Reproduction Bruttium, Rhegion Hemidrachm
Obverse: Mask of the Nemean lion facing.
Reverse: Laureate head of Apollo right behind an olive leave. PH in front.
History: According to tradition, Delphian Apollo advised the citizens of Chalcidice to found Rhegium in the 8th Century BC. In the early 5th Century BC, it was colonized by Peloponnesian Messenia. The depiction of Apollo on this coin series is considered one of the finest in the history of coinage thanks to the wonderful expressiveness of the young god.
The lion on the obverse refers to the Nemean lion, a vicious monster in Greek mythology. It could not be killed with mortals' weapons and could destroy any armour. It was eventually slain by Heracles, who wore the Nemean lion's coat as it was impervious to all but the most powerful weapons. The Nemean lion’s image on this coin is a nod to the Messenian component of the Regium population.
Date: C.415-387 BC