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Tarentum Nomos: The Story of a Boy and his Cotton Candy Adventure


Curtisimo
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Taras_Nomos_1.jpeg.a2e805b5ad80ba59d5461a581d7a81ea.jpeg

Calabria, Tarentum
AR Nomos, Tarentum mint, struck 280-272 BC 
Dia.: 20.4 mm
Wt.: 6.4 g
Obv.: Helmeted warrior on horseback l., holding two spears and round shield decorated with star. ΖΩ in right field, ΑΠΟΛΛΩ below
Rev.: ΤΑΡΑΣ, Taras riding dolphin l., holding distaff and bunch of grapes. ΑΝΘ in right field
Ref.: Vlasto 794

Taras the Dophin Rider

Considering this is such a popular type I think many collectors here know the story of Taras as shown on the reverse already.  For those that don't the CliffsNotes version is that Taras was the son of Poseidon who fell off the ship he was sailing in.  His father sent a dolphin to rescue him and Taras rode the dolphin to the shores of southern Italy.  He founded a city on the spot where he came ashore and modestly named it after himself.  The Romans later called the city Tarentum.  The modern city is called Taranto.

All that is cool but I defy anyone to tell me that the reverse doesn't look like an oddly muscular kid holding a stick of cotton candy and yeehaw-ing around on a dolphin his rich father bought for him. 🤠

Let's see those Dolphin Riders folks!!!

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I have always loved the story about Taras. Saved by a dolphin who drops him off at the only real good harbor in southern Italy. Dolphins is so smart.

Taras Ar Nomos 240-228 BC Obv Warrior  in full armor holding Nike on horse rearing right.  Rv Phalanthos (Taras) holding Nike and cradling trident riding dolphin left. Vlasto 963 6.51 grms 19 mm Photo by W. Hansentaras13.jpeg.79f0b17ebb2bedf894b4e4a814a72237.jpeg I really do enjoy the long and extensive series of coins minted by the Tarentines displaying their fascination with their horse culture. This coin is somewhat different than the norm. Most of the coins appear to depict some event within an equestrian  event where the skill of the Tarentine cavalry is depicted. This one suggest some kind of procession after a successful military campaign.  

Edited by kapphnwn
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@CurtisimoI like that Nomos with obverse shield-wielding horseman.  The reverse with grapes and distaff leads to the inevitable question : why grapes and distaff? That said I have no explanation for nymph head and kantharos...

1579598530_TarentumNomosAristokles.jpg.dbaefa950e788d100d80a5637e0558e6.jpg

Italy, Calabria, Tarentum, AR Didrachm (Nomos), ca. 272-240 B.C., Di- and Aristokles, magistrates

Obv: Warrior on horse rearing right, preparing to cast a spear

Rev: Phalanthos, holding kantharos and trident, riding dolphin left; to right, head of nymph left

 

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2 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

I didn't know the story yet. Thanks for the brief explanation of it - and for the beautiful coin.

Thank you @Prieure de Sion. I am glad you found the brief write up informative. The cool think about Greek coins is that so many of them have mythological tie ins which I think is fun. 🙂

2 hours ago, ominus1 said:

very nice Curtisimo..one of the best reverses ive seen inna while! 🙂 haha...idk 'bout the kid and cotton candy but yeah...:D

Thank you very much @ominus1! It was the reverse that drew me to this example. I like the facial features and that the design is mostly on flan.

1 hour ago, kapphnwn said:

I have always loved the story about Taras. Saved by a dolphin who drops him off at the only real good harbor in southern Italy. Dolphins is so smart.

Taras Ar Nomos 240-228 BC Obv Warrior  in full armor holding Nike on horse rearing right.  Rv Phalanthos (Taras) holding Nike and cradling trident riding dolphin left. Vlasto 963 6.51 grms 19 mm Photo by W. Hansentaras13.jpeg.79f0b17ebb2bedf894b4e4a814a72237.jpegI really do enjoy the long and extensive series of coins minted by the Tarentines displaying their fascination with their horse culture. This coin is somewhat different than the norm. Most of the coins appear to depict some event within an equestrian  event where the skill of the Tarentine cavalry is depicted. This one suggest some kind of procession after a successful military campaign.  

Beautiful coin!

1 hour ago, Sulla80 said:

@CurtisimoI like that Nomos with obverse shield-wielding horseman.  The reverse with grapes and distaff leads to the inevitable question : why grapes and distaff? That said I have no explanation for nymph head and kantharos...

1579598530_TarentumNomosAristokles.jpg.dbaefa950e788d100d80a5637e0558e6.jpg

Italy, Calabria, Tarentum, AR Didrachm (Nomos), ca. 272-240 B.C., Di- and Aristokles, magistrates

Obv: Warrior on horse rearing right, preparing to cast a spear

Rev: Phalanthos, holding kantharos and trident, riding dolphin left; to right, head of nymph left

 

Nice coin and great questions @Sulla80. My assumption was that the Tarentines are bragging about their economy. The grapes representing wine production and the distaff representing textile production. It makes some sense that they would put those items on the reverse considering Taras is meant just as much as a personification of the city as a reference to the myth. The obverse is then used as an overt show of military strength and tradition.

Just for fun here is a drawing showing the distaff being used in the spinning process... still looks like cotton Candy to me. Maybe I’m just hungry. 🤤 

34CAEB80-553D-4AE1-A77D-9307A972794B.jpeg.e8fdf4356cf1cac4ec1d046b51146974.jpeg

I know I was a bit flippant with this write up but I just felt like showing the coin for fun.  This was my first coin of the year. I plan to add more of these dolphin riders in the future and I plan dig into the background a bit more. 

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I really like the shield type!  Nice first coin of the year, coingrats!! 🎉

I also recently filled this gap in my collection, with this example towards the end of last year:

image.jpeg.6d17a94b3ac83510d1eb51daac41c8b0.jpeg

No shield, sadly.  But I like the detail.  Here are the specs:

CALABRIA. Tarentum. Circa 272-240 BC. Nomos (Silver, 20 mm, 6.31 g, 5 h), struck under the magistrates Hippodan... and Di... ΙΠΠΟΔΑΝ Warrior, wearing breast plate and holding javelin in upraised right hand, on horseback galloping right. Rev. ΤΑΡΑΣ / ΔΙ Phalanthos astride dolphin left, holding kantharos and distaff; amphora behind. HN III 1040. SNG ANS 1224. Vlasto 904.

Both of our coins are on the war standard at ~6.3g: seems to apply both the Pyrrhic Wars as well as both Punic wars.  I'd like to get one on the earlier heavier standard as well, around 7.6-7.9g.

Here are some notes I happen to have in my wantlist spreadsheet on the historical context of coins dated like yours:

Conflict with Rome erupted in 282 when Tarentum’s superior navy attacked Roman ships in their waters; in 281 Rome plundered the city. Tarentum had appealed to Pyrrhus, who joined them in hopes of gathering funds and support for his planned conquest of Macedon in the future; the team was victorious over Rome at first (279), but Rome’s ultimate quasi-victory over Pyrrhus in 275 BCE (Battle of Tarentum) spelled the city’s doom. In 272 Rome conquered it and sold 30,000 citizens into slavery.

Assuming the attributed dates are correct (maybe rather tenous? I'm not sure of the quality of this evidence) your coin is perfect to stand in for the Pyrrhic War. 👍 Mine sort of straddles that and the First Punic War.  (Missing two birds with one stone? 😆)

Edited by Severus Alexander
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I've been tempted to catalog coins like the OP as "Taras riding dolphin left, carrying gyros." The grapes no doubt are for dessert, baklava not having been discovered yet.

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Beautiful coins in this thread! Certainly more attractive than any I have to offer! This one is the only dolphin rider I have in my entire numophylacium. It may not look like much but it may well be the only known example of the type. It is now the "plate coin" at RPC:

[IMG]
Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman provincial Æ 5.84 g, 22.0 mm, 7 h.
Bithynia-Pontus, Apamea.
Obv: FAUST[INAC AUG], draped bust of Faustina II, right.
Rev: UЄNU[S ... C]ICA dd, Venus seated right, head left, on dolphin swimming left, resting right arm on dolphin, uncertain object in left hand.
Refs: RPC IV.1, 11815 (temporary); Waddington RG --; BMC --; Sear --; Mionnet Suppl 5 --; Lindgren --; Wiczay --.
Notes: Previously unpublished. Obverse die match to Waddington RG, pl. XXXIX.1, which has a Neptune reverse type.

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Calabria, Tarentum, 280 - 272 BC
AR Nomos, Diameter 21.5mm, Weight 6.46gramm
Reference: HN Italy 1014; SNG ANS 1142; Vlasto 803

Obv: Youth on horseback to right, crowning himself; ΞΩ to left, ΞΑΛΟ and Ionic capital below
Rev: Taras astride dolphin to left, holding aphlaston and distaff; TAPAΣ below, ANΘ to right

 

 

neue griechische münze.png

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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16 hours ago, Curtisimo said:

Nice coin and great questions @Sulla80. My assumption was that the Tarentines are bragging about their economy. The grapes representing wine production and the distaff representing textile production. It makes some sense that they would put those items on the reverse considering Taras is meant just as much as a personification of the city as a reference to the myth. The obverse is then used as an overt show of military strength and tradition.

Advertising local agricultural products makes sense to me - thanks for the explanation.  On my coin, my guess is that the nymph and kantharos (for wine) are both linked with Dionysos and stretching to see an overall message: something like "Tarentum, protected by the Gods and a great city".  However, Tarentum was recently (~272 BC) brought under Roman control and then with the 1st Punic war (264-241 BC) raging, it might not have been a great place to hang out.  The Romans weren't too happy about the whole alliance with Pyrrhus (circa 280-270  BC) - a strong show of military strength probably important during the years your coin was issued.  By the time my coin was issued Tarentum was under Roman rule, so technically it is a Roman republican coin.  Tarentum still wasn't thrilled with Roman rule when Hannibal came looking for a port in the 2nd Punic war.

Edited by Sulla80
spelling correction
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Posted · Benefactor
Posted (edited)

Nice! ... congrats on the sweet rider-addition, Curtisimo (those coins are total winners)

I had a couple of pretty cool dolphin-rider examples ... wanna see 'em?

 

THRACE BYZANTION AR HEMIDRACHM (below)

C. 340-320 BC

Diameter: 14mm

Weight: 2.48 grams
Obverse: Cow standing left on dolphin
Reverse: Incuse 'mill sail' punch

Reference: SNG BM 36-41
Other: Grey tone with good detail

Ex-stevex6

Byz Cow & Dolphin.jpg

 

 

CALABRIA, Tarentum, AR Nomos (below)

Circa 315-302 BC

Diameter: 20 mm

Weight: 7.98 grams

Obverse: Warrior, preparing to cast spear, holding two others and shield, on horse rearing right (eight rayed star on horse quarter); ΣA below

Reverse: Phalanthos, holding kantharos and trident, astride dolphin left; AP monogram to left; below, small dolphin left

Reference: Fischer-Bossert Group 70, 846 (V336/R657); Vlasto 600 (same obv. die); HN Italy 937; Gulbenkian 35 (same dies); Jameson 156 (same dies)

Other: 11h …  toned. Excellent metal, exceptional obverse from fresh dies

Ex-stevex6 … from the JMG Collection

Calabria Tarentum.jpg

 

... ahaha ... that poor dolphin always looked so pissed-off to me, eh?

=> "Hey, get your wang off of my dorsal-fin, dude!!"

Edited by Steve
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My dolphin rider…bouncing on the waves! (or flying?)

47FEE0DD-D76A-4ED2-9D5C-007C310CB1DE.jpeg.f2f900bac2722f2c735ae3c156d98758.jpegED2286C5-4D56-4BAF-B312-D9F5C6DEE3BC.jpeg.f0310ba53a5594e079fa14755781ed92.jpeg

Calabria, Tarentum AR Nomos. Circa 344-340 BC. 7.70g, 21mm, 10h
 

Obverse: Warrior, holding shield and spear, on galloping horse to left; Δ below

Reverse: Phalanthos, nude, holding kantharos and riding dolphin to left; TAPAΣ downwards to right, small dolphin and E above waves below.

Reference: Vlasto 387; SNG ANS 904; HN Italy 870.

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Great thread! My two dolphin-riders from Tarentum:

Tarentum, Calabria. AR Nomos (didrachm), ca. 302-280 BCE. Magistrates Sa.., Arethon and Cas-. Obv. Youth on horseback right, crowning horse with wreath; magistrates' names: ΣA to left and AΡE/ΘΩN in two lines below/ Rev. TAΡAΣ, Phalanthos astride dolphin left, holding tripod, CAΣ below. Vlasto 666 [Ravel, O.E., Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Tarentine Coins formed by M.P. Vlasto (London, 1947, reprinted)]; HN Italy 957 [Rutter, N.K., ed., Historia Numorum Italy (London, 2001)]; SNG ANS 1046 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 1: Etruria - Calabria (New York 1969)]. 23 mm., 7.86 g.

[IMG]

The second is a "reduced standard" type:

Tarentum, Calabria. AR Nomos, ca. 272-240 BCE. Magistrates Sy… and Lykinos. Obv. Nude youth on horse advancing to left, crowning horse with wreath held in right hand, holding reins in left hand; to right, ΣΥ; below horse, ΛΥΚΙ/ΝΟΣ in two lines / Rev. Phalanthos [not “Taras”; see https://coinsweekly.com/and-this-is-where-aristotle-was-wrong/] astride dolphin to left, his back half-turned to viewer, brandishing trident held in right hand, chlamys draped over left arm; ΤΑ-ΡΑΣ beneath dolphin; in right field, owl standing to left, head facing.. Vlasto 836-841 [all same type] at p. 95 & Pl. XXVII [Ravel, O.E., Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Tarentine Coins formed by M.P. Vlasto (London, 1947, reprinted 1977)]; HN Italy 1025 [Rutter, N.K., ed., Historia Numorum Italy (London, 2001)]. 19.5 mm., 6.47 g, 12 h. (“Reduced standard” compared to larger size of earlier coins, beginning after arrival of Pyrrhus in Italy ca. 280 BCE.) Purchased at Nomos Obolos Auction 22, 6 March 2022, Lot 39.

Nomos Obolos 22 Lot 39 Tarentum nomos rider w. trident owl in field jpg.jpg
 

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I have owned a few of these. This was probably the nicest.

Obv:– Helmeted, nude warrior riding on horse right, transverse spear in right hand, large round shield behind, [ΦI before], ΦHRAE / ΛHTWΣ below.
Rev:– [T_A_RAS], Taras astride dolphin left, holding flower & cornucopiae; EI monogram & thymiaterion behind
Minted in Calabria, Taras from .c. 272 - 235 B.C. Pheraeletos as magistrate

Calabria_1c_img.jpg

This one suffered from corrosion on the reverse.

Obv:– Warrior on horseback right thrusting spear downward with right hand, holding two spears and shield in his left hand ; ΣΙ behind , ΔAKINMOΣ below.
Rev:– [TARAS] , Phalanthos astride dolphin left, holding dolphinin right hand , cradling cornucopiae in left arm. [ΔΑ below]
Minted in Calabria, Taras from .c. 302 - 280 B.C. Magistrate Dakinmos
Reference:– Vlasto 696 ; SNG ANS 1071

Calabria_1b_img.jpg

 

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On 6/20/2022 at 4:53 PM, Severus Alexander said:

Assuming the attributed dates are correct (maybe rather tenous? I'm not sure of the quality of this evidence) your coin is perfect to stand in for the Pyrrhic War. 👍 Mine sort of straddles that and the First Punic War.  (Missing two birds with one stone? 😆)

What an excellent comment. The Punic War period tie in, if verifiable, is an even bigger reason to love the coin.

A brief summary of the reasoning for dating these as such would make for a great NumisThought article!

On 6/20/2022 at 5:46 PM, Phil Davis said:

I've been tempted to catalog coins like the OP as "Taras riding dolphin left, carrying gyros." The grapes no doubt are for dessert, baklava not having been discovered yet.

lol 😂

19 hours ago, Ryro said:

 

CariaHermiasDolphin-GaveToRyroDec2021.jpg.026dc037087681209fa167a378b5d9cd.jpg

IMG_0263.PNG.e58eb56e7018666195763fb971426638.PNG

1824421_1618170446.l-removebg-preview.png.861054448a50de5544268b7c9f909a95.png

69_2.jpg.c75e77c1842daf833ec86ea51180ee32.jpg

 

 

All beautiful coin my friend. You may recognize this coin from earlier this year??? You acted as my lead negotiator with the dealer. 😀 I was excited to add this one.

19 hours ago, Agricantus said:

@kapphnwn Amazing strike and details!

Here's a heavier standard, 7.8g. Murex, trident and hippocamp; no buyer's remorse on this one.

897582E3-C113-4C0A-9717-9D1D9D953FCC.jpeg.220fc90d676344ee5547197efdbf6139.jpeg

Beautiful!

11 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

Beautiful coins in this thread! Certainly more attractive than any I have to offer! This one is the only dolphin rider I have in my entire numophylacium. It may not look like much but it may well be the only known example of the type. It is now the "plate coin" at RPC:

[IMG]
Faustina II, AD 147-175.
Roman provincial Æ 5.84 g, 22.0 mm, 7 h.
Bithynia-Pontus, Apamea.
Obv: FAUST[INAC AUG], draped bust of Faustina II, right.
Rev: UЄNU[S ... C]ICA dd, Venus seated right, head left, on dolphin swimming left, resting right arm on dolphin, uncertain object in left hand.
Refs: RPC IV.1, 11815 (temporary); Waddington RG --; BMC --; Sear --; Mionnet Suppl 5 --; Lindgren --; Wiczay --.
Notes: Previously unpublished. Obverse die match to Waddington RG, pl. XXXIX.1, which has a Neptune reverse type.

Fabulous Faustina RC. Congrats on scoring such a rarity (can’t get any rarer than unique!).

10 hours ago, Prieure de Sion said:

Calabria, Tarentum, 280 - 272 BC
AR Nomos, Diameter 21.5mm, Weight 6.46gramm
Reference: HN Italy 1014; SNG ANS 1142; Vlasto 803

Obv: Youth on horseback to right, crowning himself; ΞΩ to left, ΞΑΛΟ and Ionic capital below
Rev: Taras astride dolphin to left, holding aphlaston and distaff; TAPAΣ below, ANΘ to right

 

 

neue griechische münze.png

That is an absolutely wonderful coin Prieure! Both the obverse and reverse are beautiful and very well centered.

 

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5 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

Calling @zumbly... I know he has some very sweet dolphin riders!

Thanks, Sev. I'd somehow missed this thread completely! 

That's a nice one, Curtis... I especially like it when you can see the dolphin-rider's facial features. In Vlasto, it's noted that the issue yours belongs to sports a rider "of plump Dionysiac type." Goes with the grapes, I guess! 😁

It's been a few years since I've been able to add to my dolphin-rider pod, but here are mine:

 

666368889_Tarentum-Nomos1stNew2017.jpg.ac73412a186948b36a85a016a7f27dcf.jpg

1622798743_Tarentum-Nomos-Prow.jpg.84d925645a7f27c4bbb4a1285221ae4f.jpg

179143105_Tarentum-NomosVlasto2073new.jpg.ac51174ee9b493eed6f07bb6e77a2b02.jpg

1764565510_Tarentum-NomosSmallDolphinnew1898.jpg.93c39ad1893d5735232695af93e3e496.jpg

361172239_Tarentum-NomosDieClash.jpg.ae01619a06ac18b4bc1fd6acd6d1a27c.jpg

Edited by zumbly
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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Sulla80 said:

Advertising local agricultural products makes sense to me - thanks for the explanation.  On my coin, my guess is that the nymph and kantharos (for wine) are both linked with Dionysos and stretching to see an overall message: something like "Tarentum, protected by the Gods and a great city".  However, Tarentum was recently (~272 BC) brought under Roman control and then with the 1st Punic war (264-241 BC) raging, it might not have been a great place to hang out.  The Romans weren't too happy about the whole alliance with Pyrrhus (circa 280-270  BC) - a strong show of military strength probably important during the years your coin was issued.  By the time my coin was issued Tarentum was under Roman rule, so technically it is a Roman republican coin.  Tarentum still wasn't thrilled with Roman rule when Hannibal came looking for a port in the 2nd Punic war.

Excellent point. This coin design maintained its recognizable form through a great deal political upheaval. Considering the history you highlight it is fascinating that there was as much consistency in the coinage as there was.

13 hours ago, Steve said:

... ahaha ... that poor dolphin always looked so pissed-off to me, eh?

 

=> "Hey, get your wang off of my dorsal-fin, dude!!"

😆😆🤣🤣😂😂 

...we freakin’ missed you Steve!

10 hours ago, Fortuna Redux said:

My dolphin rider…bouncing on the waves! (or flying?)

47FEE0DD-D76A-4ED2-9D5C-007C310CB1DE.jpeg.f2f900bac2722f2c735ae3c156d98758.jpegED2286C5-4D56-4BAF-B312-D9F5C6DEE3BC.jpeg.f0310ba53a5594e079fa14755781ed92.jpeg

Calabria, Tarentum AR Nomos. Circa 344-340 BC. 7.70g, 21mm, 10h
 

Obverse: Warrior, holding shield and spear, on galloping horse to left; Δ below

Reverse: Phalanthos, nude, holding kantharos and riding dolphin to left; TAPAΣ downwards to right, small dolphin and E above waves below.

Reference: Vlasto 387; SNG ANS 904; HN Italy 870.

Nice one Fortuna. The types with the waves shown are really cool.

7 hours ago, Severus Alexander said:

Calling @zumbly... I know he has some very sweet dolphin riders!

@Steve: besides the Eion geese you posted elsewhere, that nomos is another of my ex-x6 faves.  What a coin. 🤩

Thanks SA. We can add @Theodosiusto the role call. I believe he may now own the afore mentioned Mr. Angry Dolphin. :classic_rolleyes:

6 hours ago, DonnaML said:

Great thread! My two dolphin-riders from Tarentum:

Tarentum, Calabria. AR Nomos (didrachm), ca. 302-280 BCE. Magistrates Sa.., Arethon and Cas-. Obv. Youth on horseback right, crowning horse with wreath; magistrates' names: ΣA to left and AΡE/ΘΩN in two lines below/ Rev. TAΡAΣ, Phalanthos astride dolphin left, holding tripod, CAΣ below. Vlasto 666 [Ravel, O.E., Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Tarentine Coins formed by M.P. Vlasto (London, 1947, reprinted)]; HN Italy 957 [Rutter, N.K., ed., Historia Numorum Italy (London, 2001)]; SNG ANS 1046 [Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 1: Etruria - Calabria (New York 1969)]. 23 mm., 7.86 g.

[IMG]

The second is a "reduced standard" type:

Tarentum, Calabria. AR Nomos, ca. 272-240 BCE. Magistrates Sy… and Lykinos. Obv. Nude youth on horse advancing to left, crowning horse with wreath held in right hand, holding reins in left hand; to right, ΣΥ; below horse, ΛΥΚΙ/ΝΟΣ in two lines / Rev. Phalanthos [not “Taras”; see https://coinsweekly.com/and-this-is-where-aristotle-was-wrong/] astride dolphin to left, his back half-turned to viewer, brandishing trident held in right hand, chlamys draped over left arm; ΤΑ-ΡΑΣ beneath dolphin; in right field, owl standing to left, head facing.. Vlasto 836-841 [all same type] at p. 95 & Pl. XXVII [Ravel, O.E., Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Tarentine Coins formed by M.P. Vlasto (London, 1947, reprinted 1977)]; HN Italy 1025 [Rutter, N.K., ed., Historia Numorum Italy (London, 2001)]. 19.5 mm., 6.47 g, 12 h. (“Reduced standard” compared to larger size of earlier coins, beginning after arrival of Pyrrhus in Italy ca. 280 BCE.) Purchased at Nomos Obolos Auction 22, 6 March 2022, Lot 39.

Nomos Obolos 22 Lot 39 Tarentum nomos rider w. trident owl in field jpg.jpg
 

Two absolute beauties Donna! That first one is a stand out with the toning and the great style rider on the reverse.

5 hours ago, Agricantus said:

@Fortuna Redux Taras with the legs on the same side of the fin is awesome. It should be pretty hard to ride a dolphin like that...

I do not have such a type in my collection. Excellent centering on the reverse!
 

Thanks Agricantus! 🙂 

4 hours ago, maridvnvm said:

I have owned a few of these. This was probably the nicest.

Obv:– Helmeted, nude warrior riding on horse right, transverse spear in right hand, large round shield behind, [ΦI before], ΦHRAE / ΛHTWΣ below.
Rev:– [T_A_RAS], Taras astride dolphin left, holding flower & cornucopiae; EI monogram & thymiaterion behind
Minted in Calabria, Taras from .c. 272 - 235 B.C. Pheraeletos as magistrate

Calabria_1c_img.jpg

This one suffered from corrosion on the reverse.

Obv:– Warrior on horseback right thrusting spear downward with right hand, holding two spears and shield in his left hand ; ΣΙ behind , ΔAKINMOΣ below.
Rev:– [TARAS] , Phalanthos astride dolphin left, holding dolphinin right hand , cradling cornucopiae in left arm. [ΔΑ below]
Minted in Calabria, Taras from .c. 302 - 280 B.C. Magistrate Dakinmos
Reference:– Vlasto 696 ; SNG ANS 1071

Calabria_1b_img.jpg

 

Nice coins Martin.  Thank you for sharing. It looks like the rider on your second coin is a bit tipsy and about to fall backwards off his dolphin. I love it!

1 hour ago, zumbly said:

Thanks, Sev. I'd somehow missed this thread completely! 

That's a nice one, Curtis... I especially like it when you can see the dolphin-rider's facial features. In Vlasto, it's noted that the issue yours belongs to sports a rider "of plump Dionysiac type." Goes with the grapes, I guess! 😁

It's been a few years since I've been able to add to my dolphin-rider pod, but here are mine:

 

666368889_Tarentum-Nomos1stNew2017.jpg.ac73412a186948b36a85a016a7f27dcf.jpg

1622798743_Tarentum-Nomos-Prow.jpg.84d925645a7f27c4bbb4a1285221ae4f.jpg

179143105_Tarentum-NomosVlasto2073new.jpg.ac51174ee9b493eed6f07bb6e77a2b02.jpg

1764565510_Tarentum-NomosSmallDolphinnew1898.jpg.93c39ad1893d5735232695af93e3e496.jpg

361172239_Tarentum-NomosDieClash.jpg.ae01619a06ac18b4bc1fd6acd6d1a27c.jpg

Your collection of these is absolutely stunning Z. Your second example (along with Angry Dolphin) is probably my overall favorite of this type that I have seen. However your second from the bottom is also notable for having facial features for both the obverse and reverse figures. That is very rare on these. Wonderful coins man. You’re a connoisseur!

Edited by Curtisimo
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Not an ancient but I did read up on the story of Taras when I got this a long time ago.

I used to have this on my boat as a good luck charm. My boat was named "Lucky Charm"

It's a big medallion, maybe 2 1/2 inches and probably a souvenir from a bazaar in Greece that a vacationer brought home.

I only ever saw one other but it was smaller and clearly had Greece stamped on it.

I suppose I ought to watch for a  real Taras coin.

taros.jpg.78fcde5ba0d5407e3786b21bf76ea2ee.jpg

Edited by thenickelguy
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Is anyone here, who can say my what do the abbreviations mean?

Obverse
ΞΩ = XO = ?
ΞΑΛΟ = XALO = ?

Reverse
ΤΑΡΑΣ = Taras (that's logic)
ANΘ = is this the date?

If I understood correctly when reading "literature" - on the front side these are the abbreviations of the names of the magistrates. Whereby you only know the abbreviation for many of them.

Edited by Prieure de Sion
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