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Area: Italy: Velia
Period: 365 BC - 340 BC
Denomination: AR Didrachm
Obverse: Head of Athena right wearing helmet ornamented with griffin.
Reverse: Lion walking right, "Φ" above, "Θ" below. In exergue "ϒΕΛΗΤΩΝ"
Reference: Williams* 288
Weight: 7.4 gms
Diameter: 21.3 mm
Comment: *Williams, R.T. 'The silver coinage of Velia'


Velia was a Greek town of Lucania on the west coast of Italy and was founded by the Phocaeans who had abandoned their native city to escape from Persian sovereignty in c. 543 BC. It is celebrated as the birthplace of the philosophers Parmenides and Zeno, who founded a school of philosophy usually known under the name of Eleatic. It possessed a celebrated temple of Demeter (Ceres). Velia was never captured by the Lucanians and became a Roman ally in 275 BC.

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