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Coin Detail
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ID:     764292
Type:     Greek
Region:     LUCANIA
City:     Metapontum
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Nomos
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC Circa 340-330
Diameter:     22 mm
Weight:     7.83 g
Die Axis:     10 h
Obverse Description:     Helmeted head of Leukippos right; lion's head right behind, ΑΓ monogram below chin
Reverse Legend:     META
Reverse Description:     META upwards on right, barley ear with seven grains; leaf to left, club on leaf, AMI below leaf
Mint:     Metapontum
Primary Reference:     Johnston Class B2
Reference2:     SNG ANS 434
Reference3:     HN Italy 1575
Reference4:     SNG Cop 1208; SNG Lloyd 378
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF
Notes:     Metapontion, called Metapontum by the Romans, was an Achaean colony of very early foundation, though the precise details of its origin are shrouded in uncertainty. Following its destruction by the Samnites, it was refounded from Sybaris early in the 7th century BC by settlers under the leadership of Leukippos who was, thereafter, revered as the city founder. The great prosperity of the place — attested by the extent of its archaic silver coinage commencing in the mid-6th century BC — was based on agriculture. Situated on the Gulf of Tarentum, Metapontion occupied a plain of extraordinary fertility watered by the rivers Bradanos and Kasuentos. Its constant coin type is an ear of barley, a tribute to the source of Metapontine wealth, and the deity who is most revered is the grain goddess Demeter, sister of Zeus. One of the city's main claims to fame was that it was the burial-place of Pythagoras who had retired there and perished in a sedition.