Greek CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 450-380 BC. AR Hemiobol


Greek CALABRIA, Tarentum. Circa 450-380 BC. AR Hemiobol
See below for coin details, description and metrics.

A poem about this coin’s beauty:
“In Calabria's land, Tarentum's Hemiobol minted, Three shapes on its face.”

In Latin:
“Calabriae terra, Hemiobolum TarentiFormae tres gerit.“

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Ruler: Greek, Tarentum Period: to
  • Denomination:
  • Grade:
  • Exergue/Mint:
  • Material: silver
  • Weight (g):
  • Diameter (mm): 9
  • Obverse: 3 circular organic abstract shapes.
  • Reverse: A wreath
  • The Greeks considered themselves as composed of 4 tribes including Aeolians, Achaeans, Dorians and Ionians and there are varying references to the earliest coinage being produced either by the Lydians or Aeolians at Kyme and their king Midas. Ancient Greek coinage consisted of Staters, Drachms (and multiples thereof) as well as the smallest denominations of Obols and Hemiobols. The earliest coinage were Obols some of which have been found dating earlier than 800BC. Given that Greek culture was made up of many city-states there was great variety of production, though the economic strength of Athens came to predominate in coinage types and standards. As Greek coinage was among the first it was also highly influential on later and surrounding cultures, partly due to the many colonies they settled across the Mediterranean as well as due to Alexander the Great's conquests. The Greek military tendency to use foreign mercenaries, particularly from north European Celtic tribes also meant that Greek coinage came to influence Celtic production and it is interesting to observe the similarities and progressions from Greek types of Philip or Alexander across to Celtic equivalents.
  • Obol coinage was a type of coinage used in ancient Greece and early examples made of copper have been found dating back earlier that 800BC. Obols were worth one-sixth of a silver drachma and possibly named in accordance with the value of a handful of arrows. The term "obol" is also used to refer to a weight unit, equal to one-sixteenth of an ounce.

Additional information

Dimensions 0.9 × 0.9 × 0.1 cm