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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.

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); HGC 2 1071 (C); SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Tub -; BMC Sicily -, 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; very rare magistrate; $45.00 (€38.25)

Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

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Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GI65649. Bronze onkia, Westermark-Jenkins, type A, 182.5; Calciati vol III, p. 48, 4/1; SNG Munchen 414; BMC Sicily p. 40, 41; HGC 2 552 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -, VF, nice green patina, weight 1.179 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 90o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion), smooth neat hair tied with ribbon, symmetrical locks on forehead, protruding tongue; reverse KAMA (upward on left), owl standing right on right leg, head facing, lizard with head down in left talon, one pellet (mark of value) in exergue, A (control mark) right; $45.00 (€38.25)

Thermae Himerenses, Sicily, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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In 409 B.C., the Carthaginians under the command of Hannibal, conquered Himera, crucified three hundred of its leading men and obliterated the town. The site has been desolate ever since. The few surviving Greeks were settled by the Carthaginians eleven kilometers west of Himera at Thermae Himeraeae (Termini Imerese today). Thermae was the birthplace of Agathocles.

Herakles was named in honor of his stepmother Hera, but she was his enemy. She even tried to prevent his birth by tying his mother's legs in knots and to kill him as an infant with two serpents. After Hera drove him mad, Hercules slew his own six sons. She made almost all of Herakles' twelve labors more difficult. Hera later befriended Herakles for saving her from Porphyrion, a giant who tried to rape her. She even gave her daughter Hebe to him as his bride.
GB68405. Bronze AE 15, Calciati I p. 119, 13; BMC Sicily p. 83, 3; SNG ANS 190; HGC 2 1625 (S); SNG Cop -, F, typical irregular flan, rough, weight 2.290 g, maximum diameter 15.1 mm, die axis 0o, Thermai Himeraiai (Termini Imerese, Sicily, Italy) mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; obverse head of Hera right wearing stephane; reverse ΘEPMITAN, head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion's head headdress; scarce; $45.00 (€38.25)

Leontini, Sicily, 2nd Century B.C.

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In 214 B.C., Roman forces lead by Marcus Claudius Marcellus stormed Leontini, which had been subject to Syracuse. Marcellus executed 2000 Roman deserters who were hiding in the city and then moved to lay siege to Syracuse. The siege would last for two years, thwarted in part by the military machines created by the famous inventor Archimedes.
GB69013. Bronze AE 22, Calciati III p. 85, 21; SNG Cop 362, SNG Munchen 572, HGC 2 715 (R1); SNG Morcom -, aVF, green patina, uneven strike with weak areas, weight 8.810 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 45o, Leontini mint, Roman rule, 2nd century B.C.; obverse laureate bust of Artemis (or Apollo) right, quiver behind shoulder; reverse ΛEONTIN−ΩN (clockwise from upper right), Demeter standing left, grain ears upward in extended right, long long torch vertical behind in left, plough at feet left; rare; $45.00 (€38.25)

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; $40.00 (€34.00)

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

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Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 to 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity, and Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
GB67659. Bronze 1/8 chalkon, Calciati II p. 404, 199 R1 6; SNG Cop 868; SNG ANS 600; HGC 2, 1497 (R1, c. 275 - 269/265 B.C.), aVF, nice patina, weight 4.163 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, 275 - 265 B.C.(?); obverse head of Kore left, hair rolled and bound with barley wreath, wearing earrings and necklace, no inscription(?), no control symbol; reverse bull butting left, club over AP monogram above, IE in exergue; $40.00 (€34.00)

Solous, Sicily, c. 400 - 350 B.C.

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Solous, a Punic town, was attacked and damaged by Dionysios in 396 - 395 B.C., but recovered. In 306, the town received a group of mercenaries who rebelled against Agathocles, and it became a base for the Carthaginian army. The Romans occupied Solous in 244 B.C.
GB68416. Bronze AE 13, Calciati I p. 309, 3; SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, SNG Munchen -, BMC Sicily -, F, corrosion, reverse off-center, weight 1.741 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 315o, Solos mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of young Herakles right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse hippocamp left; rare; $40.00 (€34.00)

Panormos, Sicily, c. 241 - 70 B.C.

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In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained 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.
GI76787. Bronze AE 14, Calciati I p. 338, 41; SNG ANS 580; SNG Cop 545; SNG Munchen 778; BMC Sicily p. 123, 23; HGC 2 1085 (S), aF, weight 4.262 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 225o, Panormus (Palermo, Sicily, Italy) mint, Roman rule, c. 241 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter left, veiled and wreathed in grain, plow(?) behind; reverse war galley prow right, Panormos Greek monogram above; scarce; $30.00 (€25.50)

Panormos, Sicily, 2nd Century B.C.

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Panormos was the ancient Greek name (meaning, 'All-haven') for present day Palermo. Palermo was, however, originally a Phoenician colony and numismatists identify the city before Greek rule with the Punic name Ziz. It seems the only evidence for this ancient name is the coinage and some scholars believe that Ziz may have been another city. In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained 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.
BB76866. Bronze AE 18, Calciati I p. 330, 8/3; SNG ANS 565; BMC Sicily p. 123, 26; SNG Cop 531, HGC 2 1081 (S); SGCV I 1164; SNG Morcom -, F, rough, tight flan, weight 3.545 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Panormus (Palermo, Sicily, Italy) mint, Roman rule, 2nd century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse ΠA−NOP−MITAN (in two lines, first upward divided on left, second downward on right), soldier standing facing slightly left, head left, wearing helmet and cuirass, phiale in right, spear vertical behind in left, shield leaning against spear; scarce; $.99 (€.84)




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Catalog current as of Saturday, January 20, 2018.
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