Carthaginian Empire (Hannibalic occupation of Bruttium)

Anonymous, Ca. 216-211 BC

SNG ANS 146; Jenkins & Lewis 487; HN Italy 2013, Choice Very Fine.

Janiform female heads, wearing grain wreaths. Reverse: Zeus, holding thunderbolt and scepter, in galloping quadriga right, driven by Nike..

The influence of the Roman quadrigatus coinage is unmistakable on the electrum coinage struck in southern Italy to support the occupying Carthaginian forces of Hannibal during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC). Although the alloy and denomination based on the Punic shekel make it clear that this coinage was produced to pay troops expecting to return to North Africa the janiform head and four-horse chariot of Jupiter are clearly taken from the quadrigatus coinage. However, the janiform head has been slightly modified so that its faces are those of Tanit, the chief goddess of Carthage. Ironically, at the same time that this electrum series was being produced, the financial pressures of the war were completely destroying the value of the Roman quadrigatus coinage on which it was modeled.