5/5
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Caulonia was founded in the 7th century BC by Achaean Greeks. The location, on the underside of Italy's "toe" on a headland jutting out into the sea, has in the centuries since disappeared beneath the waves, but underwater archaeology has located more than 100 fluted columns and two spectacular mosaics, both depicting dragons, dating to the 5th-4th centuries BC. The columns were likely for a large shrine to Apollo, the deity depicted on the city's beautiful and intriguing coinage. Caulonia was destroyed three times before it was fully abandoned. In 389 BC the city was conquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse, who transplanted its citizens to Syracuse and gave them citizenship and an exemption from taxes for five years. He then levelled the city to the ground and gave its territory to his ally Locri. Apparently it was refounded by Dionysius II of Syracuse several decades later. Dionysius II probably gave control over the city to Locri. Archaeological evidence confirms that the city was deserted for some time in the fourth century BC. This was not the end of misfortune for the city however, for it was razed two more times. It was destroyed during the Pyrrhic War (280–275 BC) and taken by the Campanians, who formed the largest contingent of allies in the army of Rome. In 200 BC the town was completely destroyed by the Romans, when it sided with Hannibal during the Punic Wars. It was probably around this time that the ancient site of Caulonia, directly on the Ionian coast, was abandoned in favor of a more protected site inland. About 200 years later when the city is mentioned by Strabo, it is described by him as "situated before a valley" and deserted. This magnificent piece, Apollo's entire nude body is shown in refined Archaic form, striding to right, with a small winged daimon on his left arm; to his right stands a stag, sacred to both Apollo and his sister Artemis. Its incuse design makes this an important style. Check out all the great US Coins, Currency, Ancients, World and Exonumia at Sarasota Numismatics. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this or any of our other extensive offerings.
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