Alfred Watson Hands.

Italo-Greek coins of southern Italy online

. (page 3 of 15)
Online LibraryAlfred Watson HandsItalo-Greek coins of southern Italy → online text (page 3 of 15)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


mint at this time is not so surprising when we realize the friendship
of Papius with the Tarentines.

The Roman party in Capua in 320 B.C. was strong enough to
enable them to receive the fugitives from Caudium with every
respect and kindness. The story of the fate of C. Papius according
to Livy is not quite to be trusted, but his power was ended about
this time. When the Romans sent prefects to reside in Capua, about
317 B.C., some of the neighbouring cities became restless, and
Nuceria, Plistica, and Sora revolted, and after the defeat of Fabius
near Anxur a party in Capua was in favour of revolting from Rome.
About this time Suessa and Calatia joined Capua in declaring
themselves in revolt, but the strife was brief, and after the great
victory of the Romans in Campania the leaders of the revolt in
Capua, Ovius and Novius Calavius were given up, and Capua was
again admitted to alliance with Rome.

.About 312 B.C. Capua became the southern terminus of the great
Appian way.

Campania was ravaged in 296 B.C. by the Samnite general
Gellius l^gnatius who fell next year in the battle at Sentinum ; he



was succeeded by another C. Pontius of Telesia, and Campania was
again desolated by war until he was defeated by Fabius the elder.
The war was ended in 290 B.C.. when the Samnites were received
as dependent allies of Rome. During the next ten years the city of
Capua enjoyed peace; then when Pyrrhus, in 281 B.C., invaded
Italy the Capuans and Campanians fought on the side of the Romans.
The country had during the season of peace recovered from the
ravages of the Samnite wars and then presented a rich field for the
Greek mercenaries of Pyrrhus to plunder.

On the retreat of that general from Campania those cities which
had not been loyal to Rome again submitted, but no account thereof
is preserved in the pages of the historians. One effect of this war,
interesting to numismatists, was the abundance of Greek money,
and of the coins of Southern Italy, which the armies of Pyrrhus
brought with them.

From the time of Alexander of Epirus circ. 32(S B.C. Greek armies
had been fighting in Italy ; and the Samnites were not too far north
to feel the influence of these wars. We find that Agathocles had
many Samnites among his soldiers in Africa (Diod., XX, 11, 64)
and those who returned would bring Sicilian money with them.
There was a Campanian body of troops in Rhegium who tried to
possess the city, and when they were conquered by the Romans in
270 B.C, they were taken to Rome, scourged and beheaded. After
the flight of Pyrrhus Campania again enjoyed a few years of peace
until the breaking out of the first Punic war. The coins used by
the Capuans during this period from 330-264 B.C. were the silver
didrachms with the Rev. types of the head and neck of a horse,
the galloping horse and a star, and the wolf and twins, the bronze
coins wth the head of Pallas and a horse's head and neck, those
with an eagle on the Rev., and those with the lion. Whether these
coins were minted in Capua, or in some of the neighbouring
Roman colonies, as Cales, is not yet agreed among numismatists.
Capua was no mere rural township bounded by local interests,
for many and varied were the influences which developed the city
and made it the centre of the Campanian confederacy, many of
which may be traced in the types of the coins.

The citizens were in contact with Rome on the North and with
Tarentum and the Greek cities in the South of Itah'. Through the
ports of Cumce and Neapolis they came in contact with Sicily, and
from the earliest period they had been influenced by the Etruscans
and Latins.

The types of the coins known to be Capuan bear witness to all
these influences as well as to the native Samnite deities Diana and
Pan; we find the types of the Greek cities, the heads of Heracles,
Pallas and Zeus, the types of Sicily, the horse's head and neck, the



- 28 —

running horse, and the curious Phrygian head-dress on the head
of a female said to be Roma. The very legends, partly in Roman
partly in Oscan letters, shew the complex influences which
dominated the city.

The head of Jupiter appears on many of the coins, and we learn
from Livy (XXVI, 14) that one of the seven gates of the city bore
the name " porta Jovis". It was probably on the east side of the city
facing mount Tifata, on which stood a celebrated temple of Jupiter.
Whether the cult of Jupiter was derived from the Southern Greek
cities before the Romans began to influence the city or not, we
recognize the cult as one which the Romans would share with the
Oscans, and the appearance of the type during the period of Roman
influence is perhaps a sign of the alliance with Rome.

It is noticeable that certain coin-types witness to a knowledge ot
Greek legends, which were evidently at that time sufficiently well
known in Capua to render the types acceptable, although these
legends are now only faintly preserved in the literature which has
come down to our day. Such is the typeofTelephus nourished by
the doe, and that of Heracles dragging Cerberus from the realms of
Pluto, in allusion to the mysteries of Samothrace, and that with a
female head wearing a Phrygian helmet or head-dress.

The legend concerning Telephus of Mysia, son of Heracles and
Auge, the daughter of King Aleus of Tegea, is recorded by Pausa-
nias (VIII, 48).

He says " that Auge hid the birth from her father, and exposed
the child Telephus on Mount Parthenius, and that the forsaken
boy was suckled by a doe. " The legend vv'as illustrated by statues,
paintings and coin-types, as for instance on those ofPergamus.

(O. Jahn, Archaol. Beitrage, p. 160 seq.).

A coin of Tarsus with this subject for its type is illustrated in
MilHn " Galeries Mythol. " plate CXV. Telephus was the father ot
Tyrrhenus and Tarchon, the mythical founder of the Tarquinii
(Schol. Lycophron 1212-1249).

This association of the type with an Etruscan legend is interesting
and may explain its appearance on the coins of a city founded by
Etruscans. For another legend of a stag cherished at Capua, confer
Silius Italicus XIII 115 and Virg. Aen. VII, 483.

Silius tells the story of a white doe caught and tamed by Capys
and nourished by the citizens as an emblem of the local goddess
for many years. At length frightened by some wolves who approach
the city, the doe fled into the country around and was taken by
the Roman soldiers and sacrificed by Fulvius to Latona as an
agreeable victim with prayers that that goddess might aid his enter-
prise. This was looked on as a presage of a siege.

The head of Heracles appears on the Obv. of a small unciawith



— 29 —

the three-headed dog Cerberus on the Rev. On many Campanian
and ApuHan vases ot the fourth and of the beginning of the
third century we see the story of Heracles dragging the dog Cer-
berus from the reahns of Pluto, probably in allusion to the myste
ries of Samothrace which were imported into Italy.

At Cumre there was an oracle of the dead called v£y.po;j,av-£iov, or
•/.sp^s'piov, and there was a similar oracle at Aornus in Epirus, also
illustrated on the coins.

The elephant which appears on the reverse of a coin bearing on
the Obv. a head of Pallas reminds us of a passage in Pausanias
(V, XII, i) ; he says he had '' seen an elephant's skull in the temple
of Diana in Campania. This temple is distant from Capua about
thirty stadia ; and Capua is the metropolis of Campania ". On
another bronze coin is a head of Pan with the pedum over his
shoulder, and he may have been the god of rural shepherds on mount
Tifiita; on the Rev. is a boar. On a rare Teruncius the head of
Ceres crowned with ears of corn appears, and on the Reverse a bull
to right, his head turned £icing.

It is only natural that in a rich corn-growing region this goddess
should be represented on the coinage, and the popularity of this cult
is witnessed to by many inscriptions found near the city (Momm-
sen, Inscr. RegniNeap.).

The ruins of the temple of Ceres are pointed out by J. Beloch, in
his work " Campanien " (Berlin 1879) as existing between S. Angelo
in Formis and New Capua. The temple existed for a long time,
because an inscription of a later date exists giving the name of a
priestess of Ceres.

HERENNIA— M— F SACERDOS Publ. CERERI SACrum.

A Biunx, of good style in low relief, bears a beardless head of
Heracles, and on the Rev. a lion advancing to right with a spear
in his mouth, which he is beating down with his paw. This design
is also seen on the coins of Amyntas III, King of Macedonia, and
on coins of Velia. A Campanian As of the third century bears a lion's
head, full-face, with a spear in its paws. Plutarch describes a similar
design, the Ai(ov zvyr^^-qc, graven on Pompey's seal ring. A similar
t3^pe is engraved on a cornelian in the Cabinet de France.

During the first Punic war, from 264-242 B. C, Capua was held
by the aristocratic party loyal to Rome; then followed twenty-two
years of peace. The plunder from Sicily would bring many Sicilian
coins to Italy, and we see their influence on the types of coins issued
in Campania, perhaps, according to some writers, in Capua itself.



— 30 —



CAPUA UNDER THE CARTHAGINIANS
216 211 B. C.



At the time of the defeat of the Romans at Cannc-e, in 216 B.C.
the popular party in Capua were headed by Pacuvius Calavius, a
nobleman who had married a daughter of Appius Claudius.

His ambition led him to hope that, by the aid of Hannibal, he
might become the ruler of a city greater than Rome, which seemed
to have fallen from its high estate. The aristocratic party in Capua
were all in favour of the Roman rule, but Calavius concluded a
treaty with Hannibal, and admitted him into the city. The story
is told in Livy XXIII, 2-4.

Capua was then so powerful that it could raise an army of
30.000 foot and 4.000 horse, and yet though they had the advan-
tage of the guidance of the great general, Hannibal, the future
course of the war was a series of attempts to defend Capua from
the Romans.

We have no information as to the feelings entertained by Han-
nibal and the Campanians towards each other while the Carthagi-
nians were wintering in Capua. The treaty of alliance had provided
carefully for the independence of the Campanians, that they might
not be treated as Pyrrhus had treated the Tarentines. Capua was
to have its own laws and magistrates, no Campanian was to be
compelled to any duty, civil or military, nor to be in any way
subject to the authority of the Carthaginian officers (Livy, XXIII,
7). There was still a Roman party in Carthage, and one man,
Decius Magius, was sent prisoner to Carthage .

Three hundred Campanian horsemen ot the richer classes went
to Rome from Sicily and were received as Roman citizens.

Pacuvius Calavius is never mentionned afterwards, nor do we
know the fate of his son Perolla, who in his zeal for Rome wished
to slay -Hannibal when he made his public entrance into Capua.

From Livy we learn the names of some of the citizens who took
part in affairs in the last days of Capua, of men who used the
coins in our cabinets. There was Vibius Virrius at whose house
the adherents to the Carthaginians met, to dine and die, before
the Romans were admitted, and the great cavalry officer Jubellius



— 31 —

Taurea who joined the party of Carthage, and won the admiration
of Hannibal for his brilliant fighting against the Romans.

The Meddix Tuticus, the chief magistrate, was one Seppius
Lesius, of plebeian origin, and another important magistrate was
Marius Alfius, slain by the Romans when on his way to the festi-
val at Haniit near Cumae. From 216 to 211 B.C. the inhabitants
must have suffered a time of continual excitement and anxiety.
The camp of the Carthaginians was on mount Tifata for some two
vears; then followed the absence of their leader who went about
from Nola to Arpi and down to Tarentum seeking food for the
besieged Capuans.

In 213 B.C. a hundred and twenty noble families deserted to
the Romans, asking only their lives and their estates. In the next
year the Romans took the provisions stored at Beneventum, and the
Capuans were reduced to despair, faintly cheered by the return of
Hannibal, only for a brief visit, after w-hich he marched to Rome
in vain.

In 211 B.C., the eighth year of the second war, Hannibal tried
in vain once more to raise the siege, and the Romans entered the
city in triumph. From that time no more coins were issued with
Oscan legends, and the city came under the strictest Roman rule.
Twenty-five Capuan senators were sent to Cales, and twenty-
eight to Teanum; all were scourged and beheaded. Many of the
citizens were removed beyond the Tiber, and all local magistracies
abolished. A mixed population of strangers, artizans and new settlers
remained under Roman prefects.



COINS WITH OSCAN LEGENDS.

SILVER COINS OF CAPUA B.C 263.

Issued during the First Punic War.

Obv. Laureated head of Jupiter to right : border of dots.

Rev. An eagle holding a fulmen in its talons standing to
right with the wings raised. In field to right IinN>l : border of dots.
Specimens are to be seen in the Museums of Berlin, Paris, Naples.

Coins issued under Roman Dominion.

BRONZE COINS OY CAPUA 263-2 1 8.

I. Size : i \ inch. Dextans.

Obv. Bustsside by side of Juno and Jupiter. Juno is diademed
and bears a sceptre on her shoulder : border of dots.



— 32 —

Rev. Jupiter standing in a quadriga, galloping to right,
hurling a fulmen with his right hand, and holding sceptre in his
left. In the exergue I]nN>l or ^HN)! : border of dots.

Specimens are in the Museums of London, Paris, Naples, and
Berlin.

II. Size : I I inch. Dextans.

Obv. Beardless Janus head : border of dots.
Rev. Same as no i .

III. Size : i | inch. Quincunx.

Obv. Head of Pallas to right, in Athenian helmet, crested,
and with lateral aigrettes : border of dots.

Rev. Pegasus flying to right, underneath 0000 and DflN)! :
border of dots.

Specimens in the Museums of London, Paris, Berlin, and,
Naples.

IV. Size : i| inch. Quadrunx.

Obv. Laureated head of Jupiter, to right : border of dots.
Rev. A winged fulmen, above 00000, below DHN)! : border
of dots.

V. Size : i inch. Teruncius.

Obv. Head of Ceres crowned with ears of corn ; behind 000 :
border of dots.

Rev. A bull standing to right, head turned facing, above
000. In exergue DDN)! : border oi dots.

Specimens in Museums of Naples, and Paris.

VI. Size : i inch. Biunx.

Obv. Head of Tyche wearing crenelated crown, behind two
stars, and a strigil : border of dots.

Rev. A horseman cuirassed wearing chlamys floating in the
wind, his lance held horizontally.

A shell under the horse's feet. In exergue DFIN)! : border of dots.
There are also Uncias with the same type.

The type may be compared with Syracusan coins of Hieron 11.
Specimens may be seen in the Museums of Berlin, Paris, and
Naples.

VII. Size : i inch. Biunx.

Obv. Laureated head of Jupiter to right ; behind T; : border

of dots.

Rev. Eagle, to right, turning its head, with wings spread,
and a fulmen in its talons ; on either side a star of eight rays indicat-
ing its value as two ounces. In the exergue DFIN)! : border of dots.
Specimens are found in the Museums of Paris, Berlin, Naples,
and Glasgow.

VIII. Size : i inch. Biunx.



— 33 —

Obv. Laureated head of Jupiter to right ; behind ^ : border

of dots.

Rev, Two warriors standing facing each other, in their right
hands a sword, taking an oath over a young pig held in their left

hands. In field to left (J.

In the exergue IHINK : border of dots.

IX. Size : i inch. Biunx.

Obv. Diademed head of beardless Heracles to right, with the
club shewing over his left shoulder : border of dots.

Rev. A lion walking to right biting a spear, on the shaft of
which he rests his left forefoot.

Above 00. In the exergue DFIN)! or ^nn>l.

Specimens are found in the Museums of London, Paris, Berlin,
and Naples.

X. Size : I inch. Biunx.

Obv. Laureated head of Jupiter to right, behind Q^ : border

ot dots.

Rev. Diana ot Mount Tifata driving a biga to right. In field
above ^^. In exergue UriNK.

Specimens in Museums of London, Paris, Naples, Berlin. Some of
these types were engraved by the same artist who executed the
silver coins.

XI. Size : '{ inch. Uncia.

Obv. Head of Pallas to right wearing Corinthian helmet with
double neck piece; behind X : border of dots.

Rev. Victory standing to left holding wreath in her right
hand, and in her left fillets; her body is bare above; in front ¥:.
In exergue ZJriN)! : border of dots.

Specimens in Museums of London, Paris, Naples. The type seems
to be copied from the gold staters of Pyrrhus.

There was probably a temple ofVictory at Capua, for Cicero (^De
dm)iat. I. xLiii) says : " Again, when the statue of Apollo at Cumae
was covered with a miraculous sweat, and that ofVictory at Capua
also, and when the Hermaphrodite was born — were not these things
significant of horrible disasters"?

XII. Size : | inch. Uncia.

Obv. Head of Diana crowned with myrtle, her bow and
arrows seen over her shoulder; behind • or X : border of dots.

Rev . Wild boar running to right. Above • .

In the exergue UriN)) : border of dots.

Specimens in Museums of London, Paris, Berlin, Naples.
The wild boar is seen on terra cotta steles found at Capua .

Hands. 3



- 34 —

XIII. Size : | inch. Uncia.

Obv. Laureated head of Jupiter to right : border of dots.

Rev. Victory standing to right, crowning a trophy; in field
to right ^. In exergue HFIN)! : border of dots.

Specimens are in the Museums of London, Paris, BerHn, and
Naples.

XIV. Size : | inch. Uncia of reduced weight.

Obv. Head or bust of Juno to right, her sceptre over hei
shoulder; she wears a diadem and earrings : border of dots.

Rev. Two archaic idols, Zoava of Artemis? a fillet is hung
over all, and the idols are on a base. In the field to left the
symbol D+C called " object like a tripod "in Brit. Miis. Catalogue;
DHN)! in field to left : border of dots.

Specimens in the Museums of London, Paris, Berlin, Glasgow,
and Naples.

XV. Size same as XIV. Uncia of reduced weight.
Obv. Same as no XIV^

Rev. Ear of barley with two leaves.

In the field DFIN)! : to right the symbol D+C.

Specimens in the Cabinet de France.

XVI. Size : | inch. Semiuncia {}) or Uncia of reduced weight.
Obv. Head of Juno (?), veiled to right, a sceptre over her

shoulder : border of dots.

Rev. Ear of barley with two leaves. In the field HflN)!, to
right the symbol D+C.

Specimens in the Museums of London, Glasgow, Paris, Berlin,
Naples.

XVII. Size : ^ inch. Semiuncia (?) or Uncia reduced.
Obv. Head of Apollo, laureated, to right : border of dots.
Rev. Lyre decorated with fillets, in the field to left CnN>l;

on some specimens to right : border of dots.

Specimens in the Museums of Berlin, Paris, Naples, and
Glasgow.

XVIII. Size : | inch. Uncia of reduced weight.

Obv. Head of Pan beardless to right, the pedum over his
shoulder : border of dots.

Rev. Wild boar running to right; above •.

On the unique specimen in the Museum at Naples there is no
legend in the exergue, but Garrucci gives to this coin the legend
iriN)! in the exergue.

XIX. Size : | inch. Uncia of reduced weight.

Obv. Beardless diademed head of Heracles to right, with
club behind neck : border of dots.

Rev . The three headed dog Cerberus to right.
In the exergue DPR)! : border of dots.



~" :>) —

XX. Size : f inch. Uncia of reduced weight.

Obv. Beardless head of Heracles to right with the club
behind his neck : border of dots.

Rev. Doe to right suckling the infant Telephus, and turning
its head to lick him.

In the Held to right D+C. In exergue HPINE : border of dots.

A specimen in the Cabinet de France.

XXI. Size : ^ inch. Uncia of reduced weight, or Semiuncia.

Obv. Head of Telephus wearing Phrygian cap to right :
border of dots.

Rev. Same as no XX.

Specimens in Museums of London, Paris, Berlin, and Naples.

XXII. Size : ^ inch. Semiuncia (?).

Obv. Head of Pallas wearing Athenian crested helmet to right :
border of dots.

Rev. Elephant to right.

Specimens in the Museums ol London, Paris, Berlin, and Naples.

XXIII. Size : | inch. Semiuncia (?).

Obv. Diademed bust of Juno to right, her sceptre over her
shoulder : border of dots.

Rev. A winged fulmen, above the symbol D4-C, below DFINC :
border of dots.

XXIV. Size : | inch. Semiuncia (?).

Obv. Beardless head to right wearing Phrygian cap : border
of dots.

Rev. Trophy of arms.
In the exergue UNfl)!.
A specimen in the Museum at Naples.

BRONZE COINS BETWEEN 217-2II B.C.

XXV. Size : i^ inch. Dextans (?).

Obv. Laureated head of Jupiter to right : border of dots.
Rev. Eagle standing to right with wings widely spread, with
a fulmen in its talons, below DflH)!, or=jnn>l.

Specimens in Museums of Paris, Berlin, and Naples.

XXVI. Size : i jTrinch, Qiiincunx(?).
Obv. Same as no XXV.

Rev. Same as no XXV but with J in field, to rights signifying
that it is half the value of the former piece.

ELECTRUM COINS. 2 1 7-2 II B.C.

Obv. Beardless head of Janus Geminus crowned with corn
ears : border of dots.



- 36 -

Rev. Jupiter in a quadriga led to right by Victory, in his
left hand a sceptre and spear, in his right a fulmen : border of dots.

Specimens in the Museums of Naples, Paris, Vienna, Rome
(Vatican), London, Gotha, and Berlin.

They contain 29 parts of gold to 71 of silver. From the late
style, and from the absence of the legend ROMA, these coins may
have been issued during the period of the Carthaginian occupation
of the city.

The popular types of the Cock and Man-headed Bull.

On page 346 of M. A. Samhon s Les Monnaies antiques de TItalie,
the types bearing allusion to monetary conventions are :

i". On the Obv. a head of Pallas as on the coins with the legend
ROMANO, and on the Rev. a cock, as on the triobols struck at
Naples about 282 B.C.

This type belongs to the towns which had periodical markets
(Nundinre) on the great commercial routes between Campania,
Latium and Samnium.

2"*^. On the Obv. a head of Apollo, and on the Rev. a
man-headed Bull crowned by a Victory ; this is the Neapolitan type
of the period 270-240 B.C. and it assured the circulation of these
coins (of Suessa) in the different markets of Latium, Samnium,
Apulia and Campania.

We find that three of the cities issued coins with each of these
types : viz : Cales, Suessa and Teanum. The cock type was also
used at Telesia, Aquinum, Venafrum(?) and in Etruria.

The other type with the man-headed bull had apparently a
wider circulation. From Neapolis its use was extended to Nola or
Hyria, Cales, Suessa, Teanum, Alif^e, Compulteria, Fistelia, the
Frentanians, Malventum and Aesernia. A glance at a map will show
that the cities which used these types cannot be placed in separate
groups, as in a geographical division. The cities using the cock type
are all, with one exception, on the North West oftheVulturnus, but
so are the three cities which used both types. The man-headed bull
type probably shows where the influence of the city Neapolis was
dominant, and the cock type may be a more native symbol,
adopted wherever the Samnite influence was in power.



— 37



COMPULTERIA



This city was situated on the borders of Samnium and Campania,
on the right bank of the river Volturnus, about six miles north of
Cahitia, on the rond to Aliffa?. It is twice mentioned by Livy who
in describing the events of 216 B.C. says : " Compulteria, Trebula,
and AusticuLa, towns which had revolted to the Carthaginians,
were stormed by Fabius, and Hannibal's garrisons in them, with a
great number of Campanians, were made prisoners " (XXIII, 59).

Next year we read : "many towns were taken by assault, Com-
pulteria, Telesia, Compsa, Fugifula^ and Orbitanium... In these
cities five-and-twenty thousand of the enemy were captured or
slain. Three hundred deserters were recovered ; these were sent to
Rome by the consul, and were without exception scourged in the
Comitium, and then flung from the rock. All this was done by
Quintus Fabius in a few days " (XXIV, 20).

The name is spelt in various ways in inscriptions : Cubulteria,
Cubulterini, and Cupulterini.

The position of the site was discovered near the village of
Alvignano, by Pellegrini, and is now occupied by the church of
S . Ferrante which was probably built on the site of the temple of
Juno, mentioned on inscriptions found there. The city evidently
recovered from the efii'ects of the Carthaginian wars for it was still
flourishing in the days of Hadrian.

The coins of this city issued between 268-240 B.C., all in


1 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Online LibraryAlfred Watson HandsItalo-Greek coins of southern Italy → online text (page 3 of 15)