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Pyrrhos of Epeiros
Expedition to Italy and Sicily

475058.

LUCANIA, Metapontion. temp. Pyrrhos of Epeiros. Circa 280-279 BC. AV Tetrobol – Third Stater (13mm, 2.83 g, 5h). Attic standard. Bearded head of Leukippos right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet decorated with Skylla hurling a stone; ΛEYKIΠΠ[OΣ] above / Two six-grained barley ears, each with a curly leaf to outside; M-E across outer fields, ΣI between. Johnston G5.1 (same dies); HN Italy 1630; SNG ANS 397–8; SNG Lockett 404 (same rev. die); Basel 153 = Gillet 202 (same obv. die); Dewing 378; Gulbenkian 72; Jameson 1867. Good VF, underlying luster, slight die wear.


Demonstrating the usual flare shown by the die engravers in the service of Pyrrhos during his military expedition in Italy and Sicily, the small gold issues of 280/279 depicting Nike and Leukippos (HN Italy 1629-1631) are of a refinement second to none. The traditional city founder is rendered in exquisite detail with the added novelty of his helmet being decorated with Skylla hurling a stone, the very embodiment of aggressive violence before the enemy in time of war.