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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.


Akragas, Sicily, 450 - 440 B.C.

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Located on a plateau overlooking Sicily's southern coast, Akragas was founded c. 582 B.C. by colonists from Gela. It grew rapidly, becoming second only to Syracuse in importance on Sicily, but was sacked by Carthage in 406 B.C. and never fully recovered. It was renamed Agrigentum after it fell to Rome in 210 B.C.
GI76829. Cast bronze trias, Calciati I, p. 143, 1; Westermark Fifth pl. I, 1; SNG Cop 61; SNG ANS 1015; SNG Lloyd 832; HGC 2 126 (R1);, VF, green patina, earthen deposits, some light corrosion, weight 16.186 g, Akragas mint, 450 - 440 B.C.; cast near tooth-shaped flattened cone form, four pellets on flat top, sea-eagle standing left on one side, crab opposite; rare; $400.00 (€356.00)


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

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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; $360.00 (€320.40)


Piakos, Sicily, c. 425 - 400 B.C.

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Struck with unsigned dies by the ?Maestro della Foglia.? Rizzo was the first to suggest that this famed artist who engraved magnificent masterpieces for Katane, was also the engraver for the dies of this Piakos coinage. Other experts have agreed. This particular type might have been his very first work. Calciati dates the type to a possible period of transitory independence, 425 - 424 B.C., during the time of the first Carthaginian invasion of Sicily to shortly after Gela's conference. Other authorities date it as late as 400 B.C.
SH71341. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 198, 2; Rizzo pl. LX, 14; HGC 2 1101 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG München -; SNG Morcom -, VF, weight 2.357 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, die axis 45o, Piakos mint, c. 425 - 400 B.C.; obverse P•I•A•K (pellets are mark of value), laureate and horned head of a young river-god left; reverse hound right attacking fallen stag right, seizing her by the throat, barley kernel on left and another on right; rare; $360.00 (€320.40)


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

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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 head-dress, 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; $360.00 (€320.40)


Gela, Sicily, c. 339 - 310 B.C.

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Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshipped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
SH71027. Bronze tetras, Jenkins Gela, group XII, 549; Calciati III p. 29, 59; BMC Sicily p. 74, 77; SNG Cop 287; SNG Müchen 324; SNG ANS 123; HGC 2 388 (R1), VF, well centered, green patina, corrosion, weight 2.921 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 135o, Gela mint, c. 339 - 310 B.C.; obverse ΓEΛΩI−ΩN (beginning upward on left), head of Demeter facing slightly right, wreathed with barley, wearing earrings and necklace; reverse bearded head of river-god Gela left, short horn over forehead, bull's ear, wreathed with barley (or reeds?); rare; $315.00 (€280.35)


Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon, 3rd Democracy, 344 - 336 B.C.

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Timoleon installed a democracy in 345 B.C. After the long series of internal struggles had weakened Syracuse's power, Timoleon tried to remedy this, defeating the Carthaginians near the Krimisos river in 339 B.C. Unfortunately the struggle among the city's parties restarted after his death and ended with the rise of another tyrant, Agathocles, who seized power in 317 B.C.
SH71353. Bronze dilitron, Calciati II p. 185, 80; SNG ANS 533; SNG Morcom 717; SNG München 1159; SNG Lloyd 1456; BMC Sicily p. 189, 311; HGC 2 1439 (S), gVF, some corrosion, weight 18.018 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 225o, Syracuse mint, 344 - 336 B.C.; obverse ZEYΣ EΛEYΘEPIOΣ, laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios left; reverse ΣYPAKOΣION, free horse prancing left; $310.00 (€275.90)


Soloi, Sicily, c. 300 - 254 B.C.

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SH57303. Bronze AE 15, Calciati I, p. 312, 16; SNG ANS 744, gVF, reverse die break, weight 1.334 g, maximum diameter 15.4 mm, die axis 270o, Soloi mint, c. 300 - 254 B.C.; obverse short-bearded male (Hercules?) head right, wearing hoop earring; reverse free horse galloping right; rare; $250.00 (€222.50)


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

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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.
GI76973. Bronze hemidrachm, Calciati II p. 168, 72 st 3; SNG ANS 477 ff.; SNG Cop 727, VF, nice style, nice patina, reverse off center but not detracting, small spots of corrosion on edge, weight 15.716 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 342 - 338 B.C.; obverse ZEYΣEA EYΘEPTOΣ, laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, thunderbolt, eagle on right standing right with wings closed; $250.00 (€222.50)


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Anchialus, Thrace

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When the Odrysian kingdom was abolished in 45 A.D., Anchialos (Pomorie, Bulgaria today) became part of the Roman province of Thrace. It was formally proclaimed a city under Trajan. Anchialos thrived in the 2nd and 3rd centuries serving as the most important import and export station of Thrace and acquired the appearance of a Roman city under the Severan Dynasty.
RP68711. Bronze 4 assaria, Varbanov 464 (R5), AMNG II 555, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, aVF, glossy green patina, weight 14.534 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 45o, Anchialus (Pomorie, Bulgaria) mint, 209 - 212 A.D.; obverse AY K Π CEΠ ΓETAC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse OYΛΠIANΩN AΓ−X−IAΛEΩN, Demeter standing left, reaching with right toward serpent coiled around large torch before her, small torch cradled in her left, two small pellets over ∆ in center field; rare; $240.00 (€213.60)


Ziz (Panormus), Punic Sicily, c. 336 - 330 B.C.

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Founded by the Phoenicians as Ziz, Palermo was named Panormus, meaning "always fit for landing in," by the Greeks. It was ruled by Rome and Constantinople for over 1000 years. From 827 to 1071 it was under the Arab Emirate of Sicily when it first became a capital. After the Norman conquest, Palermo became capital of Kingdom of Sicily from 1130 to 1816. It was united with the Kingdom of Naples until the Italian unification of 1860.
GI70586. Bronze AE 15, Calciati I, p. 272, 12 (Ziz); Lindgren II 503; SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG München -; BMC Sicily -; HGC 2 -, Choice VF, weight 2.728 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 270o, Ziz (Palermo, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 336 - 330 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left, linear border; reverse forepart of a horse prancing right, dolphin leaping right below; rare; $225.00 (€200.25)




    



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Sunday, August 28, 2016.
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