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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Sicily ▸ HimeraView Options:  |  |  | 

Himera, Sicily

Himera (Termini), on the north coast of Sicily, was an ancient Chalcidic colony from Zancle, founded in the middle of the seventh century B.C. 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 executed 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. The site has been desolate ever since. The few surviving Greeks were settled by the Carthaginians eleven kilometers west of Himera at Thermae Himeraeae (Termini Imerese today). Thermae was taken by the Romans during the First Punic War.


Thermae Himerenses, Sicily, c. Late 2nd - Early 1st Century B.C.

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The poet Tisias, better known as Stesichorus (meaning 'choral master'), lived in Himera. When the Carthaginians destroyed Himera in 409 B.C., most of the survivors settled seven miles away at Thermae Himerenses. Even after the change of location and into the Roman period they considered Tisias their most famous citizen (or perhaps second to Agathokles the tyrant of Syracusan who was born at Thermae).

Calciati notes this type is rare and especially rare in better condition because the type, along with many Sicilian issues of the Roman period, was struck with low quality metal highly susceptible to corrosion.
GB85695. Bronze AE 26, Calciati I p. 120, 18; BMC Sicily p. 84, 9; HGC 2 1616 (R2); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Morcom -, VF, green patina, porosity, light corrosion, reverse a little off center, weight 12.564 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 90o, Thermai Himeraiai (Termini Imerese, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. late 2nd - early 1st Century B.C.; obverse turreted and veiled head of Tyche right, cornucopia behind; reverse ΘEPMITAN IMEPAIΩN, The poet Tisias (Stesichoros) standing right, long staff leaning against his right shoulder, with his right hand he is inscribing a poem on a wax tablet held in his left hand; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 2 (2 Nov 2013), lot 28; very rare; $550.00 (€467.50)
 


Himera, Sicily, 420 - 409 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.
GB86306. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati I p. 41, 27; SNG Cop 318, SNG Munchen 365; SNG ANS 184 var. (grasshopper control), gVF, dark patina, bumps and scratches, areas of light corrosion, earthen deposits, a little off center, weight 6.039 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 90o, Himera (Termini, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 409 B.C.; obverse Pan on a goat prancing right, nude but for chlamys fluttering in the wind behind, preparing to blow on conch in right, thyrsus in left over shoulder, Corinthian helmet (control symbol) below; reverse HIMEPAION, Nike flying left, apluster with dangling fillets in extended right, fold of long chiton in left, six pellets (mark of value) left below arm; $350.00 (€297.50)
 


Himera, Sicily, c. 470 - 450 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.
GS84998. Silver obol, SNG Cop 312; SNG Munchen 355; SNG Lloyd 1028; BMC Sicily p. 81, 47; HGC 2 447 (R1); SNG ANS -; Klein -; Winterthur I -, F/VF, well centered and struck, etched surfaces, weight 0.650 g, maximum diameter 10.6 mm, die axis 270o, Himera (Termini, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 470 - 450 B.C.; obverse bearded male (Kronos?) head right, wearing tainia (hair band); reverse HIMEPA (clockwise starting below, retrograde), Corinthian helmet right, no crest, within shallow incuse; rare; $180.00 (€153.00)
 


Himera, Sicily, c. 420 - 409 B.C.

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Himera (Termini), on the north coast of Sicily, was an ancient Chalcidic colony from Zancle, founded in the middle of the seventh century B.C.
GI76355. Bronze hemilitron, SNG Cop 320; Calciati I p. 43, 35; SGCV I 1110; SNG ANS 186, HGC 2 479, gVF, green patina, tight flan, small edge splits, weight 4.176 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 90o, Himera (Termini, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 409 B.C.; obverse IME, head of nymph Himera left, wearing sphendone, six pellets before; reverse six pellets within laurel wreath; $150.00 (€127.50)
 


Himera, Sicily, c. 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.
GA76588. Silver obol, cf. SNG Cop 312; SNG Munchen 355; SNG Lloyd 1027; BMC Sicily p. 81, 47; SNG ANS -; Klein -, VF, obverse off-center, reverse legend weak, uneven toning, a little rough, weight 0.586 g, maximum diameter 10.6 mm, Himera (Termini, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 472-413 B.C.; obverse bearded male (Kronos?) head right, wearing fillet (hair band); reverse HIMEPA (or similar), Corinthian helmet right, no crest, within shallow incuse; rare; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


Himera, Sicily, c. 420 - 409 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Himera (Termini), on the north coast of Sicily, was an ancient Chalcidic colony from Zancle, founded in the middle of the seventh century B.C.
GI83682. Bronze hemilitron, SNG Cop 320; Calciati I p. 43, 35; SGCV I 1110; SNG ANS 186, HGC 2 479, gVF, well centered, green patina, porosity, weight 3.55 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 90o, Himera (Termini, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 409 B.C.; obverse IME, head of nymph Himera left, wearing sphendone, six pellets before; reverse six pellets within laurel wreath; $120.00 (€102.00)
 


Himera, Sicily, c. 420 - 409 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
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.
GB67658. Bronze tetras, Calciati I, p. 42, 31; SNG ANS 1339; Laffaille 149; SNG Cop -, aF, weight 2.200 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 90o, Himera (Termini, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 409 B.C.; obverse Pan on a goat prancing right, nude but for chlamys fluttering in the wind behind, preparing to blow on conch in right, thyrsus in left over shoulder, three pellets under goat between legs; reverse [IMEΠAION], Nike flying left, apluster with dangling fillets in extended right, fold of long chiton in left; $60.00 (€51.00)
 


Himera, Sicily, c. 420 - 409 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Himera (Termini), on the north coast of Sicily, was an ancient Chalcidic colony from Zancle, founded in the middle of the seventh century B.C.
GB63870. Bronze hemilitron, SNG Cop 320; Calciati I p. 43, 35; SGCV I 1110; SNG ANS 186, HGC 2 479, VF, weight 3.842 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 135o, Himera (Termini, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 420 - 409 B.C.; obverse IME, head of nymph Himera left, wearing sphendone, six pellets before; reverse six pellets within laurel wreath; $50.00 (€42.50)
 







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REFERENCES

Arnold-Biucchi, C. "La monetazione d'argento di Himera classica. I tetradrammi" in Quaderni Ticinesi XVII (1988).
Bloesch, H. Griechische Münzen In Winterthur, Vol. 1. Spain, Gaul, Italy, Sicily, Moesia, Dacia, Sarmatia, Thrace, and Macedonia. (Winterthur, 1987).
Boehringer, C. "Himera im IV. Jahrhundert v. Chr." in Kraay-Mørkholm Essays.
Calciati, R. Corpus Nummorum Siculorum. The Bronze Coinage, Vol. I. (Milan, 1983).
Kraay, C.M. The Archaic Coinage of Himera. (Naples, 1984).
Gabrici, E. La monetazione del bronzo nella Sicila antica. (Palermo, 1927).
Gabrici, E. Topographia E Numismatica Dell' Antica Imera (E di Terme). (Naples, 1894).
Gutman. F & W. Schwabacher. "Tetradrachmen und Didrachmen von Himera (472-409 v Chr)" in MBNG 47. (1929).
Hoover, O.D. Handbook of Coins of Sicily (including Lipara), Civic, Royal, Siculo-Punic, and Romano-Sicilian Issues, Sixth to First Centuries BC. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Sicily. (London, 1876).
Rizzo, G.E. Monete greche della Sicilia. (Rome, 1946).
Salinas, A. Le monete delle antiche città di Sicilia descritte e illustrate da Antonino Salinas. (Palermo, 1871).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 1: Italy - Sicily. (West Milford, NJ, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 5: Sikelia. (Berlin, 1977).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 2: Sicily - Thrace. (London, 1947).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume X, John Morcom Collection. (Oxford, 1995).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 4: Sicily 2 (Galaria - Styella). (New York, 1977).
Westermark, U. "Himera. The Coins of Akragantine Type 2" in Travaux Le Rider.

Catalog current as of Saturday, November 18, 2017.
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Himera