Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Greek Bruttium Kroton

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Antik Sikkeler

4 Şub 2022
The depiction of Hera on the obverse is that of a local aspect of the deity, whose sanctuary the Heraion Lakinion was situated 10 kilometres away from Kroton at Lakinion, now Cape Colonna. The site takes its name from the sole surviving column of the temple built upon that spot in around 470 BC, which was largely intact until the sixteenth century when it was extensively quarried. Theokritos Korydon sings the praises of the Lakinian shrine that faces the dawn, and Livy 24.3.3-7 tells us that it was 'a building more famous even than the city itself and held in reverence by all the peoples there around and that within were countless masterpieces and treasures including a column of solid gold dedicated to the goddess. By the time of Livy's writings however, the temple had long been plundered.

This facing portrait of Hera can be considered to be directly inspired by Kimon's famous facing Arethusa tetradrachm that was widely admired and imitated throughout the ancient world; the difficulty of creating an attractive facing portrait apparently led to engravers considering the undertaking of such a die as a challenge and proof of their skill. Hera's headdress, a low crown known as a polos, was no longer worn in classical times but was common in Mycenaean art. Many of the terracotta figurines from late Helladic IIIA Mycenaean period circa 1400–1300 BC seem to wear poloi, and its use can thus be seen as a deliberate archaism for representing a Mother Goddess.

Herakles appears on the reverse of this coin in his role as founder of Kroton. Later Krotoniate tradition conveniently bypassed Myskellos in favour of associating the city with a past more ancient even than the Trojan War; according to myth Herakles landed at the nearby promontory with the oxen of Gerion and was hospitably received by one Kroton and his wife Laureta. Her father Lakinio however, was discovered trying to steal an ox from Herakles sacred herd, resulting in Herakles fighting and killing him. In the confusion, it transpired that Herakles had also mortally wounded his host Kroton. Saddened, Herakles gave Kroton an honourable burial, and predicted the founding of a great city there that would bear his name.

We see also on the reverse of this coin the fabled bow of Herakles, that Philoktetes [a Greek hero of the Trojan War] was said to have taken with him to the land between Sybaris and Kroton, where he founded the non-Greek cities Petelia, Chrone, Krimisa and Makalla. A prophecy arose as in the Trojan War, that victory would be Kroton's if the bow and arrows of Herakles would be theirs. Thus, these sacred relics of Philoktetes were removed from his tomb and deposited in the Krotoniate sanctuary of Apollo Aleos. This coin is therefore rare among Greek coins in that it may be considered to have a threefold significance - referring directly to the sanctuary of Hera, to Herakles as founder of the city, and to the sanctuary of Apollo.

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