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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, 287 - 241 B.C.

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Zeus Hellanios may be translated as "Zeus worshiped by all Greeks." In Sicily, Zeus Hellanios was depicted without a beard, and so is often mistaken for Apollo. Zeus Hellanios may have been depicted on this coin type to help unify the Greeks against Carthage. It highlights a commonality among all Greeks and a distinction between them and the Phoenicians, who worshiped Melqart.
GB69009. Bronze trias, Calciati p 214, 134; SNG ANS 134; cf. SNG Morcom 541; SNG Cop 113 var. (∆ control letter on obv.); HGC 2 159, VF, nice patina, weight 4.360 g, maximum diameter 19.22 mm, die axis 90o, Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily, Italy) mint, 287 - 241 B.C.; obverse beardless and laureate head of Zeus Hellanios right; reverse two eagles left, hare in talons, nearest with head upright screaming, eagle behind head lowered on hare; $115.00 (€102.35)

Syracuse, Sicily, Roman Rule, 212 - c. 189 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.
GB69015. Bronze AE 21, Calciati II p. 424, 227; SNG ANS 1066 ff.; SNG Cop 900; SNG München 1472 ff.; HGC 2 1474 (S), VF, well centered, green patina, light corrosion and marks, weight 9.230 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, 212 - c. 189 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus left; reverse Nike in galloping in a biga right, whip(?) in right, reins in left, crescent above, ΣYPAKOΣIΩN in exergue; scarce; $110.00 (€97.90)

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.
GB90652. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 91, 1; SNG ANS 1272; BMC Sicily p. 50, 51; SNG Cop -, SNG München -, VF, weight 1.985 g, maximum diameter 13.2 mm, die axis 45o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 415 - 403 B.C.; obverse AMENANOΣ, young head of river-god Amenanos left, with horns and wavy hair; reverse winged thunderbolt, wings open, K-A flanking under wings, three small pellets around (two above wings, one right); rare; $110.00 (€97.90)

Menaion, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 200 - 150 B.C.

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Mineo, Sicily (ancient Menaion) is inland about 64 km southwest of Catania. It was a Sikel city, founded around 458 B.C. by King Douketios. In 396 B.C. it was captured by Dionysios I of Syracuse. Under Roman rule Cicero mentions Menaion among the "civitatis decumanae," cities that pay one tenth of their annual harvest to Rome. Today it has about 5,600 residents.
GI73159. Bronze pentonkion, Calciati III p. 183, 2; SNG ANS 292; SNG Cop 379; SNG München 610; HGC 2 757, Choice VF, centered, nice green patina, weight 3.677 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Menaion (Mineo, Sicily, Italy) mint, Roman Rule, c. 200 - 150 B.C.; obverse laureate and draped bust of Serapis right, wearing atef crown; reverse Nike in biga charging right, Π (mark of value) below, MENA/INΩN divided in two lines above and below; scarce; $110.00 (€97.90)

Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C., Possibly the Work of Phrygillos

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Calciati notes that coins of this issue included dies signed by the masters Kimon, Phrygillos, Eukleidas, and possibly Eumenes. Other examples, many of which were struck with fine style dies, are unsigned. Some examples with a dolphin behind Arethusa are signed by Phrygillos. Other coins of this type that are not signed, but with his style and the same dolphin are also believed to be his work. There is no signature visible on this coin but it is in fine style and is likely the work of Phrygillos.
GI75170. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 48, 20; SNG ANS 411; BMC Sicily p. 182, 243; SNG Cop 696 (obv. symbol off flan); SGCV I 1186; HGC 2 1479 (S), VF, fine classical style, green patina, reverse a little off-center, light cleaning scratches, encrustations, weight 3.184 g, maximum diameter 15.8 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 415 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa left, hair in ampyx and sphendone, dolphin downward with head turned back up (control symbol) 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; $110.00 (€97.90)

Katane, Sicily, c. 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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This type was probably first struck, in fine style, in the 3rd century, probably shortly before Roman rule was established in 212 B.C. This and some other examples, appear to be part of a later issue, struck under Roman rule, imitating the earlier type, but with a cruder style. Despite HGC listing it only as scarce, both the finer style and this cruder style appear to be very rare.
GI76589. Bronze AE 18, Calciati III p. 108 - 109, 22; SNG Cop 191; SNG ANS 1277; SNG München 489; cf. HGC 2 609 (S, finer style, earlier?), F, crude late style, weight 3.965 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 0o, Katane mint, c. 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse jugate heads right of Serapis (nearer), both wearing a simplified Isis type headdress, ear of barley behind; reverse KATANAIΩN, Apollo standing half left, nude but for chlamys over arms, laurel branch in his right hand, bow in his left hand, left forearm resting on pillar, quiver and omphalos at feet on left; very rare; $110.00 (€97.90)

Morgantina as Hispani, Sicily, c. 211 - 185 B.C.

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In 214, during the Second Punic War, Morgantina switched its allegiance from Rome to Carthage. Morgantina remained autonomous until 211, when it became the last Sicilian town to be captured by the Romans. It was given as payment by Rome to a group of Spanish mercenaries, who issued coins with the inscription HISPANORVM. See Kenan Erim, "Morgantina," AJA, vol. 62, no. 1 (Jan., 1958), pp. 79-90.
GB65639. Bronze AE 22, Buttrey Catalog, 253, pl. 7, 18 (same dies); Calciati III p. 341, 1; SNG Cop 1079; SNG ANS 4/II 484, aF, large flan, weight 8.400 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 45o, Morgantina mint, c. 211 - 185 B.C.; obverse C SIC-LIVN, male head right; reverse HISPANORVM, helmeted horseman cantering right, holding spear; rare; $100.00 (€89.00)

Iaetia, Sicily, 4th Century B.C.

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Iaitas was located on Mount Jato, near modern San Giuseppe Jato, a village in a hilly region of Palermo's hinterland, 31 km from the Sicilian capital. The settlement dated back to prehistoric times, with influence of Greek culture from the 6th century B.C.
GB65643. Bronze AE 13, Calciati I p.383, 1; SNG ANS 1343; SNG Cop -; SNG München -, aF, rough, weight 1.332 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 180o, Iaetia mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse IATINΩN, man-faced bull right; reverse head of grain on left, grain kernel (or a second head of grain) on right; very rare; $100.00 (€89.00)

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.
GB67139. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 91, 1; SNG ANS 1272; BMC Sicily p. 50, 51; SNG Cop -, SNG München -, VF, a bit rough, weight 1.820 g, maximum diameter 13.6 mm, die axis 315o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 415 - 403 B.C.; obverse AMENANOΣ, young head of river-god Amenanos left, with horns and wavy hair; reverse winged thunderbolt, wings open, K-A flanking under wings, three small pellets around (two above wings, one right); rare; $100.00 (€89.00)

Aetna, Sicily, c. 210 - 208 B.C.

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In 475 B.C. Hieron moved ten thousand settlers from Syracuse and Peloponnesus to Katane and renamed it Aetna. In 461, after Hieron's death, the new settlers were expelled. They moved to the southern slope of the volcano and founded a new Aetna. In 403 B.C., Dionysius the Elder made himself master of Aetna, where he settled his discharged Campanian mercenaries, the Kampanoi. The Kampanoi retained possession of Aitna until 339 B.C., when Timoleon took the city and put them to the sword. Under Rome, Aitna became a municipal town of considerable importance; its territory being one of the most fertile of all Sicily. The site of the city and time of its destruction are unknown today.
GB65648. Bronze trias, Calciati III, p. 148, 9a (same dies), SNG ANS 1160 - 1161 var. (pellets right); BMC Sicily p. 4, 2 var. (same), VF, nice green patina, weight 4.459 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 45o, Aitna mint, Roman rule, c. 210 - 208 B.C.; obverse radiate and draped bust of Apollo right; reverse AITNAIΩN, warrior standing facing, head right, spear vertical in right, shield in left; three pellets lower right; very rare; $100.00 (€89.00)




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Catalog current as of Wednesday, February 22, 2017.
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