Silver Nomos, Kallikrates, magistrate, c. 240-228 BC.
Obverse: Warrior, [holding Nike on outstretched left hand], on horseback galloping right, KAΛΛIKPA / THΣ below. Reverse: TAPAΣ, Taras riding dolphin left, holding Nike and trident, NE monogram behind.
(Vlasto 963; HN Italy 1059; SNG ANS 1260; SNG Lloyd 230).
Lustrous and virtually mint state. Weakly struck face of the horseman. An exquisite reverse of magnificent detail.
The famous reverse of this silver nomos from Tarentum depicts the mythical founder of the city. Taras, from whom the Magna Graecian city’s name derives, was a son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. Shipwrecked, the young Taras was rescued by a dolphin sent by his father, and bought ashore. Tarentum was founded at this supposed location, and the hero Taras was worshipped there.