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

Greek Silver Fractions

Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.

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References disagree on the date of this type. Dates range from the rule of Hieron II beginning in 275 B.C. to the end of the 5th Republic in 212 B.C.
GS86619. Silver 2 1/2 litrae, SNG Cop 882, SNG ANS 903, SNG München 1439, HGC 2 420 (R2) corr., BMC Sicily -, VF, well centered, toned, light bumps and marks, ethnic weakly struck, weight 2.229 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 216 - 215 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIOI, Isis standing facing, looking up to heaven, veil billowing out behind around head, scroll in right hand, filleted palm frond in left hand, A upper right; very rare; $360.00 (€306.00)
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysios I, c. 405 - 367 B.C.

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Dionysius I was tyrant of Syracuse. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies. He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot - cruel, suspicious and vindictive.
GS86597. Silver hemilitron, SNG ANS 301; SNG Cop 669; SNG Lloyd 1379; BMC Sicily p. 182, 237; Boehringer Münzprägungen pl. II, 19; HGC 2 1392 (R2) , VF, dark toning, light marks and corrosion, tiny edge cracks, weight 0.434 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 405 - 395 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa left, wearing drop earring, hair bound in ampyx and sphendone, no control symbol or signature; reverse four-spoked wheel, SY-PA in upper quarters, two dolphins heads downward nose to nose in lower quarters; very rare; $340.00 (€289.00)
 


Anatolia (Lycia?), 5th Century B.C.

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Although unlisted in the major references, a similar hemidrachm type was first published by 1897. Six obols of this type, including this coin, are listed on Coin Archives having been offered at auction in the last two decades.

The chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing creature of Lycia, composed of the parts of three animals - a lion, a snake, and a goat or stag. Usually depicted as a lion, with the head of a goat arising from its back, and a tail that ending with a snake's head, the Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.
GS87477. Silver obol, 6 specimens known from auctions, otherwise unpublished; cf. Boston MFA 2325 (hemidrachm), Greenwell 1897, p. 281, 2 (= Boston MFA 2325), VF, well centered, toned, lightly etched surfaces, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 0.662 g, maximum diameter 7.8 mm, die axis 270o, uncertain (Lycian?) mint, 5th century B.C.; obverse chimera standing (right?) with heads of a lion (in center with looking left), stag, and serpent, joined on one quadruped body at the center and radiating outward; reverse gorgoneion (facing head of Medusa), snaky locks, tongue protruding, within incuse square; ex Numismatic Naumann, auction 62 (4 Feb 2018), lot 127; extremely rare; $280.00 (€238.00)
 


Rhegion, Bruttium, Italy, c. 445 - 435 B.C.

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This type is known to have ivy leaf, olive leaf and pellet (or globule) control marks in a variety of locations on the obverse or the reverse. This coin may have a pellet with the top half of the R, or it may be just a die defect. A pellet in this location is not listed in any of the references we examined or on any of the coins of this type we found online.
GI86585. Silver litra, Herzfelder p. 89, pl. IV, B; HN Italy 2485; SNG ANS 651 ff. var. (pellet controls other locations); SNG Mün 15481; SNG Cop 1932 var. (obv. ivy), Choice EF, excellent centering and strike, attractive toning, bumps and marks, minor scratches on reverse, weight 0.621 g, maximum diameter 12.5 mm, die axis 90o, Rhegion mint, c. 445 - 435 B.C.; obverse facing lion scalp mask, no control marks; reverse REGI within olive wreath tied to the left, possibly a pellet with the top half of the R(?); a beautiful little gem!; $250.00 (€212.50)
 


Athens, Attica, Greece, c. 393 - 297 B.C.

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GS86848. Silver obol, cf. Svoronos Athens pl. 22, 1 ff.; HGC 4 1666 (R1); Kroll -; SNG Cop -, gVF, toned, tight flan, weight 0.695 g, maximum diameter 8.7 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 393 - 297 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl, hair in parallel curves, eye in profile; reverse owl standing right, head facing, sprig of one olive and one large leaf behind, all in incuse square, AΘE downward on right; ex Beast Coins; rare; $240.00 (€204.00)
 


Chalkidian League, Olynthos, Macedonia, c. 432 - 348 B.C.

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In 432 B.C. Olynthos broke away from Athens and, with several other cities, formed the Chalkidian league. In 393, Amyntas III of Macedonia temporally transferred territory to Olynthos when he was driven out of Macedonia by Illyrians. When he was restored and the league did not return his lands, he appealed to Sparta. Akanthos and Apollonia, also appealed to Sparta, claiming league membership was not voluntary but enforced at the point of a sword. After a long war, in 379 these cities were made "autonomous" subject allies of Sparta. Weakened by the division, the league was destroyed by Philip II of Macedon in 348 B.C.
GS87687. Silver tetrobol, BMC Macedonia p. 68, 13; SNG ANS 537, SNG Cop 235; SNG Dreer 266, SNG Berry 22, VF, light toning, tight flan, lightly etched surfaces, weight 2.228 g, maximum diameter 14.9 mm, die axis 270o, Olynthos mint, c. 432 - 348 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right, circle of dots around; reverse XAΛKIAEΩN (clockwise from upper left), kithara (lyre) with seven strings, all within incuse; $240.00 (€204.00)
 


Sicily, Abakainon, c. 410 - 396 B.C.

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Even today, Sicilian farmers allow their indigenous Sicilian Black Swine to forage for acorns in the oak forests of the Nebrodi Mountains near ancient Abakainon. Physically resembling and often mistaken for wild boar, they stand about 70 centimeters high and have a prominent ridge of spinal bristles running from its large head to about midway along its back. There are fewer than 2000 of these swine today. Their meat, especially Nebrodi ham, is highly prized as the pig's wild woodlands diet enhances the flavor.
GI86596. Silver litra, SNG München 4 (same rev. die); SNG Tübingen 552; SNG ANS 899; BMC Sicily p. 2, 8; Weber 1171; HGC 2 20 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG Lloyd -, gVF, toned, some bumps and scratches, some corrosion, weight 0.675 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 45o, Abakainon (Tripi, Sicily) mint, c. 410 - 396 B.C.; obverse head of water nymph facing slightly left; reverse sow and piglet walking right, piglet before her, below her head, double exergue line, BA above, A in exergue, within round incuse; rare; $200.00 (€170.00)
 


Maroneia, Thrace, c. 398 - 385 B.C.

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Maroneia was on the Aegean coast about midway between the mouths of the Hebrus and the Nestus rivers. The city was named after Maron, sometimes identified as a son of Dionysos, who in the Odyssey gives Odysseus the wine with which he intoxicates Polyphemos. Maroneia was famous for its wine, which was esteemed everywhere and was said to possess the odor of nectar.
GB85193. Silver triobol, Schönert-Geiss Maroneia 236 ff.; SNG Cop 616; SNG Delepierre 797; BMC Thrace p. 234, 30a, gF/VF, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 2.624 g, maximum diameter 14.6 mm, die axis 90o, Maroneia (Maroneia-Sapes, Greece) mint, c. 398 - 385 B.C.; obverse forepart of prancing horse left, dotted body truncation, A-N flanking at neck, Θ below; reverse bunch of grapes on a vine, M - A flanking low across the field, all in a dotted linear square border within a square incuse; $160.00 (€136.00)
 


Eion, Macedonia, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

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Published examples of this type are about twice the weight of this coin and identified as diobols and trihemiobols. Our coin might be an underweight diobol or trihemiobol, but the weight is closer to an obol.

Eion was only about 3 miles from Amphipolis and after the 5th century was merely a seaport of its large neighbor. The denomination is either a diobol or trihemiobol. The significance of the obverse type is not clear, but presumably makes reference to the characteristic fauna of the region at that time.
GS86791. Silver diobol, SNG Cop 175; SNG ANS 277; BMC Macedonia p. 73, 5, VF, centered, porosity, edge crack, weight 1.033 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Eion mint, c. 500 - 480 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, left leg raised, head turned back, lizard left above; reverse mill-sail incuse square; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


Persian Empire, Philistia (Gaza or Samaria), c. 375 - 333 B.C., Imitative of Athens

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A Persian Period imitation of Athenian types from the Holy Land. In the past these coins were all attributed to Gaza, however, recent hoard finds indicate a mint at Ashkelon probably also struck this type. It is likely that at least several small mints struck these imitative types.
GS86843. Silver obol, cf. Samaria Hoard pls. 45 - 50, SH269 ff.; Gitler-Tal 4.4.IX.1O; SNG ANS 18; Sofaer Gaza pl. 103, 6, VF, toned, well centered on a tight rhomboid flan, a little rough, encrustations, weight 9.4 g, maximum diameter 0.636 mm, die axis 180o, Gaza(?) mint, c. 375 - 333 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl, hair in parallel bands, eye in profile; reverse owl standing right, wings closed, head facing, olive spray with one olive between two leaves and a crescent behind, AΘE downward on right, all in incuse square, no Aramaic inscription; ex Beast Coins; $140.00 (€119.00)
 




  



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Catalog current as of Wednesday, December 12, 2018.
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Greek Fractions