The Coinage of Italy

N. K. Rutter

in The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195305746
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Coinage of Italy

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Roman History
  • Historical Archaeology



The first coinages of Italy were issued in the sixth century by a group of cities on the coast of the Ionian Sea: Metapontum, Sybaris, and Croton, with Caulonia. All four cities adopted the same weight standard, the “Achaean,” with the stater, or standard coin, weighing initially a little over 8 g and subdivided into thirds and sixths. The coins were struck with an obverse and a reverse die, but their appearance was unprecedented and not emulated elsewhere: on thin, broad flans, the obverse design appeared normally in relief, while on the reverse a similar version of the same design was struck in negative. Over time, the diameter of the flans gradually declined, while their weight was maintained by a corresponding increase in thickness. This was the last attempt at a convergence in coining in Italy before the Romans imposed their own form of convergence over Italy.

Keywords: coinage; Italy; Ionian Sea; Achaenan; stater

Article.  5753 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History ; Historical Archaeology

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