Hess Divo   |   Auktion 334   |   29 May 2018 Sort by Lot-NumberSort by Estimate
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Lot 1

Estimate: 1'250 CHF   |   Starting price: 1'250 CHF Price realized: 1'400 CHF
HISPANIA. CARTHAGO NOVA. Shekel, silver, about 218-209 BC. AR 6.76 g. Beardless, male head l. (Melqart or Hannibal). Rev. Horse standing r., behind, palm tree, between legs, Punic letter ayin. Alvarez Burgos 23, 136; Villaronga, CNH 73, 80.
Rare. Very fine
The city of Qart Hadasht (or Carthago Nova, as it was known to the Romans), literally meaning 'new city' and identical in name to Carthage itself, had been re-founded by the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal the Fair in 228 BC on the site of a town named Mastia. The site was chosen as it possessed one of the best harbours in the western Mediterranean, thus enabling it to serve as the primary port and capital city of the Barcid dominion in Spain. This new 'empire' had been carved out by Hasdrubal's predecessor and father-in-law Hamilcar Barca, who had sought to replace the possessions in Sicily and Sardinia lost to Rome in the First Punic War, and to serve as a means of enriching and strengthening Carthage for any future war with Rome, a conflict he saw as inevitable. Hasdrubal ably succeeded his father-in-law in expanding the family's territory in Spain and power over the local tribes, but was assassinated in 221. He was succeeded by Hamilcar's son, Hannibal Barca, who was now of sufficient age to command the Carthaginian military forces, and who wasted little time in aggressively expanding Carthaginian influence over the surrounding regions. Barely two years later, Hannibal would besiege Saguntum and massacre the population, leading to renewed war with Rome.

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