2 Shekel - Hamilcar Barca


Country Gadir (Punic Iberia)
Type Standard circulation coin
Years 237 BC - 228 BC
Value 2 Shekel (2)
Currency Hispania - Drachm
Composition Silver
Weight 14.72 g
Diameter 27 mm
Shape Round
Demonetized Yes
Number N# 196718
Numista (https://numista.com)


Diademed male head (Hamilcar?) to left, with hanging ties.


Prow of galley to right, with rostra, oars, two shields on deck and a wreathed forepost, to which is attached a pennant; seahorse in exergue.


Gades, Baetica, modern-day Cádiz, Spain


MHC, Class II, 14 (same dies); ACIP 542; AB 481.

The coin in the main image (14.72g, 27mm, 11h, Extremely Fine):
◦ Auctioned by Roma Numismatics Ltd, Auction XII, 29 September 2016, Lot 6, Sold for 16,000 GBP.

The obverse of this coinage is popularly believed to depict Hamilcar Barca (or depict his features assimilated into Herakles-Melqart), who had after 247 commanded Carthage's fleet and army in the Sicilian theatre of the First Punic War. The reverse of this type clearly alludes to the Carthaginian tradition of being a primarily naval power, and probably more specifically, to a renewed strengthening of the fleet, which had been so devasatated in the war - according to Polybius' estimates, Carthage had lost 500 ships and he commented that the war was, at the time, the most destructive in terms of casualties in the history of warfare, including the battles of Alexander the Great.

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ND (237 BC - 228 BC) 

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