In 237 BC, in the wake of the 1st Punic War, Hamilcar Barca sought to expand his family's fortune and expand control in the name of Carthage by traveling with his army to the Iberian peninsula, set up base in Gades, and began overtaking Iberian tribes working northward. Hamilcar's son, Hannibal, at just 9 or 10 years old begged to join his father on this campaign. Story has it that before allowing young Hannibal to join him, Hamilcar held his son over a sacrificial chamber with fire burning beneath made him promise to never befriend Rome. During that time, the Barcids military mint struck a coin like this while occupying Gades: Punic Iberia, 237-209 BC AE Unit, Barcid Military Mint, Prior and during 2nd Punic War, Gades mint Obverse: Wreathed head of Tanit left. Reverse: Head of horse right. References: ACIP 584, SNG BM Spain 68-73 Size: 21mm, 9.82g Notes: Degenerate or crude style. About 10 years later (228 BC), Hamilcar died while fighting Iberian tribes. Hannibal's brother-in-law, Hasdrubal the Fair; 42yo (as opposed to is blood brother Hasdrubal; 17yo) takes over command of the Carthaginian forces in Iberia continuing to establish control over the peninsula. Hasdrubal names a town called Mastia with the best harbor in the area naming it after their motherland of Carthage, Qart Hadasht, Punic for "New City"—the same name of the original city of Carthage in Northern Africa. Eventually, Rome will conquer this Punic Iberian capital at the end of the 2nd Punic War (209 BC) and dub it Carthago Nova. From the time Hasdrubal took control through to the start of the 2nd Punic war, Carthage struck coins like these two examples while occupying Carthago Nova: Punic Iberia, 228-221 BC AE unit, Second Sicilian War, SW Spanish mint (Cartago Nova) Obverse: Wreathed head of Tanit left. Reverse: Horse’s head right; in right field, Punic letter ‘Beth’ or ‘Bet’. References: MHC, L. Villaronga, Las monedas hispano-cartaginesas, Barcelona 1973, Class VIII, 111B; AB 511 Size: 25mm, 9.96g Ex: Ibercoin, Auction 25, #126 (1/30/19) Notes: A very rare variety with this Punic letter before the horse. Punic Iberia Punic Occupation, 237-209 BC AE 1/5 Unit, Carthago Nova mint Obverse: Wreathed head of Tanit right. Reverse: Head of horse left. References: ACIP 590, SNG BM Spain –, Voila 279 Size: 13.66mm, 1.59g Rare. As mentioned, eventually Carthago Nova is captured in the name of Rome by a spunky ~26 year old Roman General, Scipio Africanus, creating that name of Carthago Nova (209 BC). Rome didn't take long to then take over the mints, and probably the same celators (considering the similarities of style, yet uniqueness of the Roman aesthetic), and started to strike Roman coinage. Here are two examples of such coins minted in Carthago Nova just after the change of occupation to Rome. Iberia, 2nd Punic War Roman Occupation, 209-206 BC AE Unit, Carthago Nova mint Obverse: Bare male head left. Reverse: Horse standing right; palm tree in background. References: CNH Class XI, 282; SNG BM Spain 127-128; ACIP 609 Size: 22.8mm, 10.49g Ex: Forvm Ancient Coins Rare. Iberia, 2nd Punic War Roman Occupation, 209-206 BC AE 1/5 Unit, Carthago Nova mint Obverse: Bare male head left. Reverse: Head of horse right. References: MHC 283; Robinson, Punic, Series 8, d (Gades); ACIP 610; SNG BM Spain 129; CNH p. 72, 70 Notes: Possibly bust of Scipio Africanus. Rare. The Iberian peninsula is not the only place that either Carthaginian or Rome forces occupied during the 2nd Punic War. In 218 BC, Hannibal begins making his way via land over the Pyrenees into northern Italy. During his campaign, Hannibal occupied many areas and cities working southward. In 216 BC, he began minting silver coins while occupying Capua in the Campania region about 100 miles southeast of Rome. One example of such coins struck in Punic occupied mid-Italy is this quarter shekel: Zeugitania, Carthage, 2nd Punic War AR ¼ Shekel, Hannibal’s time in Italy Punic military mint in Campania (Capua) Carthaginian occupation, Circa 216-211 BC Obverse: Head of Tanit-Demeter left, wreathed with grain, wearing necklace and pendant earring. Reverse: Free horse standing right on ground line, linear border. References: MMA 78, SNG Cop 335 Size: 14mm, 1.67g Ex: Savoca Coin Auction, 3rd Silver, Lot #90 (9-15-2019) Not much later (215 BC), Hannibal's reach expanded southward where his forces conquered the very southern Italian city of Lokroi Epizephyrioi in the Bruttium region and began minting coins. These Punic coins minted in south Italy have a very south Italian style compared to the traditional style of North African or even Sicilian or Sardinian struck coins of Carthage. Here are two examples of coins struck during this Punic occupation: Carthaginian Occupation of Southern Italy Lokroi Epizephyrioi, Bruttium (under Hannibal) AE Unit, Circa 215-205 BC, 2nd Punic War Obverse: Head of Tanit-Demeter left, wearing wreath of grain ears. Reverse: Head of horse right; Punic ‘ayin or aleph to right. References: Robinson, Second Punic War, p. 53, 4a; HN Italy 2022; SNG Cop 370 Size: 25mm, 13.05g Notes: A very South Italian style of Tanit-Demeter bust and horse head compared to other mints. Obverse Die Match/cf: CNG E-Auction 456 (11/13/2019), Lot #22 Carthaginian Occupation of Southern Italy Lokroi Epizephyrioi, Bruttium (under Hannibal) AE Half Unit* Circa 215-205 BC, 2nd Punic War Obverse: Head of Tanit-Demeter left, wearing wreath of grain ears. Reverse: Head of horse right; Punic letter ‘Beth’ or ‘Bet’. References: Robinson, Second Punic War, p. 53, 5c; HN Italy 2023, SNG Cop 370 Size: 26mm, 8.4g cf: CNG E-Auction 327 (5/28/2014), Lot #319 Notes: A very South Italian style of Tanit-Demeter bust and horse head compared to other mints. Similar bust designs/styles contemporary to other coins struck by the Bretti (ex: HN Italy 1982 & 1997). *Based on size of design and weight of flan, regardless of the large diameter of flan, I believe this to be a half unit simply struck on a thinner, oversized flan. For a small amount of time towards the end of the war (213 BC), Carthage continued to battle and overtake cities in Sicily. For about 2 years from 213-211 BC, Carthage occupied Akragas before Rome later defeated them to regain control in 211 BC and renamed it Agrigentum. Yet, during those 2 years of Punic occupation, they were able to strike coins, such as this one: Punic Occupation of Sicily Akragas, Sicily AR Quarter Shekel Circa 213-211 BC, 2nd Punic War Obverse: Wreathed head of Triptolemos right. Reverse: Free horse prancing right, Punic letters “HT” below. References: SNG ANS 1233; SNG Cop 380; HGC 2, 173 Size: 14mm, 1.86g Ex: Artemide Aste Auction 50E (2/29/2020), Lot #86 In a similar timeframe as the above tug-of-war on Sicily, Rome eventually won out led by Marcellus and defeated the Carthaginian army. In 212 BC, Syracuse then falls to Rome who now control the island. During this Roman occupation of Syracuse, Rome struck these two coin examples: Syracuse, Sicily, Under Roman occupation AE20, Struck after 212 BC Obverse: Laureate head of Zeus right. Reverse: ΣYPAKO-ΣIΩN, Tyche standing left, holding rudder and scepter; prow to right. References: HGC 2 1473, Calciati 239, BAR Issue 102 Size: 19.7mm, 6.5g Syracuse, Sicily, Under Roman occupation AE22, Struck after 212 BC Obverse: Helmeted head of Ares right. Reverse: ΣYPA-KOΣIΩN, Nike Bouthutousa kneeling facing on bull crouching right, preparing to sacrifice it. References: SNG ANS 1087-9, Calciati 233 Size: 21.8mm, 8.5g Notes: The figure of Nike sacrificing a bull, or Nike Bouthutousa, frequently appears in Classical art, representing the celebratory sacrifice for victory. Along with the portrait of Ares on the obverse, this coin may commemorate the recent capture by the Romans of the city of Syracuse in 212 BC. It was during the siege of this city that the mathematician and geometer Archimedes devised numerous engines by which the city might be saved. With the fall of Syracuse, Rome was able to cut off support for Hannibal, then in southern Italy, thereby forcing him to finally withdraw from the peninsula. In conclusion: There were many wars, battles, skirmishes, and invading that took place in antiquity, and it appears that a common act when being successful is to set up a mint and begin striking coins for circulation as a way to leave your mark, flex your power, pay local soldiers, bribe local govts, and control the local economy (and get your name/face out in the public). Do you have any occupation coins to share?