(6) Kroton, Bruttium (Italy) - AR stater, c. 350 B.C.,
7.62 g. (inv. 93.001).
Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo r.; : Krotoniate.
Reverse: Baby Herakles seated on ground l., strangling two snakes.
Provenance: Harlan Berk, 1990.
Bibliography: C.M. Kraay, Archaic and Classical Greek Coins (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1976).
There are two accounts, one historical and one legendary, of the foundation of Kroton, a prosperous city in southern Italy (see also no. 5). The city was founded by the Achaeans on instructions from the oracle of Apollo at Delphi in the late eighth century, but according to legend the city was settled by the hero Herakles. The types on this coin refer to both traditions. On the obverse is the head of Apollo. On the reverse is the baby Herakles, strangling the snakes that the goddess Hera had sent to kill him. Hera plagued Herakles all his life because he had been fathered by her consort, Zeus, with the beautiful princess Alkmene. The image is on the coins of Kroton often interpreted as a symbol of the struggles between Greeks and barbarians in the area. Little is known of the history of Kroton in this period.
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