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

Katana, Sicily

Catania, on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, has had a long and eventful history, having been founded in the 8th century B.C. As observed by Strabo, the location of Catania at the foot of Mount Etna has been both a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, violent outbursts of the volcano throughout history have destroyed large parts of the city, on the other hand the volcanic ashes yield fertile soil, especially suited for the growth of vines. Katane was captured by Dionysios of Syracuse in 403 B.C., who sold the population into slavery and resettled the city with Campanian mercenaries. The city submitted to Rome during the First Punic war.

Katane, Sicily, c. 405 - 402 B.C.

|Katane|, |Katane,| |Sicily,| |c.| |405| |-| |402| |B.C.|, |drachm|
The oldest, wisest and most drunken of the followers of Dionysus, Silenos was also one of the young god's tutors. He was usually so drunk that he had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When intoxicated, Silenus was said to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy. The Phrygian King Midas was eager to learn from Silenus and caught the old man by lacing a fountain from which Silenus often drank. Silenus shared with the king a pessimistic philosophy: That the best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible. An alternative story was that when lost and wandering in Phrygia, Silenus was rescued by peasants and taken to King Midas, who treated him kindly. In return for Midas' hospitality, Silenus told him some tales and Midas, enchanted by Silenus’ fictions, entertained him for five days and nights. Dionysus offered Midas a reward for his kindness towards Silenus, and Midas chose the power of turning everything he touched into gold.
GI84579. Silver drachm, Jameson 554 (dies); SNG ANS III 1262; Mirone 103; BMC Sicily p. 49, 43; HGC 2 579 (R2); SNG Cop -, VF, extraordinary style from the period of finest art, high relief obverse, die wear, flan flaw (some restoration?) on the reverse, weight 3.753 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Katane mint, c. 405 - 402 B.C.; obverse facing head of Silenos, bald, bearded, donkey ears; reverse KATANAIΩN, head of Apollo left wearing taenia, olive leaf and berry behind, all within a shallow circular incuse; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 224 (13 Oct 2014), lot 54; rare; SOLD


Katane, Sicily, c. 461 - 445 B.C.

|Katane|, |Katane,| |Sicily,| |c.| |461| |-| |445| |B.C.|, |litra|
The oldest, wisest and most drunken of the followers of Dionysus, Silenos was also one of the young god's tutors. He was usually so drunk that he had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When intoxicated, Silenus was said to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy. The Phrygian King Midas was eager to learn from Silenus and caught the old man by lacing a fountain from which Silenus often drank. Silenus shared with the king a pessimistic philosophy: That the best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible. An alternative story was that when lost and wandering in Phrygia, Silenus was rescued by peasants and taken to King Midas, who treated him kindly. In return for Midas' hospitality, Silenus told him some tales and Midas, enchanted by Silenus’ fictions, entertained him for five days and nights. Dionysus offered Midas a reward for his kindness towards Silenus, and Midas chose the power of turning everything he touched into gold.
SH41259. Silver litra, Boehringer, Kataneische, series I, Li 2; SNG Munchen 442; SNG Tüb 590; SNG Cop 182, SNG ANS 5 Appendix 1317; HGC 2 587 (S), VF, toned, weight 0.804 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 461 - 445 B.C.; obverse horned, balding, and bearded head of Silenos left; reverse KATANE, winged thunderbolt, flanked by small round shields; ex Hesperia Art XII, 3, Oct 1961 ($160); from the Dr. J. Hewitt Judd Collection (author of United States Pattern Coins Experimental & Trial Pieces); SOLD


Roman Republic, Anonymous (Corn-Ear and IC), c. 207 - 206 B.C.

|before| |150| |B.C.|, |Roman| |Republic,| |Anonymous| |(Corn-Ear| |and| |IC),| |c.| |207| |-| |206| |B.C.|, |sextans|
In 207 B.C., The Battle of the Metaurus, fought near the Metaurus River in Umbria, was a pivotal battle in the Second Punic War. The Carthaginians were led by Hannibal's brother Hasdrubal Barca. The Roman armies were led by the consuls Marcus Livius Salinator and Gaius Claudius Nero. The Carthaginian army was defeated and Hasdrubal was killed. This major Roman victory ended Hannibal's hopes for success in Italy.
RR88351. Bronze sextans, Crawford 69/6b, Sydenham 310d, BMCRR Italy 280, Russo RBW 294, SRCV I 1211, VF, dark brown near black patina, a little rough, weight 6.310 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Sicilian (probably Catania) mint, c. 207 - 206 B.C.; obverse head of Mercury right, wearing winged petasos, two pellets (mark of value) above and behind; reverse prow of galley right, grain ear above, IC before, ROMA below, no mark of value; scarce; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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Boehringer, C. "Kataneische Probleme: Silberne Kleinstmünzen" in Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Numismatics. (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1982).
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Mirone, S. "Le monete dell' antica Catana" in RIN 1917-1918.
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 1: Hispania-Sikelia. (Berlin, 1981).
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. & K. Jenkins. The Coinage of Kamarina. Royal Numismatic Society, Special Publication Number 9. (London, 1980).

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