A copper coin (Ae.17) from the town of Tarentum (Taras) in Italy, circa 250 BC
Mint: Tarentum

Obverse Description

Laureate head of Apollo facing right

Reverse Description

Arion swimming to right holding on to dolphin; above, TA; below the end of the legend [PA]NTAINO[N] (?) in Greek

Edge Description



The reverse depicts the story of Arion who, after winning a musical competition in Sicily and while returning home via Tarentum, was captured by sailors who planned to kill him and steal the rich prizes he carried. He asked for permission to sing a last song and his song attracted dolphins to the ship. At the end of the song, Arion threw himself into the sea rather than be killed and one of the dolphins carried him to safety.

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