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Corinth c. 520 BC
Stater, rare framed incuse square reverse
While there are Neolithic settlements around Corinth there seem to be no new settlements until after the end of the Mycenaean age. A defensive wall at the Isthmus is dated about 1200 BC. There are opinions of an early foundation by Aletes (an invader) but about 900 BC Bacchis organized the city and initialized colonization by sending Archias to Syracuse and Kersiktrates to Corcyra. They also founded the Isthmian games. Kypselos defeated the Bacchiads around 655 BC. He ruled as a tyrant and did expand colonization with the greatest expedition led by his son Gorgos to Leukas. Periander succeeded his father Kypselos in 625 BC. While Periander was a cruel leader forbidding citizens to live in the city, buy slaves or display extravagance. He did facilitate maritime economic development, began the construction of the Diolkos paved passage to carry ships over the Isthmus and may have started construction of the fountain of Pirene. Around 600 BC Corinth, Athens and Aegina started minting coins. The mythological horse was on the obverse of Corinthian staters and Helemeted Athena on the reverse. The characteristic mintmark of Corinth is a paddle shaped letter under Pegasos called Koppa. Coins symbols did not start until 480 first appearing on the staters of the Corinthian colony of Ambracia. Obverse bridled Pegasos with a curled wing, q – koppa is below. Reverse Athena wearing a Corinthian helmet and a necklace, within a square frame all within incuse square.
Mint: Corinth
Provenance: Private acquisition ex Gemini VII January 9, 2011, ex The Rockefeller University/Dr. Alfred E. Mirsky collection.

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