(13) Leontinoi, Sicily (Italy) - AR tetradrachm, c. 440-430
B.C., 17.18 g. (inv. 91.026).
Obverse: Head of Apollo l., with hair hanging straight and wearing an olive wreath with three rows of leaves.
Reverse: Lion's head l., surrounded by four grains of barley; : of the Leontines.
Provenance: Bank Leu, 1985.
Bibliography: G. Rizzo, Monete greche della Sicilia, 2 vols. (Rome 1946), pl. 24.4; C.M. Kraay, Archaic and Classical Greek Coins (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1976) 211-212.
The head of Leontinoi's patron god Apollo on the obverse and his symbol the lion's head on the reverse indicate that this coin comes from the period of Leontinoi's independence between 466 and 422 B.C. The barley grains surrounding the lion's head refer to the agricultural prosperity of the town.
Although the obverse and reverse types of Leontinoi's coins remained constant throughout this period, stylistic changes in the types permit more precise dating. A comparison of this coin with a tetradrachm of c. 460 B.C. (see no. 12) demonstrates that the facial features of both the Apollo and the lion are more naturalistic and finer in detail, indications of a date later in the Classical period, c. 440-430 B.C.
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