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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, Dionysius I, 405 - 367 B.C.

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"The model for the head on the obverse is derived from the facing Arethusa by Kimon. Exemplars signed by the great master are known. This issue is usually attributed to Exakestidas with several exemplars signed E. However, stylistic evidence of many exemplars reveals such substantial differences the intervention of other engravers seems to be certain, while the discovery of traces of signature not completely legible but certainly not pointing to Exakestidas confirm the assumption." - Calciati p. 59
GB68426. Bronze tetras, Calciati II p. 59 ff., 29; SNG ANS 385; SNG Cop 679; SNG Munchen 1105; HGC 2 1432 (R1, Second Democracy, 415-405 B.C.); SNG Morcom -, VF, nice green patina, edge chips, weight 1.431 g, maximum diameter 13.5 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, c. 405 - 400 B.C.; obverse head of nymph facing slightly left, wearing necklace; reverse octopus; $85.00 (€72.25)


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; $80.00 (€68.00)


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; $80.00 (€68.00)


Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 455 B.C.

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Leontini was founded by colonists from Naxos in 729 B.C. Six miles inland, it is the only Greek settlement in Sicily not located on the coast, Originally held by the Sicels, the site was seized by the Greeks to gain control of the fertile plain to the north.
GS65784. Silver hemilitra, SNG Munchen 548; Boehringer Leontini B; cf. HGC 2 688 (R2, obol); SNG ANS 216 (obol, finer style); BMC Sicily p. 88, 22 (same); SNG Cop 342 (same), aVF, toned, crude style (perhaps a barbaric imitative), weight 0.280 g, maximum diameter 9.5 mm, die axis 0o, Leontini (or unofficial?) mint, c. 476 - 466 B.C.; obverse crude facing lion scalp, dot border; reverse LE/ON (retrograde), barley grain, within shallow round incuse; from the old stock of a retiring Ohio dealer acquired by Forum in 2012; very rare; $80.00 (€68.00)


Syracuse, Sicily, The Third Democracy, c. 334 - 317 B.C.

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Timoleon established a democracy in 345 B.C. and after defeating the Carthaginians in 339 B.C., he retired into private life without assuming any title or office. He went blind before his death. When important issues were discussed he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, which was usually accepted. After his death, the struggle for control of the city restarted, ending with the rise of another tyrant, Agathocles, who seized power with a coup in 317 B.C.
GB69928. Bronze litra, Calciati II p. 205, 85 Ds78 R17/1 (same rev die); SNG ANS 648; SNG Cop 736 ff. var. (various control symbols), VF, weight 4.508 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 334 - 317 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, laureate head of Apollo left, pileus (control symbol) right; reverse Pegasos with pointed wing flying to left, A (control symbol) below; $80.00 (€68.00)


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.
GB79577. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 83, 35; Boehringer pl. III, 30; SNG Munchen 1138; Favorito 13 (2nd Democracy, c. 413 BC); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; BMC Sicily -; HGC 2 -, F, glossy near black patina, weight 6.215 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 315o, Syracuse mint, c. 400 - 390 B.C.; obverse ΣYPA, head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet ornamented with a serpent; reverse bridled hippocamp left; ex Ancient Imports; rare with serpent; $80.00 (€68.00)


Syracuse, Sicily, The Third Democracy, c. 334 - 317 B.C.

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Timoleon established a democracy in 345 B.C. and after defeating the Carthaginians in 339 B.C., he retired into private life without assuming any title or office. He went blind before his death. When important issues were discussed he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, which was usually accepted. After his death, the struggle for control of the city restarted, ending with the rise of another tyrant, Agathocles, who seized power with a coup in 317 B.C.
GI79589. Bronze litra, Calciati II p. 199, 85; BMC Sicily p. 191, 331; SNG Cop 738; SNG ANS 646 - 647 (310 - 305 B.C.); HGC 2, 1486 (S, 310 - 305 B.C.), F, centered on a tight flan, flat centers, light corrosion, weight 5.191 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 334 - 317 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, laureate head of Apollo left; reverse Pegasos with pointed wing flying to left, ∆ below; $80.00 (€68.00)


Ziz (Panormos), Punic Sicily, c. 405 - 380 B.C.

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Some authorities have identified the male head on the obverse as Apollo. Indeed, on some examples the head does resemble other depictions of the youthful sun god, but on other examples the god is horned. On this coin the head seems to better resemble traditional depictions of Herakles or Baal. The type usually has the Punic ethnic above the bull. Sometimes it is below. Most likely it should be above on this coin but is merely unstruck.
GS66771. Silver obol, cf. Jenkins Punic (SNR 50) 14; BMC Sicily p. 249, 27; SNG ANS 551; SGCV I 889 (all w/ Punic ethnic "sys" above bull), aVF, weight 0.547 g, maximum diameter 9.14 mm, die axis 45o, Ziz (Palermo, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 405 - 380 B.C.; obverse male head left; reverse Man-faced bull advancing left, head turned facing; $75.00 (€63.75)


Syracuse, Sicily, Roman Rule, 212 - c. 189 B.C.

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A simulacrum is a sculpture of a person or a god, sometimes without detail forming only a vague semblance.
GI74374. Bronze AE 27, Calciati II p. 428, 230; SNG Cop 897; SNG ANS 1059; SNG Morcom 835, F/aF, well centered, small flan cracks, weight 14.806 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, 212 - c. 189 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse simulacrum in slow quadriga right, ΣYPAKO/ΣION divided in two lines, one above and one below; rare; $75.00 (€63.75)


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

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GB65627. Bronze AE 16, Calciati I, p. 312, 16; SNG ANS 744, F, weight 1.939 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 45o, Soloi mint, c. 300 - 254 B.C.; obverse short-bearded male (Herakles?) head right, wearing hoop earring; reverse free horse galloping right; rare; $70.00 (€59.50)




    



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Sunday, October 22, 2017.
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