Taras — A settlement in Apulia also known as Tarentum - Taranto
Taras was an ancient city in Apulia, founded in 706 BC by Dorian Greek immigrants as the only Spartan colony.

The founders were Partheniae, sons of unmarried Spartan women, and Perioeci (free men, but not citizens of Sparta); these out-of-wedlock unions were permitted extraordinarily by the Spartans to increase the prospective number of soldiers during the bloody Messenian Wars, but later they were retroactively nullified, and the sons were then obliged to leave Greece forever.

Phalanthus, the Parthenian leader, went to Delphi to consult the oracle: the puzzling answer designated the harbour of Taranto as the new home of the exiles. Taranto increased its power, becoming a commercial power and a sovereign city of Magna Graecia, ruling over the Greek colonies in southern Italy.

Taras issued its own coins in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, featuring the symbol of the city, Taras being saved by a dolphin, with the reverse showing a hippocamp, a horse-fish amalgam which is depicted in mythology as the beast that drew Poseidon's chariot.

Modern location: Tarento, Italy
An AR Denarius struck 75 (76-75)BC in Military Mint | Taras
Obverse: diademed bust of Genius Populi Romani right, scepter across shoulder, G·P·R

Reverse: wreathed scepter, globe, rudder, EX S·C / CN·LEN·Q

Diameter: 18 mm
Die Orientation: -
Weight: 3.9 g

mint in Spain. Moneyer struck this coin as questor of proconsul Pompey when he was sent to support Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius in lenghty war against Sertorius in Spain. Moneyer became consul in 56 BC.

Probably struck in late 75 BD in Taras or Brundisium, perhaps the fund of choice to pay local shipping contractors to ferry armies across the Adriatic and back
Crawford 393/1a; SRCV I 323; Sydenham 752, RSC I Cornelia 54, Russo RBW 1432
(2) Hannibal
An AR Quarter-Shekel struck 212-209 BC in Taras
Obverse: Head of Tanit left

Reverse: Horse standing right

Diameter: -
Die Orientation: -
Weight: 2.01 g
After his successful campaigns against Rome Hannibal captured Tarentum in 212 BC but failed to control the harbor. The Romans mounted two sieges of Capua, which fell in 211 BC, and the Romans completed their conquest of Syracuse and destruction of a Carthaginian army in Sicily. The Romans pacified Sicily and entered into an alliance with the Aetolian League with Phillip V. Philip. Hannibal now found himself under attack from several sides at once and was quickly subdued by Rome and her Greek allies and eventually lost Tarentum. After a series of defeats Hannibal was recalled to Carthage in 203 BC to direct the defense of his native country against a Roman invasion under Scipio Africanus.
No references provided for this coin
(3) Taras
An AR Nomos struck 280-272 BC in Taras
Obverse: Nude youth crowning himself on horse standing right; capitol of Ionic column below; IΩ / IAΛO

Reverse: Taras seated on dolphin left, holding akrostolion and spindle; ANϘ / TAPAΣ

Diameter: 20 mm
Die Orientation: -
Weight: 6.31 g
No notes for this coin
HN Italy 1014, Vlasto 803 ff.; SNG ANS 1142 ff., SGCV I 363 var.
(4) Tarentum
An AR Nomos struck 281 - 272 BC in Tarentum
Obverse: Nude warrior on horseback left, carrying small round shield

Reverse: Taras seated on dolphin left, holding Nike in right hand; waves below.

Diameter: -
Die Orientation: -
Weight: 7.82 g
No notes for this coin
Vlasto 684-686; SNG ANS 1060
(5) Tarentum
An AR Nomos struck c. 302-280 BC in Tarentum
Obverse: Nude rider on horse, holding shield and two spears with left hand, Greek text to upper left (ΦΙΛΩΝ) and lower left (ΕY)

Reverse: Phalanthos, nude, riding dolphin above waves, Nike in right hand, crowning with wreath of laurels, left hand resting on dolphin, Greek text to the upper right (TAPAΣ)

Diameter: 23 mm
Die Orientation: -
Weight: 7.81 g
This particular issue was minted in the years prior to Tarentum's final deafeat by Rome in 272 BC. The depiction of Nike crowning Phalanthos likely celebrates a military victory in the ongoing struggle against Rome. Phalanthos was a hero of Greek mythology, leader of the Spartan Partheniae and the mythic founder of Tarentum.
Vlasto 683; SNG ANS 1059; Historia Numorum Italy 964
(6) Tarentum | Ari
An AR Nomos struck 332 - 302 BC in Tarentum
Obverse: Nude, helmeted warrior on horseback to right, holding spear in right hand and shield and two more spears in left hand; [Ξ] in left field, [API] below horse

Reverse: Taras astride dolphin to left, holding oar in left hand and a kantharos in outstretched right hand, KΛ below dolphin, [TAPAΣ] to right.

Diameter: 21 mm
Die Orientation: -
Weight: 7.12 g
Calabria, Tarentum
HN Italy 939; Vlasto 636