Coins of Magna Graecia
The ancient Magna Graecia or "Greater Greece" is the area West of modern Greece
encompassing Southern Italy and Sicily. The first Greek "colony" of Ischia was established in the 8th century B.C. Within a few centuries the coastlines
of the area was dotted with scores of Greek settlements. The history of Magna Graecia is filled with great mecantile success, primarily
due to the rich agricultural hinterland wrestled from the native peoples.
This wealth brought artists from all ports of the Greek-speaking world. What
more natural way for a proud and proto-capitalistic society, filled with plunderers in the form of mercenaries and sly rhetoricians
to express their aesthetic sense , than to hire the best artists to design their money? More-so than in the homeland, wealth among the landless was not a
contradiction. The history of Magna Graecia is one of great upheaval and tyrannical rule where great temples were built to sooth the souls of butchers
of men; but their spirit was really in the loot.
Art historians sometimes speak of Western
Greek art as derivative of the products of the Classical period in the
homeland; but in the fields of architecture and especially numismatic art,
the colonists produced in their Classical period some of the masterpieces of Western civilization.
please note the 'Catalog #' found
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