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The article is a publication of two the 4th – 3rd centuries BC South Italian gold coins in the Kerch Museum. One of them is the Epeirote King Alexander’s stater struck in Tarentum, the possible mint for all Alexander’s coinage in gold and silver, ca 332–330 BC, during his Italian expedition to help the Greeks in their struggle against the Lucanians and the Bruttians. The second issue is a Metapontion tetrobol (1/3 stater) probably struck for Pyrrhos of Epeiros following the battle of Herakleia (280 BC). Joining with the Akragas hemidrachm of the end of the 5th century BC, both gold coins came from the collection of Bosporan coins presented by the Federal Republic of Germany to the Museum in 2010. This numismatic collection presumably belongs to the pre-war Kerch Museum collection, which was transferred in Germany in 1943.

These coins of Metapontion, Tarentum and Akragas were found somewhere in the European Bosporus, most likely in Pantikapaion or its outskirts. Joining a number of extremely rare fi nds of South Italian and Sicilian coins (Neapolis, Metapontion, Croton, Bruttium, Tarentum, Peripolium, Megarae, Syracuse, Messana (Mamertini)) and also jewelery and toreutics items in the North Black Sea Region, the coins analyzed can be considered as the important evidence of trade-economic links between the Bosporus and Magna Gracie and Sicily at the end of the 5th – the 3rd century BC. Perhaps, these contacts were indirect.


Bosporus, Magna Graecia, Sicily, Metapontion, Tarentum, Akragas, Greek coins, currency, trade links, Kerch Museum

Mikhail G. Abramzon

Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University, Magnitogorsk, Russia

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