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Research Coins: Printed Auction

CNG 108, Lot: 8. Estimate $7500.
Sold for $8500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

LUCANIA, Thourioi. Circa 350-300 BC. AR Double Nomos – Distater (25mm, 15.89 g, 1h). Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated on its bowl with Skylla raising his left arm / Bull butting right on plain ground line; ΘOYPIΩN above; in exergue, fish right. Noe, Thurian D14; HN Italy 1804; SNG ANS 961 (same obv. die); Gillet 224 (same dies). EF, old cabinet tone, minor die break on obverse. Fine style.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 92 (23 May 2016), lot 86; Numismatica Ars Classica 27 (12 May 2004), lot 45; Numismatica Ars Classica 9 (16 April 1996), lot 84.

In 446 BC, with the aid of Athens, the refugee population of the destroyed city of Sybaris returned to the location of their previous home, and founded a new city, giving it the name Thourioi. The new city quickly regained the prosperity enjoyed by its former incarnation, as evidenced by the extensive series of coins it issued over the following two centuries. Good relations with Tarentum were probably responsible for the weakening of Thourioi’s historical connection to Athens, and she turned to Sparta during the Peloponnesian War. Although supported by Tarentum, the city suffered at the hands of the Lucanians and Brettians during the 4th century BC. In need of a more robust ally, the Thourians turned to Rome in 285 BC. Unlike many cities in southern Italy, Thourioi’s support of Rome was steadfast during both the time of Pyrrhos and Hannibal’s invasion, even though the Thourians suffered heavily at the hands of the latter. The coinage of Thourioi was diverse in both its denominations and metals. The primary types were the head of Athena, probably due to the city’s initial close relationship with Athens, and a standing or butting bull, which had been the civic type on the coins of Sybaris.