April's Notes: Discovering "Boy on the Dolphin" coins with a full image of both Taras (the boy) and the dolphin is difficult! Because these coins were hand-hammered, and the dolphin stretches from left to right, while Taras stretched from top to bottom means most of the time one or the other is missing a body part. This Nomos, however, has a perfect center strike, with good detail on both elements. (Please note: these coins are difficult to photograph and get the depth and detail of the coin in hand... we often hear "wow, it looks so much better in hand!")
The story is reminiscent of the Greek myth of Taras, the son of Poseidon, who was saved from the same fate by a dolphin when his vessel shipwrecked. Thus, Phalanthos’ new colony was named Taras, in honor of Poseidon, his son Taras, and the beloved dolphins – the helpers of the gods.
The patron god of Taras became Apollo, and its symbol, the boy riding the dolpin. Astride the dolphin of Taras is a youth being born above the waves by his faithful companion. Throughout the centuries and millennia and into today, the boy riding a dolphin takes center stage on the city’s Coat of Arms.
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