Issued by the Perth Mint as legal tender under the authority of the Government of Tuvalu, the Cannae 2009 silver proof coin commemorates Hannibal’s crushing defeat of the Roman legions in 216BC. Against a massive force comprising 80,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry, his outnumbered Carthaginian army won a remarkable victory that has been hailed as the one of greatest tactical achievements in military history. The coin’s reverse portrays a Carthaginian warrior and one of Hannibal’s 30 war elephants, which famously crossed the Alps with his army. The design, which includes The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark, also portrays a colored depiction of the furious encounter. This is the second coin in this very popular series.
The first coin in this series, the battle of Thermopylae, already sold out at the Mint, marks the Spartans’ remarkable stand at Thermopylae in 480BC against a powerful Persian invasion force. Although defeated, their valiant action inspired the allied Greek city-states to ultimate victory in ensuing battles. The Thermopylae coin depicts a Spartan warrior wearing a metal cuirass (breastplate), with a doru (spear), a protective Corinthian helmet, and a xiphos (sword), and also portrays a colored image of Spartan warriors in classic phalanx formation.
Focusing on five notable engagements that changed the course of history, The Perth Mint’s Famous Battles series portrays battlefield scenes spanning more than two millennia. After Thermopylae and Cannae, the next three coins in the series will commemorate the battles of Hastings – 1066, Balaclava – 1854, and Gettysburg – 1863.