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Temesa: tipi apotropaici?


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Nomos 24, 22.5.2022, 13

BRUTTIUM. Temesa. Circa 475-425 BC. Nomos (Silver, 19.5 mm, 8.18 g, 9 h). Between two greaves, tripod with three ring handles, and legs ending in lion's paws. Rev. ΤΕΜ Corinthian helmet with crest right. AMB 234 (this coin). Jameson 464. Very rare. Very well struck and nicely toned. The best known example! Minor flan fault on the reverse, otherwise, extremely fine.
From the collection of a European and those of Dr. H. Maag, Peus 407, 7 November 2012, 141, and A.D. Moretti, Numismatica Ars Classica 13, 234 (this coin was displayed in the Antiken Museum Basel), acquired in the 1960s.
Not far from the site of ancient Terina, and near the river Savuto (the ancient Ocinaros), Temesa (now apparently the modern day town of Campora san Giovanni in Calabria) was an Ancient Greek city which, according to the myth, was founded by Polites, one of the companions of Odysseus. This seems to be commemorated by the helmet and greaves that appear as types on the city's 5th century BC coinage (the tripod refers to Kroton's domination over Temesa). They also may have served as apotropaic types since the ghost of Polites seems to have become quite a nuisance; he was finally bested in a wrestling match by an Olympic champion from nearby Lokroi Epizephyrioi (a city, which also claimed overlordship over Temesa at other times). The city's prosperity, or importance, came from its control over neighbouring copper mines, which, however, had become exhausted by end of the 1st century BC.

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Riappare sul mercato antiquario questo noto statere attribuito a Temesa, sulle cui emissioni si è già ampiamente discusso:

Senza entrare nel merito e ripercorrere le pluriennali discussioni suscitate da queste monete e sull'autenticità di alcuni pezzi, a partire dall'attività di Becker (che pure avrebbe meritato un accenno nella scheda), e sorvolando sul giudizio altamente positivo (the best known example) espresso dai compilatori nonché sull’arco cronologico (475-425), in verità piuttosto dilatato in rapporto all’esiguità dei pezzi noti, suscita forte curiosità la funzione dell'elmo e degli schinieri quali possibili apotropaic types since the ghost of Polites seems to have become quite a nuisance.

Parti dell’armatura, se ho ben capito, sarebbero stati scelti per il loro valore apotropaico, con l’intento di allontanare il fantasma di Polites (??????????). Devo ammettere che non ho mai letto una simile interpretazione.

 

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Aggiungo la scheda dell'esemplare a suo tempo ( 14-12-2015 ) passato in Num. Genevensis IX al n. 5 .

La lettura delle armi come possibile amuleto contro il 'demone di Temesa' , Polite, è nuova anche per me .

101 NumismaticaGenevensis IX n. 5.jpg

102 NumismaticaGenevensis n. 5.jpg

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Osservare il raro didrammo attribuito a Temesa, richiama inevitabilmente uno sguardo al pressochè coevo raro didrammo di Kamarina .

001 CNGTriton VII n. 49.jpg

002 CNGTriton VII n. 49.jpg

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