Alfred Watson Hands.

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legends until after their alliance with the Lucanians about 282 B . C.
At that time they had become civilized by intercourse and inter-
marriage with the Greeks whose cities they had conquered, but
they had not lost their courage, nor the physical strength inherited
trom their forefathers. Their prosperity increased after the wars of
Pyrrhus, when they submitted to the Roman rule, and their
coinage was mostly issued during the period of peace which they
enjoyed before the second Punic war began. The story of their
rise from barbarism, as told by Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, and Justin,
is so interesting that extracts from those writers are here given in
preference to any general sketch made by combining the various

The region they conquered and inhabited is that mountainous
peninsula lying to the south of a line drawn from Laus to Thurium.
The earliest Greek writers who described this region called its inhab-
itants Oenotrians, and Strabo tells us that Pandosia was the resi-
dence of their kings. Antiochus, quoted by Strabo, gave the name
of Italy to this region, but previously it had been called Oenotria.

The Greeks settled on the east coast at Croton, Caulonia, and
Locri, probably as early as the seventh century B.C. and on the
west coast at Rhegium, Hipponium, Tempsa, Terma, and Laus.
The interior, covered with forests and high mountains, was but
thinly inhabited by the Oenotrians, who readily accepted the civili-
zation of the Greek Colonists, and were not strong enough to give
them much trouble.

The invasion of the Lucanians soon after the year 390 B.C. was
the first serious check to the power of the Greek cities. The Bruttii
were descendants of the Lucanians who settled among the Oenotrians
of the mountain region. Strabo gives the following account of their

'*The nation received its appellation from the Lucani, for they
call runaways bruttii, and they say that formerly they ran away
when employed as shepherds, and that, afterwards, their indepen-

— 177 —

dence was established through the weakness of the Lucani, when
Dion was prosecuting a war against the younger Dionysius,
and fomented hostilities amongst all " (Lib. VI, p. 255).

Diodorus Siculus gives a similar account of the origin of the
Bruttians (lib. XVI, c. xv). In treating of the year 356 B.C. he
says : " In this year a multitude of men, gathered from all parts, and
largely composed of runaway slaves, came together in Lucania.
They had led hitherto the life of brigands, and the habits of living
in open camps, and making frequent raids, gave them experience in

Their power grew through their victories over the inhabitants of
the land, and at length they took by assault, and sacked, the city of
Terina;then they conquered Hipponium, Thurium, and many
others, and established their government in all. In time they
received the name of Bruttii, because the greater number of them
had been slaves, and because in the language of that country run-
away slaves are called by that name. Such is the origin of the race
of the Bruttii in Italy. In 3 24 they beseiged Croton, but were repulsed
by the citizens aided by the Syracusans. "

The account of the Bruttii given by Justin contains more inter-
esting details (liber XXIII, c. i).

He begins by telling how Agathocles came over from Sicily to
Italy, "wherefore the Bruttii were his first enemies, who seemed
then the bravest and the wealthiest, and at the same time ever ready
to injure their neighbours : for they had driven away the citi-
zens of many Greek cities from the land They had likewise
conquered in war the Lucanians, their own kin, and had made a
peace with them upon equal terms. Such was the violence of their
tempers that they would not spare those from whom they were
descended. For the Lucanians used to educate their children in the
same manner as the Spartans. From the commencement of manhood
they were kept in the woods among the shepherds, without any
attendance of slaves, without any clothes to wear or to lie upon :
that from their early years they might be inured to hardness and
frugality, without any intercourse with the city. Their meat was
game taken in hunting, their drink either milk or spring water.
Thus were they hardened for the toils of war. Of these men
about fifty at first used to carry off plunder from the lands of their
neighbours, these were joined by numbers flocking to them, being
tempted by the booty, and when they had grown numerous
they infested the country. Wherefore Dionysius the tyrant of
Sicily being wearied of the complaints of his allies had sent
600 Africans to quell them, whose castle they took, it being
betrayed to them by a woman named Bruttia, and there they
built a city.

Hands. 12

- 178-

The shepherds flocking in on account of the fame of this city
called themselves Bruttians from the name of the woman. Their
first war was with the Lucanians, the people from whom they were
descended. After their victory they made peace upon equal terms,
and then subdued by their arms the rest of their neighbours. Finally
Alexander of Epirus was cut oft by them with all his army".

Justin's account of the origin of the name is very unlikely to have
been the true one ; the later versions of Justin's legend given by
Jornandes (de Reb. Get. 30) and by Paulus Diaconus {Hist., II, 17)
give to Brettia the dignity of a queen.

Stephanus of Byzantium gave another equally unlikely origin
for the name. He derived it Irom a mythical hero Brettus, a son ot
Heracles (\ipi - oq) by Valentia. Stephanus played upon the name
Brundusium in a similar way, and derived that name from one
Brentos, a son of Heracles also !

The date at which the name of the Bruttii was generally used is
difficult to fix, for Diodorus of Sicily speaks of the Bruttii as having
expelled the remainder of the Sybarites who had settled on the river
Traens after the destruction of their own city (XII, 22).

This was in 443 B.C., and the usual date given for the rise of
the Bruttians into notice and power was 356 B.C., that is nearly a
century later, as given by Diodorus himself (XVI, xv).

Stephanus of Byzantium cites Antiochus of Syracuse as using the
name Brettia for this part of Italy. The inaccuracy of this writer
and his careless use of late legends deprive his evidence of value. It
is remarkable, however, that the same authority is quoted by him as
stating that Aristophanes used the word ^^pt-.-ioc an an adjective,
([j.sAatv/; YAwaca [ipexv.x) thirty years before the date assigned for the
rise of the nation. Aristophanes died about 380 B.C. This statement
however has not been proved, and seems unlikely.

When we put these legends together w^e understand how the
wars waged by Dionysius and the Lucanians had so weakened the
Greek cities that an opportunity was presented for the strong and
violent men who roamed the forests of the peninsula to attack the
cities and enrich themselves with their spoil. If the word Bruttii
was really the word for run-away slaves, and was frankly adopted by
them when in power and prosperity, they were doing what others
have done in like circumstance, for instance, the " Beggars " of the

The Bruttians first appear as an important military power in the
time of the war with Pyrrhus. In the year 281 B.C. the Bruttians
took part with him in the defeat of the Romans at Heracleia, and
they also fought with Pyrrhus at Ausculum in 279 B.C., but two
years afterwards the Romans defeated them near Thurium under
C. Fabricius, and a peace was made involving the loss of halt the

— 179 —

forest of Sila, which was valued highly for its timber and pitch.
During the First Punic war the Bruttii remained at peace, that is
from 264-241 B.C. Hamiicar Barca's ravages along the coast affected
only the cities along the shore and the main stress of the war was
felt in Sicily and on the seas.

The Second Punic war began so disastrously for the Romans that
the Bruttians rose again and joined the armies of Hannibal in 216
B.C. after the defeat at Cann;t (Livy, XXII, 61). Petelia and Con-
sentia tried to keep loyal, but were forced to join the revolt, and
soon after the Locrians and citizens of Croton followed their
example, Rhegium alone holding firmly to the Roman alliance.

In 215 B.C. Hannibal's lieutenant Hanno fled into Bruttium
when defeated by Tib. Gracchus.

The wild forest-clad mountains made the land a natural fortress,
into which Hannibal retreated after the defeat of Hasdrubal, as we
read in the last lines of Livy's book XXVII. Hannibal made his
head quarters near Scyllaceum, where a small town received the name
Castra Hannibalis.

The Bruttians were severely punished by the Romans, refused the
right to rank as allies, and pronounced incapable of military service,
being only employed in menial occupations. To complete their
subjection, Roman colonists were established at Tempsa, Croton,
Hipponium and Thurium (Livy, XXXIV, 45 ; XXXV, 40).


In the British Museum seven specimens of the gold coins of the
Bruttii are preserved ; four of the first type and three of the second.

I. Size .6. Weight : 65.2 grains and 65.5.

Obv. Head of Poseidon, diademed, to left ; behind, a trident to
right; beneath, abucranium: border of dots.

Rev. BPETTinN. Amphitrite ? veiled, and draped, seated to left
on a seahorse swimming to right, she holds in her right hand an
Eros, drawing his bow to left, in the field to right a bee: border of

The symbols on the other specimens area cornucopiae, a murex,
and a star of eight rays.

II. Size . 5 5 . Weight : 32.7 and 32.6.

Obv. Head of bearded Heracles to left, wearing lion's skin ;
behind, a club: beneath f : border of dots.

Rev. BPETTIflN. (in exergue). A biga to right driven bv Xike,
the horses galloping ; beneath them f. and a caduceus to right :
border of dots.

On the other specimens the symbols are a serpent coiled, and a

— i8o —

It is noticeable that the gold coins are rougher in workmanship
than the earlier of the silver coinage, and this is unusual, for the
dies of the gold coins were generally more carefully prepared than
those of the silver.

The date of issue of the gold coins should from their style prob-
ably be placed about 250-230 B.C.

The head of Amphitrite on the Reverse is too large in proportion
to the figure, and the lettering of the legend is very rough.

The style is very like that of the Roman denarii.

Mr. G. F. Hill, in his work Historical Roman Coins, p. 43, dates
the Roman gold pieces of 60, 40, and 20 sesterces as belonging to the
year 241 B.C., contra D"" Haeberlin, who assigns them to the year
217 B.C. Mr. Hill thinks the special need for this gold issue in 241
B.C. was the payment of the fleet which won the victory at Aegusa.
Did the Bruttians help the Romans then, and was their issue ot
gold a part of this preparation for the close of the first Punic war ?

The types of Poseidon and Amphitrite point to a naval object.


I. Size .85. Weight : 86 . i grains or 5.58 grammes.

Obv. Busts of the Dioscuri, to right, wearing chlamydes, and
laureate pilei, above, two stars; behind, cornucopiiE and t : border
of dots.

Rev. BPETTIflN (in exergue). The Dioscuri on horseback to
right, clad as on Obverse, with their right hands raised, and carrying
palms in their left hands; the horses are prancing: above their
heads two stars; below, a knotted club to left; in field to left, f :
plain border.

The workmanship of these coins is Greek and superior to that on
the coins of the Romans. They must have been executed in one of
the old mint cities of the Greek Colonists, perhaps Locri, as we find
the type on coins of that city. This silver coinage of the Bruttii is
exceptional as the Romans forbad other cities to issue silver after
268 B.C., when their denarii were issued.

Possibly at Tarentum and Neapolis some silver was also permitted
to be coined.

— iSi —

II. Size .8. Weight : 72.4 grains or 4.66 grammes,
Obv. Head of Amphitrite to right, wearing veil, Stephanos, ear-
ring and necklace; over left shoulder a sceptre; behind, an amphora:
border of dots.

Rev. BPETTIflN. Poseidon, naked, stooping to left, his right foot

II. JR. Size, .8.

Obv. Head of Amphitrite, &c.

^L. Poseidon.

advanced resting on an Ionic capital; in his raised left hand a long
sceptre, his right elbow resting on his right knee; in field to left a
crab ; at his feet f : border of dots.

Four varieties differ in the symbols on the Obverse : a bucranium,
a dolphin, a fly, a cup; the last three are signed with the letter f.

Same style as No. i. The head of Poseidon too large in propor-
tion and legs too short, fluilts found however frequently during that

Mommsen {Hist. Rom., Vol. I, p. 493), says: "The Bruttian
coins stand so entirely in point of artistic treatment on a level with
the contemporary coins of Greece that the inscription alone serves
to distinguish the one from the other. "

III. Size .8. Weight : 58.2, 71.3,75.6 and 78-3 grains.

Obv. Bust of winged Nike to right, wearing broad diadem,
necklace^ and earring, her hair bound behind with a fillet : below P.

Rev. BPETTIflN : Naked youthful horned figure crowning
himself with his right hand, and holding, in his draped left, a long
torch; in field to right, a crab and f : border of dots.

On other specimens the symbol on Reverse is a thunderbolt, or
a rhyton (drinking cup) and f, a round buckler, or an incense altar

III. Ai. Size, .8.

Obv. Bust ot winged Nike, &c.

I^. Naked youthful horned figure.

— l82 —

and r, a serpent erect and 1, a wreath, the letter P or T or the
monogram ^.

These are similar to the last in style, the figure on the Reverse
is rather better in proportion than that of Poseidon.

The horns are the emblems of a river god such as Crathis.

IV. Size .65. Weight: 30.6 or 35 .4grains.

Obv. Head of Apollo, to right, laureate, with flowing hair;
behind, an anvil ; below, f : border of dots.

Rev. BPETTION. Artemis standing to left, wearing a short
chiton and endromides, and carrying an arrow and flaming torch :
at her feet a hound to left looking up, in field to left, a crescent :
border of dots.

On another specimen the symbol is a star of eight rays. Similar
style to those previously described, but perhaps rather more like that
of the Roman denarii.

V. Size .6. Weight : 33.8 grains.

Obv. Head of Pallas to right, wearing earring and necklace, and
crested Corinthian helmet on which is a griffin : border of dots.

Rev. BPETTIflN. An eagle standing to left with wings open, on
thunderbolt ; behind a rudder and f : border of dots.

On another specimen there is an owl behind the head on the

The Reverse is a well-designed bold type.

The types on these gold and silver coins are interesting as
witnessing to the religious influences which aff^ected the Bruttians.

The Dioscuri were regarded as warrior-gods not only by the
Greeks but also by the Roman and Italian tribes as earlv as the
year 496 B.C. when the battle of Lake Regillus was fought.

Their appearance among coins bearing the head of Poseidon
shews the Graecian origin of their cult among the Bruttii. They
were regarded as protectors of seafaring men, for Poseidon had
granted them power over the winds and waves (r/. Euripides Helen

- i83 -

1495) : " May ye come, O sons of Tyndarus, driving your horse-
chariot through the sky, under the eddyings of the stars, ye who
dwell in heaven, preservers of Helen upon the dark blue wave of
the sea, and the cerulean foam of the waves, whitening on the
sea, sending to sailors gentle gales of winds from Jove. "

We may also refer to the lines of Horace (Carm. I, iii, 2) " so may
the bright stars, the brothers of Helen, and so may the father of
the winds confining all except lapyx, direct thee O ship, who art
entrusted with Virgil, my prayer is that thou mayst land him safe
on the Athenian shore ".

Confer the notes on the introduction of the type of the Dioscuri
at Poseidonia by the Lucanians in " Coins of Magna Graecia
(pp. 107. 108).

The tvpe of the Bruttians may have been copied from the bronze
coins of Locri (c/. p. 234. Coins of Magna Graecia, n° 10).

A head of one of the Twin brethren with a star appears also on
bronze coins ofNeapolis 250-200 B.C. (Cf. p. 300, Coins of Magna
Graecia, type VIII).

The connection of this type with the influence of Pyrrhus at
Tarentum is noted also in the Coins of Magna Graecia (pp. 6, 7, 12,

^3' 29). .

There is however another connection of the Dioscuri with the
early Greek Colonies of Bruttium mentioned by Justinus (XX, 2).

" The Spartans not wishing to help the men of Locri bade them
ask assistance of Castor and Pollux, nor did the ambassadors despise
the answ^er of their allied city, but going into the next temple and

offering sacrifice they implore the assistance of the gods they

make beds for them on the ship and going with lucky omens they
bring comfort instead of assistance to their countrymen.

" In the wings likewise two young men in different suits of
armour from the rest, of an extraordinary bigness, were seen fight-
ing upon white horses, and in red robes, nor did they appear any
longer than the battle lasted.

This battle took place about 520 B.C., and we havein this legend
ample reason for the popularity of the cult of the Dioscuri in

The types of Poseidon, Amphitrite, Apollo, and Pallas are witnesses
to the thoroughness with which the Bruttians accepted the teaching
of the Greeks.

The same may be said perhaps of the type of the nude horned
figure on the type no. Ill of the silver coins. The horns suggest that
we have here the figure of a river god. A figure of the river god of
the Crathis is found on coins of Pandosia (Coins of Magna Graecia,
p. 189, 194).

As that river seems to be the most important in Bruttium the river

— 184 —

god on these coins may be considered as the one probably represented
on these coins.


The deities represented on the bronze coinage of the Bruttii are
Apollo, Mars, Bellona, Heracles, Jupiter, Nike, Persephone,
Amphitrite, and Pallas.

The marine goddess, and the type of the crab, shew they were
issued from a city on the sea shore, probably Croton, because we
find that type on the bronze coins of that city {Coins of Magna
Graecia, no. 9, p. 179).

It is evident that the Bruttians employed Greek artists to engrave
their dies, and the art is as good as that in the cities of the Greeks
at that period.


I. Size I.I. Obv. Head of Apollo to left, laureate, with flowing
hair; behind, an incense altar; below, f : plain border.

Rev. BPETTIflN (in exergue). Biga to right, driven by Nike
holding whip and reins, the horses galloping ; beneath, f and
thunderbolt : plain border.

II. Size 1.05. Obv. Head of Mars to left wearing crested Corinth-
ian helmet, on which a griffin running ; below, a thunderbolt :
plain border.

Rev. BPETTION. Bellona wearing crested helmet and long
chiton with diploidion, running to right, holding shield with both
hands, and spear under her left arm : border of dots.

- i85 -

Specimens with the following symbols on the field to right are
in the British Museum : a bunch of grapes, an owl with spread
wings, a plough, a thunderbolt, a flaming torch, a 1)^6 and a letter
as B'E'N- ; on one specimen Bellona carries a palm branch with the
spear and a tripod as symbol in field.

Another specimen shews Bellona with head facing and a crab at
her feet, and as symbol in field a bucranium, with right horn bent

Another specimen shews the monogram X 'it the feet of Bellona,
and the bucranium, in field, with the left horn bent downwards.

Another specimen has the monogram |A] in the field.


III. Size 1.05. Sextans.

Obv. Head of Mars to left similar to no. II, but beneath head an
ear of barley, and behind, g-

Rev. BPETTinN on right side. Nike standing to left wearing a
long chiton and diplo'idion, holding wreath and palm branch, crown-
ing a trophy consisting of helmet, cuirass, spear, shield, and greaves ;
betw^een these a cornucopi:^ : border of dots.

The symbols between the'";figures are varied, as a book, a hexa-
gram, an anchor inverted, bucranium, caduceus, cornucopiae and
crescent with horns upwards. In field, to left of anchor, a
monogram >g.

IV. Size 1.05. Obv. Head of young Heracles to right, in lion's

skin; behind, sword, upwards : border of dots.

— i86 —

Rev. BPETTinN. Bellona, head facing, wearing crested helmet
and long chirion with diploidion, running to right, holding shield
with both hands, and spear beneath left arm ; in field to right, a
plough to left : border of dots.

Varied symbols are found with this type also.

V. Size .8. Head of young Heracles, to right, laureated.

Rev. BPETTinN. Zeus naked advancing to right grasping thun-
derbolt in raised right hand, and sceptre in his extended left; at his

feet a small figure running (Artemis?)

VI. Size .5. Obv. Head of young Heracles, to left, in a lion's skin :

border of dots.

Rev. jir)K\ a club to right, and a strung bow, crossed: border

of dots.

VII. Size .9. Head of Jupiter, to right, laureated : border of dots.

Rev. BP ETTinN. A naked warrior advancing to right, armed
with helmet and lance, and an oblong shield ; at his feet a symbol
as a pine-torch, a bunch of grapes, bucraniura, an owl flying.

VIII. Size .85. Obv. Same as no VII.

Rev. BRETT IflN. An eagle, to left, with wings open ; in field to

left, a symbol as, a caduceus, a hexagram, crab and bucranium, or
9 and bucranium, or thunderbolt upwards, with or without a
monogram =g ; or a crab and thunderbolt upwards, or above left

- i87 -

wing a hammer, or a star of eight rays, and in field to left a cornu-

IX. Size .9. Obv. Same type as no VII.

Rev. BPETTION. Eagle, to left, on thunderbolt, wings open ;
in field, to left, a hook : border of dots.

Some have no symbol, some have a cornucopiiv, on some above
the eagle is a crescent, or a star of eight rays, or an anchor and a
monogram >§, or a lyre.

X. Size .95. Obv. Same head of Jupiter but with no wreath;
behind the head a branch? : border of dots.

Rev. BPET TIflN. Eagle, to left, with wings open, looking
back ; in field, to left, a plough to left : border of dots.

XI. Size. 8. Obv. Head of Nike to left, wearing necklace and
earrings, the hair bound with broad diadem, and tied behind with
a fillet, having falling ends.

Rev. Same as Rev. of no V.

In field to right a cornucopia; on some specimens, and in field
to left a hammer. On some a star of eight rays, beneath cornu-
copiit .

XII. Size .7. Obv. Head of Nike, same as no. XI, but with the
upper part of wing appearing : border of dots.

Rev. Jupiter in a biga with horses galloping to left, beneath them
a bucranium. The god is hurling a thunderbolt with right hand,
a statf and the reins in his left : border of dots.

The symbol is varied, some specimens have an owl. or a bunch
of grapes, or a pine-torch, or plough and the letter Z, or a lyre.

XITI. Size .6. Obv. Head of Persephone, to left, her hair bound

with a corn wreath, and fitlling behind in a tress ; behind, an ear

of barley : border of dots.

Rev. y|/^ili- A crab; above a cornucopias, and star of eight rays :

plain border.

XIV. Size .4. Obv. Head of Persephone, full fice towards the
right, crowned with corn?

Rev. BP^J. A crab.

XV. Size .6. Head of Marine goddess (Amphitrite or Thetis),
to left, wearing head-dress formed of a crab's shell, the legsstanding
out above and below : border doubtful.

Rev. jiQM- A crab : plain border.

On some specimens on Obv. a club upwards, or a serpent, behind
the head.

The crab type occurs on coins of Terina, Croton, and Cuniit,
Coins of Mac^na Graecia, pp. 179, 215, 262, 268, 271.

— I«8 —

XVI. Size .6. Obv. Head of Pallas, to left, wearing crested
Corinthian helmet, earring, and necklace, her hair falling in a tress
bound with a cord.

Kev. BPETTIflN. An owl, to right, on a bar : border obscure.

On some specimens a bunch of grapes in front of owl, on others
a star of eight rays above the owl.

— i89 —


Three of the towns in Bruttium issued coins bearing as legend
the name of the city : Consentia, Nuceria, and Petelia.

The coins however of Consentia were issued before the city was
conquered by the Bruttii, those of Nuceria and Petelia were prob-
ably issued after the city was in the hands of the Bruttii.

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