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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.

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

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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.
GB65232. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 86, 34 (c. 409 B.C.); HGC 2 1456 (c. 375 - 344 B.C.); BMC Sicily p. 187, 292; SNG ANS 426 ff. (end 5th c. B.C.); SNG Cop -, VF, some corrosion on obv, weight 6.398 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 405 - 390 B.C.; obverse ΣYPA, head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet, no ornament on helmet, no control symbols; reverse hippocamp left, no bridle; $90.00 (€78.30)

Syracuse, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 212 - 133 B.C.

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Overcoming formidable resistance and the ingenious devices of Archimedes, the Roman General Marcus Claudius Marcellus took Syracuse in the summer of 212 B.C. Archimedes was killed during the attack. The plundered artworks taken back to Rome from Syracuse lit the initial spark of Greek influence on Roman culture.
GB65634. Bronze AE 23, Calciati II p. 429, 231; SNG Cop 911; SNG ANS 1092, aVF, weight 9.175 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, Roman rule, c. 212 - 133 B.C.; obverse head of Kore right, wreathed in stalks of grain; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, Demeter standing left, torch in right, scepter in left; $90.00 (€78.30)

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

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NASO named on this coin could be Lucius Axius L. f. Naso, who was a moneyer in Rome, c. 73 - 70 B.C. Two inscriptions discovered at Cordoba dedicated to a Lucio Axio Luci filio Polia tribu Nasoni, indicate his honors. He was first decemvir stlitibus iudicandis, then tribunus militum pro legato, then quaestor. Or, this NASO could be completely unrelated.
GB67138. Bronze AE 21, Calciati I p. 351, 125 (one specimen); SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, aVF, green patina, weight 4.595 g, maximum diameter 20.9 mm, die axis 315o, Panormus (Palermo) mint, magistrate (L. Axius?) Naso, 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, NAS/O left; extremely rare; $90.00 (€78.30)

Katane, Sicily, c. 415 - 403 B.C.

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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.
GB65647. Bronze onkia, Calciati III p. 92, 2; cf. SNG ANS 1272 (tetras); BMC Sicily p. 50, 51; SNG Cop -, SNG München -, VF, weight 0.646 g, maximum diameter 10.2 mm, die axis 225o, Katane mint, c. 415 - 403 B.C.; obverse AMENANOΣ, young head of river-god Amenanos left, with horns and wavy hair; reverse winged thunderbolt, open wings, K-A flanking under wings, pellet above left wing; rare; $90.00 (€78.30)

Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

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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.
GB72306. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 48, 20; SNG ANS 411; SNG Cop 696 var (no dolphin); BMC Sicily p. 182, 237 var (same); SGCV I 1186; HGC 2 1479 (S), VF, fine classical style, nice green patina, areas flatly struck, a little off center, weight 3.541 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 415 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of Arethusa left, hair in ampyx and sphendone, dolphin downward with head turned back up behind; reverse four-spoked wheel, ΣY−PA divided by spoke across upper two quarters, dolphin head down and inward in each of the lower quarters; $90.00 (€78.30)

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

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Calciati describes this type with an E behind the head of Arethusa; it should say behind the neck and on many examples the letter is not present.
GB72314. Bronze tetras, Calciati II p. 33, 14; SNG Cop 677; SNG ANS 391; SNG München 1116; HGC 2 1430 (R1, 435 - 415 B.C.), VF/aF, nice classical style, weak reverse strike, weight 2.478 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 400 B.C.; obverse head of Arethusa left, hair in ampyx and sphendone, wearing earring with three long pendants and wire necklace, anepigraphic; reverse octopus, no pellets, linear border; scarce; $90.00 (€78.30)

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.
GB63870. Bronze hemilitron, SNG Cop 320; Calciati I p. 43, 35; SGCV I 1110; SNG ANS 186, VF, weight 3.842 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 135o, Himera mint, c. 420 - 409 B.C.; obverse IME, head of nymph Himera left, wearing sphendone, six pellets before; reverse six pellets within laurel wreath; $85.00 (€73.95)

Syracuse, Sicily, Agathocles, 317 - 289 B.C.

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Although Agathocles was brutal in pursuit of power, afterward he was a mild and popular "tyrant." His grandest goal was to establish democracy as the dominant form of government for the world. He did not want his sons to succeed him as king and restored the Syracusan democracy on his death bed.
GB65635. Bronze AE 16, Calciati II p. 248, 119; SNG ANS 751; SNG Cop 777; BMC Sicily p. 198, 413; SGCV I 1204 var (head left), F, weight 1.852 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 295 - 289 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; reverse ΣYPAK/OΣIΩN, winged thunderbolt; rare; $85.00 (€73.95)

Siculo-Punic, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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Before it was incoporated within the Persian Empire in the 370s B.C., Tyre was the economic and political hub of the Phoenician world. Supremacy passed to Sidon, and then to Carthage, before Tyre's destruction by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. Each colony paid tribute to either Tyre or Sidon, but neither had actual control. The Carthaginians, however, appointed their own magistrates to rule the towns and took much direct control. This policy would result in a number of Iberian towns siding with the Romans during the Punic Wars.
GB65641. Bronze AE 16, Viola CNP 126, SNG Cop VIII 96 ff. (=SNG Cop I 1022 ff.), SNG München 1626 ff., SNG Morcom 897, Alexandropoulos 15, aVF, rough, nice green patina, weight 5.015 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 270o, Carthage or Sicilian mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; obverse male head left, wreathed in grain, wearing hoop earring; reverse free horse prancing right, short exergual line below rear hooves, linear border; $85.00 (€73.95)

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

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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.
GB68001. Bronze hemilitra, Calciati II p. 55, 24 (after 410 B.C.); SNG ANS 415 ff. (c. 405 B.C.); SNG Cop 697 ff.; SNG München 180 ff.; HGC 2 1480 (S, 415 - 405 B.C.), F, rough, weight 3.126 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, die axis 315o, Syracuse mint, c. 400 - 390 B.C.; obverse head of nymph left, no earrings, wearing ampyx, with hair bound in sphendone; laurel branch with two leaves behind; reverse ΣYPA, dolphin swimming right above arched inscription, inverted scallop shell below; $85.00 (€73.95)



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Catalog current as of Tuesday, September 01, 2015.
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Sicilian Greek Coins