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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Denominations ▸ Greek FractionsView Options:  |  |  |     

Greek Silver Fractions

Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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Following Heron's death, democracy was restored in 466 B.C. Similar to at Athens, the polis was governed by a council and popular assembly with an executive consisting of elected generals or strategoi. Syracuse fought against Athens 427 - 424 B.C. and again 415 - 413 B.C.; ultimately Syracuse was victorious. With further reforms by Diocles, the democratic nature of Syracuse's political structure was further strengthened.
GI74051. Silver litra, Boehringer, group 4, series XIII, p. 192 and pl. 17, 462 - 466; SNG ANS 130; SNG Cop 636; SNG München 1000-1003; HGC 2 1375, F, well centered on a broad flan, short open edge crack, weight 0.527 g, maximum diameter 12.8 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 466 - 460 B.C.; obverse ΣVRA (R reversed?), head of Arethusa right, wearing peal diadem; reverse octopus; $110.00 (€96.80)

Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection

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SNG Kayhan

SNG Kayhan is a standard reference for the archaic silver fractional coins of Ionia and Karia and a very good overall for pre-Roman Greek coins from those areas (Ephesos and Miletos in particular). The book largely covers the private collection of the author and this particular volume consists solely of Greek coinage (i.e. Roman Provincials are not present). While there is some coverage of areas such as Thrace, Macedonia, Boiotia, Attika, Bithynia, Mysia, Troas, Aiolis, Lydia, Phrygia, Lykia, Pamphylia, Pisidia, Isauria, Kilikia, Cyprus, Syria, Egypt, Incerti, it is Ionia and Karia that get most attention.
BK65561. Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey 1: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection, Istanbul, 2002, quatro, 41 pages of plates with corresponding pages of descriptions (1,076 coins); $100.00 (€88.00)

Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 455 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.
GS67480. Silver hemilitra, SNG München 548; Boehringer Leontini B; cf. HGC 2 688 (R2, obol); SNG ANS 216 (obol, finer style); BMC Sicily p. 88, 22 (same); SNG Cop 342 (same), VF, weight 0.282 g, maximum diameter 10.3 mm, die axis 225o, Leontini (or unofficial?) mint, c. 476 - 466 B.C.; obverse crude facing lion scalp, dot border; reverse LE/ON (retrograde), barley grain, within shallow round incuse; very rare; $100.00 (€88.00)

Kyme, Aiolis, c. 480 - 450 B.C.

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Cyme, one of the oldest and noblest of the Aeolian cities, was probably a colony of Cyme in Euboea, though according to tradition it was founded by the Amazon Kyme. Its inhabitants were mainly agricultural and averse to seafaring.
GA71981. Silver hemiobol, cf. SNG Kayhan 84 ff., SNG Cop 31 ff.; SNGvA 1623; BMC Troas p. 105, 10 ff.; Klein 333; Rosen 538; SGCV II 4174, VF, toned, porous, weight 0.461 g, maximum diameter 8.1 mm, Kyme mint, c. 480 - 450 B.C.; obverse eagle head left, K[Y] downward on left (Y off flan, possibly below neck); reverse incuse mill-sail pattern, pebble pattern within impressions; $100.00 (€88.00)

Pisidian Tribes (Pisidic, Galatian, or Celtic?), Imitative of Selge, Pisidia, c. 350 - 190 B.C.

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This coin is a barbaric tribal imitative of a similar type struck by Selge. Selge was a fortress-like Greek colony on the southern slope of Mount Taurus in Pisidia, a wild frontier inhabited by warlike tribes, pirates, and bandits. Herodotus called the indigenous Pisidic people "Lakuna" but this was just one of many Pisidic tribes. The Hellenistic kings were never able to govern these indigenous people or the invading Galatian and Celtic new arrivals. In 39 B.C. Marc Antony entrusted Pisidia to the Galatian client king Amyntas and charged him with putting down the bandit Homonadesians, who threatened the roads connecting Pisidia to Pamphylia. After Amyntas was killed in the struggle in 25 B.C., Rome made Pisidia part of the new province of Galatia. The Homonadesians were finally wiped out in 3 B.C.
GS73027. Silver obol, cf. Traité II 1586, pl. CXLIV, 15 (similarly crude, Athena head left); for Selge prototype see: SNG BnF 1930; SNG Cop 246; BMC Pisidia p. 259, 23, gVF, toned, weight 0.732 g, maximum diameter 9.3 mm, die axis 180o, Pisidian tribal mint, c. 350 - 190 B.C.; obverse crude facing Gorgon with short radiating hair, pellet eyes, thin nose, high cheeks, and closed mouth; reverse crude head of Athena right in a crested helmet, astragalos behind; very rare; $100.00 (€88.00)

Himera, Sicily, 472 - 413 B.C.

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In 409 B.C., Carthage attacked Himera. The city was unprepared; its fortifications weak. At first they were supported about 4000 auxiliaries from Syracuse, but their general, Diocles, seized with panic for the safety of Syracuse itself, abandoned Himera. The city was utterly destroyed, its buildings, even its temples, were razed to the ground. More than 3000 prisoners were put to death by General Hannibal Mago as a human sacrifice to the memory of his grandfather General Hamilcar who had been defeated at the Battle of Himera in 480 B.C.
GS74049. Silver obol, SNG Cop 312; SNG München 355; BMC Sicily p. 81, 46; HGC 2 477 (R1) var. (rev legend); SNG ANS -, aVF, pitting, crystallization, edge chips, weight 0.582 g, maximum diameter 10.7 mm, die axis 135o, Himera mint, 472 - 413 B.C.; obverse bearded male (Kronos?) head right; reverse HIMERA (counterclockwise from below), plain Corinthian helmet right, no crest, within round incuse; rare; $100.00 (€88.00)

Taras, Calabria, Italy, c. 380 - 325 B.C.

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The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt. This type was struck with dozens of different pose variations on the reverse. In some scenes it even appears Herakles might lose. There are so many variations that it may be possible to take the photographs of the reverses and arrange them in a flip book to animate the fight.
GS67287. Silver diobol, Vlasto 1254 ff., HN Italy 914, SGCV I 351, aVF, grainy, small flan, obverse off center, weight 0.749 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, die axis 180o, Taras (Taranto, Italy) mint, c. 380 - 325 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested attic helmet decorated with a hippocamp; reverse TAPANTINΩN(?), young Heracles standing right strangling the Nemean lion, nude, club behind, K between Herakles legs; $95.00 (€83.60)

Selge, Pisidia, c. 350 - 300 B.C.

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Selge, Pisidia on the southern slope of Mount Taurus where the river Eurymedon (Köprücay) forces its way through the mountains, was once the most powerful and populous city of Pisidia. Protected by precipices, torrents, and an army of 20,000 regarded as worthy kinsmen of the Spartans, Selge was never subject to a foreign power until Rome. In the 5th century A.D. Zosimus calls it a little town, but it was still strong enough to repel a body of Goths.
GS68737. Silver obol, SNGvA 5266 ff.; SNG BnF 1930; SNG Kayhan 1061; BMC Lycia p. 257, 7; cf. SNG Cop 246 ff. (no tongue); SGCV II 5478, VF, toned, edge chip, weight 0.768 g, maximum diameter 10.4 mm, die axis 45o, Selge mint, c. 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse Gorgoneion head facing with protruding tongue; reverse helmeted head of Athena right, astragalos behind; $95.00 (€83.60)

Kelenderis, Cilicia, c. 425 - 400 B.C.

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The land around Kelenderis was inadequate for farming but, apparently from the coins, suitable for raising goats. On the plateau behind the hills there were vineyards and olive trees, rich sources of minerals, especially iron and woods, mainly pine and cedar, which were essential for ship building. The town was connected to the Central Anatolian Plateau with suitable passages in the valleys, but it was mainly a port, connected with Cyprus and other countries lying on the Mediterranean coasts.
GS90735. Silver obol, SNG BnF 80; SNG Levante 27; BMC Lycaonia p. 56, 30; SNGvA 5635; SNG Cop 88; Weber 7523 (S RCV 5536), VF, well centered, toned, weight 0.765 g, maximum diameter 9.6 mm, die axis 90o, Kelenderis mint, c. 425 - 400 B.C.; obverse forepart of Pegasos right with curved wing; reverse KE−Λ, goat kneeling right, head turned back left; $90.00 (€79.20)

Kyme, Aiolis, c. 480 - 450 B.C.

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Cyme, one of the oldest Aeolian cities, was probably a colony of Cyme in Euboea, though according to tradition it was founded by the Amazon Kyme. Its large capable port was a valuable maritime asset to the Persian Empire, contributing ships to Dareios in 512 B.C. and to Xerxes in 480 B.C. After the Battle of Salamis, the remnants of Xerxes' fleet wintered at Cyme. After Persia, Aeolis was held successively by the Macedonians, Seleucids, Pergamenes, Romans, Byzantine, and Ottomans.
GA71547. Silver hemiobol, cf. SNG Kayhan 84 ff., SNG Cop 31 ff.; SNGvA 1623; BMC Troas p. 105, 10 ff.; Klein 333; Rosen 538; SGCV II 4174, VF, dark toning, weight 0.397 g, maximum diameter 7.8 mm, Kyme mint, c. 480 - 450 B.C.; obverse eagle head left, KY or no ethnic; reverse incuse mill-sail pattern; $90.00 (€79.20)



Catalog current as of Saturday, October 10, 2015.
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Greek Fractions