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LUCANIA, Poseidonia. Circa 530-500 BC. AR Drachm (20mm, 3.44 g, 12h). Poseidon advancing right, chlamys draped over shoulders, preparing to throw trident held aloft in left hand, right hand extended; ΠOM (retrograde) to right / Incuse of obverse, except trident and legend in relief. Gorini 9 var. (ethnic on obv.); HN Italy 1108; SNG ANS 619 (same obv. die). Good VF, deeply toned. Excellent metal for issue.

From the Stoecklin Collection.

From the earliest issue of the coinage at Poseidonia. A Sybarite colony founded circa 600 BC, Poseidonia grew rapidly in the 6th century through the exploitation of its considerable agricultural resources. This was a time of extensive temple construction and, in common with the other Achaian cities of southern Italy, Poseidonia began producing silver coinage of the distinctive ‘incuse’ fabric in the final decades of the century. The fine archaic striding figure brandishing a trident is Poseidon, god of the sea and the patron deity of the city. This particular depiction of him is probably inspired by a colossal statue that stood in one of the city’s temples.