Coins and Antiquities Consignment Shop
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. All items are guaranteed authentic for eternity! Please call us if you have questions 252-646-1958. Thanks for your business! Welcome Guest. Please login or register. Internet challenged? We are happy to take your order over the phone. Please call if you have questions 252-646-1958. Thanks for your business!

Catalog Main Menu
Fine Coins Showcase

Antiquities Showcase
Recent Additions
Recent Price Reductions

Show empty categories
Shop Search
Shopping Cart
Contact Us
About Forum
Shopping at Forum
Our Guarantee
Payment Options
Shipping Options & Fees
Privacy & Security
Forum Staff
Selling Your Coins
Identifying Your Coin
FAQs
   View Categories
Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ SicilyView 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, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
 
SH86312. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer Series XIVb, 489 (V258/R351); SNG ANS 156 (same dies); Weber 1583 (same obv. die); BMC Sicily, p. 156, 80; Jameson 762; HGC 2 1312, EF, mint luster in recesses, light tone, obverse die wear, uneven strike, reverse off center, weight 17.391 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 466 - 460 B.C.; obverse charioteer driving slow quadriga right, holding reins in both hands, goad in right hand, Nike above flying left crowning driver with wreath, Ketos (sea serpent) right in exergue; reverse ΣYPAKOΣON, head of Arethusa right, wearing pearl or bead necklace and earring with loop and finial pendant, thin band wound once around her head and tying back hair in queue, four dolphins around swimming clockwise; ex CNG auction 102 (18 May 2016), lot 135; ex Colin E. Pitchfork Collection; ex Dr. Neil Geddes (20 Nov 2002); ex Noble auction 54 (22 July 1997), lot 1640; ex Stack’s sale, 6 Dec 1995, lot 65; $2270.00 (€1929.50)


Sicily Syracuse, 4th Democracy, 289 - 287 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Numismatic evidence suggests that republican government existed for a few years between the death of Agathokles and Hicetas' assumption of power; this is sometimes referred to as the Fourth Democracy (289 - 287 B.C.).
GB88303. Bronze AE 22, Calciati II p. , 148 Ds 59/1, cf. SNG Cop 782 (uncertain control), HGC 2 148 (R2) var. (∆ vice thunderbolt), SNG ANS -, gVF, superb style, well centered on a tight flan cutting off the obverse legend, brown patina, some hard green encrustation, weight 8.524 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse, Sicily mint, 289 - 288 B.C.; obverse DIOΣ EΛEYΘEPOY, laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios left, thunderbolt behind; reverse thunderbolt with four wings, ΣYPAK/OΣIΩN in two lines, above and below; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 110; ex Harlan J. Berk; very rare; $380.00 (€323.00)


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

Click for a larger photo
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, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
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.

The star on the reverse could represent Halley's comet which was visible for 75 days in 466 B.C.
GB88328. Bronze hemilitron, ex Ancient Imports Calciati II p. 39, 16; Favorito Signed type 74 (c. 425-420 BC); SNG ANS 398; SNG München 1100; HGC 2 1481 (S); BMC Sicily -, VF, the finest classical style, attractive glossy dark green and black patina, patina flaking (stable), weight 4.484 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, Syracuse mint, c. 410 - 405 B.C.; obverse ΣVPA, head of nymph Arethusa left, wearing diadem and pearl necklace, E (signature of the master engraver Euaninetos) behind; reverse star of eight rays within incuse circle in center of quadripartite incuse square; $360.00 (€306.00)


Sicily, Abakainon, 339 - 317 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Abakainon was a native Sicel city that adopted Greek culture, but allied with Carthage. In the 5th century B.C., it was powerful and important. In 396, Dionysios I of Syracuse seized part of its territory and founded the city Tyndaris. The Carthaginian general Mago came to their aid but was defeated outside the city walls. Abakainon fell under the hegemony of Syracuse and as Tyndaris grew and prospered, Abakainon diminished to insignificance. It suffered a major earthquake in the 1st century A.D. but survived at least until the 2nd century. Tommaso Fazello (1498 - 1570) described the ruins as indicating a large city which had been destroyed to its foundations. The village of Tripi was founded on the ruins in 1061.
GB86300. Bronze tetras, Calciati I 5; SNG ANS 901; HGC 2 34 (S); SNG Cop -, SNG München -; SNG Tübingen -; SNG Morcom -; SNG Lloyd -, gVF, well centered, dark green patina, bumps and scratches, tiny spots of slight corrosion, obverse center struck a little flat, weight 2.404 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 225o, Abakainon (Tripi, Sicily) mint, 339 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of a nymph left, hair in ampyx and sphendone, wearing drop earring; reverse ABAKAINI-NΩN, forepart of bull charging left, head turned facing; very rare; $350.00 (€297.50)


Kephaloidion, Sicily, c. 307 - 289 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Kephaloidoion, on Cape Cefalu, was under the influence of nearby Himera until c. 405 B.C. In 396 B.C., the town allied with General Himilco of Carthage against Dionysos of Syracuse but was defeated. Agathocles besieged and conquered the city in 307 B.C. Kephaloidion was again allied with Carthage at the beginning of the First Punic War but the citizens opened the gates when the Roman fleet appeared off the shore in 254 B.C. The city faded but survived at least into the second century A.D.
GI76952. Bronze AE 17, Calciati I, p. 371, 1; HGC 2 649 (R2); SNG ANS -; SNG Morcom -; SNG München -; SNG Tüb -, VF, green patina, light marks, reverse off center, weight 4.367 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 135o, Kephaloidion (Cefalu, Sicily) mint, c. 344 - 336 B.C. (references vary greatly); obverse KEΦAΛOI∆I, Herakles head right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse bull butting right, club above, linear border; very rare; $320.00 (€272.00)


Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon, 344 - 336 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Threatened by Carthage and dominated by Hiketas, the tyrant of Leontini, Syracusans sent an appeal for help to their mother city, Corinth. By a unanimous vote Corinth selected Timoleon to set sail for Sicily with a few leading citizens of Corinth and a small troop of Greek mercenaries. After defeating Hiketas, Timoleon put order to Syracuse' affairs and established a democratic government. He repelled Carthage in several wars, ending with a treaty which divided the island. Timoleon then retired without any title or office, though he remained practically supreme. He became blind before his death, but when important issues were under discussion he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, which was usually accepted. When he died the citizens of Syracuse erected a monument to his memory, afterward surrounded with porticoes, and a gymnasium called Timoleonteum.
GI83514. Bronze hemidrachm, Calciati II p. 167, 72; SNG ANS 477; SNG Cop 727; SNG München 1151; BMC Sicily p. 189, 313; Laffaille 220; HGC 2 1440 (S), VF, green patina, edges earthen encrusted, cleaning marks, reverse double struck, weight 15.872 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, c. 342 - 338 B.C.; obverse ZEYΣ EΛEYΘEPIOΣ (clockwise starting upper right), laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN (clockwise starting upper right), vertical thunderbolt, eagle on right standing right with wings closed; $320.00 (€272.00)


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

Click for a larger photo
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; $300.00 (€255.00)


Gela, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Gela, named after the river Gela, was founded by colonists from Rhodos and Crete around 688 B.C. In 424 B.C., the Congress of Gela established a "Sicily for the Sicilians" platform and formed a league that pushed back the Athenian attempt to conquer the island. The city had a history of internal strife between its plebs and aristocrats. When the Carthaginians arrived in 311 BC, they easily captured the Gela with the help of its elites. In 282 B.C., Phintias of Agrigento ruthlessly destroyed Gela to crush its power forever. In Roman times it was only a small settlement.
SH76948. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 17, 32/1; Jenkins Gela 516; SNG ANS 115; SNG Cop 283; SNG München 314; BMC Sicily, p. 73, 66; HGC 2 379 (S), gVF, nice green patina, well centered on a broad flan, light marks and corrosion, weight 3.408 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 90o, Gela mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse bull standing left, head lowered and turned slightly facing, barley kernel over ΓEΛAΣ above, three pellets in exergue; reverse horned head of beardless young river-god Gela right, no diadem, floating hair, barley kernel behind; scarce; $230.00 (€195.50)


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

Click for a larger photo
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; $215.00 (€182.75)




  



CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE FROM THIS CATEGORY - FORVM's PRIOR SALES


REFERENCES

Arnold-Biucchi, C. "La monetazione d'argento di Himera classica. I tetradrammi" in Quaderni Ticinesi XVII (1988).
Bahrfeldt, M.F. von. Die römisch-sicilischen Münzen aus der Zeit der Republik, etc. (Geneva, 1904).
Bloesch, H. Griechische Münzen In Winterthur, Vol. 1. Spain, Gaul, Italy, Sicily, Moesia, Dacia, Sarmatia, Thrace, and Macedonia. (Winterthur, 1987).
Boehringer, C. "Die Münzgeschichte von Leontini in klassischer Zeit" in Studies Price.
Boehringer, C. "Himera im IV. Jahrhundert v. Chr." in Kraay-Mørkholm Essays.
Boehringer, E. Die Münzen von Syrakus. (Berlin and Leipzig, 1929).
Buttrey, T.V., et al. "Catalogue of Coins Found during the Years 1955-1981" in Morgantina Studies II: The Coins. (Princeton, 1989).
Calciati, R. Corpus Nummorum Siculorum. The Bronze Coinage, Vol. I - III. (Milan, 1983 - 1987).
Castrizio, D. La monetazione mercenariale in Sicilia, Strategie economiche e territoriali fra Dione e Timoleonte. (Soveria Manelli, 2000).
Gabrici, E. La monetazione del bronzo nella Sicila antica. (Palermo, 1927).
Gardner, P. The Types of Greek Coins. (Cambridge, 1882).
Gutman. F & W. Schwabacher. "Tetradrachmen und Didrachmen von Himera (472-409 v Chr)" in MBNG 47. (1929).
Head, B.V. History of the Coinage of Syracuse. (London, 1874).
Hill, G.F. Coins of Ancient Sicily. (Westminster, 1905).
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).
Jenkins, G.K. Coins of Punic Sicily. (Zürich, 1997).
Jenkins, G.K. & R.B. Lewis. Carthaginian Gold and Electrum Coins. Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication 2. (London, 1963).
Jenkins, G.K. The Coinage of Gela. AMUGS II. (Berlin, 1970).
Kraay, C.M. The Archaic Coinage of Himera. (Naples, 1984).
Lindgren, H. C. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints from the Lindgren Collection. (1989).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Sicily. (London, 1876).
Reinach, T. Sur la valeur relative des métaux monétaires dans la Sicile greque (L'Histoire par les monnaies). (Paris, 1902).
Rizzo, G.E. Monete greche della Sicilia. (Rome, 1946).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Seltman, C.T. "The Engravers of the Akragantine Decadrachms" in NC 1948.
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, Parts 5 - 6. (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, Parts 3 - 5. (New York, 1975).
Tudeer, L.O. Die Tetradrachmenprägung von Syrakus in der Periode der Signierenden Künstler. (Berlin, 1913).
Tropea, G. Numismatica Siceliota del Museo, Mandralisca in Cefalù. (Messina, 1901).
Viola, M.R. Corpus Nummorum Punicorum. (Milan, 2010).
Weil, R. Die Künstlerinschriften der sicilischen Münzen. (Winckelmannsfest-Progr. 44), 1884.
Westermark, U. "Himera. The Coins of Akragantine Type 2" in Travaux Le Rider.
Westermark, U. & K. Jenkins. The Coinage of Kamarina. Royal Numismatic Society, Special Publication 9. (London, 1980).


Catalog current as of Thursday, March 21, 2019.
Page created in 0.831 seconds.
Sicily