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

Ancient Greek Coins of Sicily

The coins of Ancient Greek Sicily are considered among the finest numismatic works of art ever produced. Superb examples may cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Forum's selections include some more affordable examples.


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

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Dionysios| |I,| |c.| |405| |-| |367| |B.C.|, hemilitron
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; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00


Agyrion, Sicily, 355 - 344 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Agyrion,| |Sicily,| |355| |-| |344| |B.C.|, tetras
Agyrion (modern Agira) was a Sikel city ruled by tyrants, one of whom, Agyris, was the most powerful ruler in the center of Sicily. In 392 B.C., he and Dionysius the Elder, together successfully resisted the Carthaginians under Magno. Agira was not colonized by the Greeks until the Corinthian general Timoleon drove out the last Sikel tyrant in 339 B.C. and settled 10,000 Greeks.

According to Caltabiano, Palagkaios was probably the Sikel name for the larger of the two local rivers (Salso Cimarosa today). Molinari and Sisci propose a Semitic origin, from the Akkadian palag-āsú, 'the gushing river.'
GB91174. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 125, 10; Potamikon 14; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; SNG Morcom -, VF, dark green patina, undersize flan, weight 2.685 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 270o, Agyrion (Agira, Sicily, Italy) mint, 355 - 344 B.C.; obverse AΓYPINAI counterclockwise before, young Herakles' head left, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse forepart of a man-faced bull (river-god Acheloios Palagkaios) left, ΠAΛAΓKAIOΣ horizontal above, dot border; rare; $190.00 SALE |PRICE| $171.00


Akragas, Sicily, 338 - 317 B.C.

|Akragas|, |Akragas,| |Sicily,| |338| |-| |317| |B.C.|, AE 16
We received this coin in 2005. Worried that the light green spots were active bronze disease, we set the coin aside with intentions to examine it more closely and probably treat it. It was misplaced and never treated. Upon its "rediscovery" and a close examination, it is clear, the light green spots are not bronze disease. The coin has not changed in the slightest over the last 14 years.
GI91782. Bronze AE 16, Calciati I p. 206, 116 R1 2 (different dies); SNG ANS 1113; HGC 2 164; SNG Cop 95 var.; SNG München -, VF, beautiful style - finest style for the type, dark patina with lighter encrustations, tight flan, weight 4.200 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 270o, Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily, Italy) mint, 338 - 317 B.C.; obverse AKPAΓA, laureate head of Zeus left; reverse eagle left, wings open, hare in talons with head down and left, ∆ below wings; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |The| |Sileraioi,| |Sicily,| |c.| |357| |-| |330| |B.C.|,
Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.
SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG München -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverse SIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Syracuse, Sicily, Pyrrhus of Epirus, 278 - 276 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Pyrrhus| |of| |Epirus,| |278| |-| |276| |B.C.|, AE 26
This combination of control symbols is not listed in the references examined. The cornucopia obverse control symbol is normally paired with a fulmen (thunderbolt) on the reverse. The vertical trident reverse control symbol is normally paired with a club on the obverse.
SH73164. Bronze AE 26, Calciati II p. 325, 177 Ds 69 var. (club vice cornucompia); SNG Cop 810 var.; SNG ANS 844 ff. var.; SNG München 1333 ff. var.; HGC 2 1450 (S), VF, nice style, nice patina, broad flan, edge split, weight 11.274 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, 278 - 276 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, head of Herakles left, clad in lion-skin headdress, cornucopia (control symbol) behind; reverse Athena Promachos advancing right, helmeted and draped, hurling javelin with raised right hand, shield in left hand, no inscription, vertical trident head upward (control symbol) behind; rare variety; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Syracuse, Sicily, Hiketas, 287 - 278 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Hiketas,| |287| |-| |278| |B.C.|, litra
This combination of obverse and reverse control symbols (thunderbolt / star) is not published in the many references examined by Forum, however, we know of about a half dozen examples. The thunderbolt obverse control is most often combined with A over a star reverse left. The star reverse control is paired with a variety of obverse controls most commonly a trophy or bucranium.
GI87381. Bronze litra, cf. Calciati II p. 303, 157 Ds 59 Rs 14; SNG Mün 1308; SNG ANS 810; SNG Morcom 783; BMC Sicily p. 204, 473, VF, dark patina, tight flan, some bumps, scratch, and mild corrosion, weight 10.719 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 287 - 278 B.C.; obverse ∆IOΣ EΛΛANIOY, beardless and laureate head of Zeus Hellanios left, thunderbolt (control symbol) behind; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN (upward on left, undivided), eagle with wings open standing left atop fulmen, star (control symbol) lower left, linear border; apparently unpublished; rare variant; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Panormos, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 241 - 50 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Panormos,| |Sicily,| |Roman| |Rule,| |c.| |241| |-| |50| |B.C.|, AE 23
The gens Calpurnia was a plebeian family, which claimed descent from Calpus, the son of Numa Pompilius, the second King of Rome. The first of the gens to obtain the consulship was Gaius Calpurnius Piso in 180 B.C., but from this time their consulships were very frequent, and the family of the Pisones became one of the most illustrious in the Roman state. Two important pieces of Republican legislation, the lex Calpurnia of 149 B.C. and lex Acilia Calpurnia of 67 B.C. were passed by members of the gens.
GI76937. Bronze AE 23, Calciati I p. 351, 130 (2 specimens); SNG Cop 556; HGC 2 1071 (C); SNG München 810 var. (AE28); SNG ANS -; SNG Tüb -; BMC Sicily -, gVF/aVF, attractive style, green patina, weight 5.744 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 180o, Panormus (Palermo, Sicily, Italy) mint, magistrate C. Calpurnius, c. 241 - 50 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus left; reverse warrior standing left, sword in extended right, spear vertical behind in left, grounded shield behind leaning on spear, C CALP lower left; rare; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

|Roman| |Italy| |and| |Sicily|, |Uncertain| |City| |(Panormos?),| |Sicily,| |Roman| |Rule,| |c.| |211| |-| |190| |B.C.|, triens
In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.
GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG München 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 466 B.C., Unofficial Imitative

|Other| |Sicily|, |Leontini,| |Sicily,| |c.| |476| |-| |466| |B.C.,| |Unofficial| |Imitative|, litra
The low weight, crude style, and retrograde ethnic indicate this was not an official issue of the city but, more likely, an imitative. Hoover identifies it as an imitative in the Handbook of Coins of Sicily (HGC 2).
GS91173. Silver litra, cf. HGC 2 688 (R2) (same); BMC Sicily p. 88; 22 (same retrograde legend, 0.635g); Boehringer Leontini pl. 10, B (similarly crude), VF, well centered, crude style, half the usual weight, weight 0.289 g, maximum diameter 9.7 mm, die axis 330o, unofficial Sicilian mint, c. 476 - 466 B.C.; obverse crude facing lion scalp, linear border; reverse ΛE-ON (retrograde, counterclockwise from upper right), barley kernel, linear border; ex Beast Coins, ex Imperial Coins & Artifacts; very rare; $100.00 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysius I, 405 - 367 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Dionysius| |I,| |405| |-| |367| |B.C.|, tetras
"The model for the head on the obverse is derived from the facing Arethusa by Kimon. Exemplars signed by the great master are known. This issue is usually attributed to Exakestidas with several exemplars signed E. However, stylistic evidence of many exemplars reveals such substantial differences the intervention of other engravers seems to be certain, while the discovery of traces of signature not completely legible but certainly not pointing to Exakestidas confirm the assumption." - Calciati p. 59
GI79945. Bronze tetras, Calciati II p. 59 ff., 29; SNG ANS 385; SNG Cop 679; SNG München 1105; HGC 2 1432 (R1, Second Democracy, 415-405 B.C.); SNG Morcom -, VF, nice green patina, fine classical style, obverse slightly off-center, scratches and bumps, weight 1.825 g, maximum diameter 12.4 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 405 - 400 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa facing slightly left, wearing necklace; reverse octopus; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50




  






REFERENCES|

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Catalog current as of Friday, February 21, 2020.
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Sicily