BRUTTIUM. Terina. Circa 440-425 BC.
Didrachm or Nomos (Silver, 23 mm, 7.65 g, 5 h). Head of the nymph Terina to left, wearing ampyx and pearl necklace with pendant; all within laurel wreath. Rev.
TE-PINAION Nike seated left on overturned hydria, wearing chiton and himation, holding wreath in her extended right hand and kerykeion in her left. Gulbenkian 149 (same dies
). HN Italy 2575. Holloway & Jenkins 12. Regling 7 (dies F/ζ). SNG ANS 801. Beautifully toned and in exceptional condition for this difficult issue, a wonderful coin of the finest Classical Magna Graecia style. Thin die break on the reverse, otherwise,
good very fine.
From the collection of Prof. Dr. D. Mannsperger, formed over the past 60 years.
We know surprisingly little about Terina, which produced one of the finest series of coins in all of Magna Graecia. The city was likely founded in the late 6th or early 5th century as a colony of Kroton, but as was common for many of the smaller Greek settlements in the region, periods of independence alternated with subjugation by hostile powers. Terina was sacked in 356 BC by native Bruttians and destroyed by Hannibal in 203; however, there must have been a Roman settlement at some point, as Pliny refers to it in the 1st century AD (Hist. Nat. III, 10).
The coinage of Terina has long attracted numismatists, and K. Regling's monograph from 1906 was, in fact, the first die study of any Greek coinage ever to be published. What makes Terina's coinage particularly attractive is that it invariably shows the nymph Terina on the obverse and a full-body figure of Nike on the reverse, but the artists bring the monotonous types to life by changing styles, attributes and gestures. On this coin, the magnificent head of the nymph is placed in a beautifully designed laurel wreath on the obverse, creating the illusion of a two-layered medallion, whereas on the reverse, Nike has swapped her usual cippus for an overturned hydria - no doubt a reference to her role as a spring nymph.