This time, you will try your hand at a drachm from Istros on the Black Sea coast. The issue does not specify what the motif in the style of a Chinese yin and yang symbol depicts: the brothers Castor und Pollux, the trade up and down the river? Anyway: a fascinating beauty!
Today, we have a coin featuring a Greek god, who was believed to protect the cities of Southern Italy from earthquakes. It was a useful thing to have him on your side: after all, he caused the earthquakes himself. To see what he used to do this, take a look at the coin.
In ancient times, Messina’s wealth stemmed from its protected harbour. It was formed by a crescent-shaped headland, which is the reason for its Greek name: Zancle, i.e. “scythe”. You can find the scythe on Messina’s coins too. Put it together and have a close look!
Incuse coinage was characteristic for the Greek colonies in southern Italy. Thus, the depiction on the obverse of coins of the city of Sybaris was always elevated, while the reverse featured the negative, deepened motif. The image is bursting with power: a mighty bull!