Dracma was in the beginning the main ponderal unit. Soon, with this term a silver currency was also designated. Dracmait represented in weight half, whereas the whole number constituted the estatera, that when this one era of gold was equivalent to 20 dracmas. The types, that is the figure or represented object, that appear in the Greek currencies usually consist of the emblem of the city or ofsovereign, and constitutes the element that confers the power to them of circulating. Often the main image is accompanied by figurillas placedin the field or exergo (small space in the low part of the currency): in this case it will be spoken of symbols, that are tie aconcrete events, as in the case of a Nike (winged figure that represents the Victory) or of a panoply (soldier armorexposed as trophy military) after a battle of favorable result. An example of this last representation we found it in the currenciesof Siracusa, probably emitted to celebrate the defeat of Athens after the invasion of Sicily.

an extraordinary variety

In the beginnings of the Greek monetal production, we found a predominance of animal figures (we think about the bull and the lion incurrencies of Acanto, in Macedonian, of first half of century V BC) or of fantastic beings, like the Gorgona (present in the currencies ofOibia, colony founded by Mileto to borders of the Black Sea, towards year 400 BC) and the faucet (that appears in the mintings of Abdera, inThrace, that can date towards years 530-500 BC). The subjects are also inspired by plants (the celery in the case of Selinunte, the rose in the one of Rocks) and as soon as had relation with the cult orwith the main activities of the emitting city, or they were agrarian, commercial or marine: let us remember the tuna of Cízico, the cluster ofgrapes in Naxos, the ear of wheat in Metaponto, the tripod in Crotona, the jar and the glass in Tasos and Quíos. There are also some typescalls talking because they use as games of words to brief the name of the city: the seal suggests Focea and the lion, Lentini. In the election of the type the religious element is very important: Athenian for Athens, Artemisa for Éfeso, Poseidón for Posidonia (nameGreek of Paestum), Aretusa for Siracusa. In reverso we found tie elements to the cult of divinities like lechuza, the red deer(in the currencies of Caulonia) or the eagle of Zeus. The hero Tares represented like rider of a dolphin in the currencies of Tarentohe would refer, on the other hand, to the myth related to the foundation of the city. Between the currencies that send to divinities, he deserves individual interestthe splendid personification of Apolo in the currencies of Clazomene, in Lydia, work of Teodato and that can date in 360 year BC: picture of the God, sight frontally, solves the author with great plasticity and sense of the movement. In addition, the expression of power and cruelty, characteristic of Apolo, is suggested simply, with few outlines in the eyes and the mouth.

the iconography of magna Greece

The diffusion of the currency took place from East to the West, reason why necessarily, although with certain delay, in the course of the centuryV BC the cities of the Magna Greece and Sicily had to organize their own emissions. In the south of the peninsula, firstcities that coined currency are Cumas, with the type of the shell, and Terina. Soon, in second half of century V BC, Naples (Neapolisit means new city, ) it produces pieces that present/display in the obverse the head of the Parténope siren and in reverso, the type of the bullandrocéfalo bearded, evident reference to the fluvial God Aqueloo, that had generated it. The mints are born next of Heraclea and ofTuri, that emits currencies with the representation of the bull attacking, whereas Tarento initiates the famous series of the rider on a dolphin. In Reggio they appear in the currencies the beam of mules and the hare running. The election of these two so peculiar and singular iconographiesit sends to related episodes to the life of the city: first it celebrates the victory of Anaxilas, tyrant of 476 years 494 to BC, obtained inthe race of beams thrown by mules celebrated in Olimpia; second the introduction of the hare in Calabria remembers, fact probablyof great resonance. In Sicily we found the mint of ZancieMessana (old name of Messina), that produced didracmas with the type of the frontal lion and the prow ofship during the occupation of the samios, and soon currencies with such types that Reggio after its conquest by Anaxilas.

the beautiful currencies but of the world

The considerations on were worth it of the creators of the currencies of southern Italy take to us to refer us to those of Siracusa, considered most beautiful of the world. The iconográfico scheme continued being he himself enough time, but contrary to which it is hadobserved in the case of Athens, the style changes sensibly in the course of the years, a evolution and with solutions of categoryartistic as to give rise to a unique case in the history of the numismatist. Siracusa, that, we do not forget it, still was governed by a governmentoligarchical headed by a tyrant, it had chosen for his currencies a quadriga in reverso, and the profile of the goddess Artemisa Aretusasurrounded by four dolphins in the obverse. In year 480 BC, Siracusa defeats to the Carthaginians in the battle of Himera, and memory andas celebration of this victory the Gelón tyrant commands to coin tetradracmas with this iconography. They are called Demareteia, in honor ofwife of Gelón, the gorgeous Demarete, to which the Carthaginian prisoners offered their crowns: with the silver of these they were coinedcurrencies. These tetradracmas also took in the obverse a placed lion running in exergo, probably symbol of the won oneCarthage. The hermosura of the goddess Artemisa Aretusa and the dulzura of their characteristics elevate it to the category of symbol of the harmony. The subjectthey solve throughout the time of diverse way and splendid recorders of great were worth, to which the honor is even possible to sign its works. Towards years 440-430 BC appears in the currencies the names of Eumenes, Frigilo and Evéneto. After the battle of year 413 BC, in whichthe siracusanos overcame the athenians, coined diverse decadracmas recorded by the great Evéneto, by Cimón and Euclidas, thislast author of tetradracmas rarest that they present/display front to Aretusa. Also Agrigento, that it had adopted in the dawn of hismonetal production the type of the shrimp, towards end of century V BC coins a series of decadracmas of great beauty and very rare: inobverse two eagles imagine that break a hare, scene that evokes verses of a choir of the Agamenón de Aeschylus; and in reversowe found a quadriga of horses sent to galope, flown over by an eagle with a serpent between the claws; down, the old symbolof the city, the shrimp. Another mint that can attribute a small masterpiece between its emissions is Catania. Towards year 415 BC, Heráciidas, another great craftsman-artist, records the dies for a splendid picture of Apolo, of relampagueante glance of being able and pride, with ready hair d a way that becomes a decorative form almost. Numerous and less interesting they are not the other mintsof the Magna Greece. Between the cities of aquea foundation: Tarento, colony of Esparta, with its dolphins; Metaponto with the ear; Síbariswith its figure that watches back; Crotona with the tripod. Locris, founded by the locrios, with the eagle that attacks the hare. Posidonia, Paestum Roman, also with the type of the bull. Cumas, founded by half-full colonos of Eubea towards of century VIII BC, with the shell. Veliawith the lion. In Sicily, in addition to already mentioned currencies of Siracusa and Agrigento, we remember Gela, with the types of the quadriga and the bull androcéfalo;Palermo with the horse heads, Segesta with the dog, Centuripe with the lira. The great newness with respect to the Greek production isin which numerous bronze currencies are coined, and is interesting to remember that this metal is characteristic of the Roman currencies. The impulse to the progress received from colonized earth was truely remarkable. The Greek establishments used to take place inregions of rather slow economy and culture, to which the colonizadores often imprimieron considerable and a decisive development, bythe general of pacific way. The beneficial influences of this fertile union between Greek culture and indigenous world also occurred initálicas zones not directly colonized by the helenos, and even in own Greece, since the colonial expansion was in the baseof the economic development worldwide Greek, and it lead to the overcoming of the economy of agrarian type. The same form in which this colonization was undertaken allowed to maintain many specific elements of the native towns alive and vital, and an extremely rich and adaptable culture was created that sometimes precedes in the time to the innovations of the mother country (as far associal or political evolution) and surpasses it in the new forms of cultural and spiritual activities like the poetry, the historiography andscientific thought. !>

Influencia in the Iberian Peninsula

The Greek colonization extended by all coast of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, in addition with a considerable penetration in Asia. Suit influences cultural emphasized in the countries of his surroundings, present Italy and Turkey. In the Iberian Peninsula the Greek presence was clearin all coast of the Mediterranean, but only there is certainty of mintings of currencies in the Emporitón (Ampurias) and Rhode (Pink). Of theseestablishments, first founded by the Greek colony of Marseilles, and the second by Greek coming from the Rock island. They werebeautiful producers of dracmas with the legend of Emporitón and Rodetón, already from century IV BC; using the types of stopped horse wingedand the opened rose, respectively. The smaller doubt does not fit than these cities were first in introducing the currency in the peninsula, giving origin in the same mints to the first Iberian mintings so extended during the following centuries by all the peninsula.


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