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498223. SOLD $2750

BRUTTIUM, Kroton. Circa 530-500 BC. AR Nomos (27.5mm, 8.73 g, 12h). Tripod, legs surmounted by wreaths and terminating in lion’s feet, two serpents rising from the bowl, set on basis of three lines, (koppa)PO to left / Incuse tripod as obverse, but with wreaths and serpents in outline. Gorini 4; Attianese 1; HN Italy 2075; SNG ANS 227. EF, lightly toned, a few light hairlines on obverse. Crisply struck on good metal.


Located on the coastal plane at the “ball” of the Italian foot, the Greek colony of Kroton was the adoptive home of Pythagoras, a philosopher and polymath from Ionia who settled there circa 530 BC. Charismatic and possessed of revolutionary ideas about religion, government and science, he quickly established a large an influential following (today it might be termed a “cult”) that spread throughout the Greek colonies of southern Italy. Some have seen the teachings of Pythagoras as the inspiration behind the unusual relief / incuse fabric of southern Italian coinage from the later 500s BC; however, this distinctive type arose at least 20 years before his arrival in Kroton.