From about 350 BC the town of Taras, modern Taranto, was at war with the nearby Italic tribes: with the Etruscans and the Lucanians, the Brutii, the Samnites and the Romans. For its defense Taras hired mercenaries and allied with diverse Greek cities. During that time, coins were struck in Taras that adopted the images of the allies. This diobol shows the typical type of Heraclea, a city founded by Taras. The obverse depicts the head of Athene, while the reverse bears the Greek hero Heracles struggling with a lion.