Southern Italy, Bruttium, Croton, Diobol


Southern Italy, Bruttium, Croton, Diobol (obverse) Southern Italy, Bruttium, Croton, Diobol (reverse)

The foundation of Croton followed an oracle of the god Apollo in Delphi. This was why the city, from the very beginning of its coinage around the mid-6th century BC, showed a tripod on its coins. The tripod was a symbol of Apollo's prophetic power and thus clearly referred to the god's role in the foundation of the city.

Also Croton set the initial letter of its name on its coins, here in the form of ϘR (onomatopoeic, Ϙ for koppa, not κ for kappa). There were diverse other symbols, here for instance an ivy leaf; their significance is unclear.

The reverse types, finally, seem often to have been borrowed from other mints. The hare also appeared on coins of Messana (former Zancle, Sicily). Whether the two loops above and below the animal are indication of the coins value – the piece is a double obol – is uncertain, too.


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