Carthaginian empire

Carthage or an Italic mint, bronze coin, ca. 221 202 BC
Bronze, struck
weight 17.975 g
diameter 32.6 mm
Inv. 1908.2580.

2588px x 2756px
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With colonies in North Africa, Spain and Sicily as well as Sardinia and Corsica, the Phoenicians secured the whole of the western Mediterranean for their trading ships. Carthage, the most famous Phoenician colony, did not strike its own coins until near the end of the C4 BC, when they were used to pay its mercenaries fighting against the Greeks in Sicily. The imagery, a womans head on the obverse and a horse on the reverse, was designed at the beginning of the C3 BC and remained on its coinage until Carthage was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. As a consequence of the second Punic War (218-201 BC) Carthage produced large amounts of bronze money in a great many mints. On this coin the proportions of the horse in front of the palm seem strangely distorted. The two Punic letters between its legs must indicate where the coin was minted.

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