Evans NC XVI

Evans, A.J. "Contributions to Sicilian Numismatics" in Numismatic Chronicle XVI, 1896., pp. 101 - 143.

Syracusan Medallions and Their Engravers in the Light of Recent Finds: With Observations on the Chronology and Historical Occasions of the Syracusan ... New Artists' Signatures on Sicilian Coins

Available online: https://archive.org/details/numismaticser3v16royauoft

(See Plates VIII. X.)


EARLY last year the small hoard of early silver coins of
Zankle and Naxos, to which the following notice refers,
was found by some workmen who were blasting the rock
for the new tram line on the Catania road near Messina.
As will be seen, the find is of special interest from the
fact that it supplies, for the first time from a Sicilian
mint, coins struck on the early Italiot model, with the
type repeated incuse on the reverse.


No. of Coins in Hoard.

1. Obv.
type, the dorsal fin alone of which is clearly
defined, contained within raised penannular
band, outside which is a row of pellets.

Eev. The same dolphin and band incuse . . 1

(Exceptionally large module, 1-05 in.)
Weight, 5 '12 grammes = 79 grains.

[Plate VIII. Fig. 1.]

2. Obv. DANKVE. Dolphin of plumper and more
advanced form with pronounced lower fin as
well as dorsal. It is contained as before in

1 See Num. Chron., Ser. iii. Vol. xiv. p. 189, for " Con-
tributions to Sicilian Numismatics I."



No. of Coin*
in Hoard.

a raised penannular band, but this has an
inner as well as outer row of pellets.

Jky. The same dolphin and band incuse . . 5
(Module somewhat smaller, -95 in.)

Weight, 2 5'68 grammes = 88 grains.

[Plate VIII. Fig. 2.]

3. Qbv. DAN ICV or DANK under smaller dolphin of
same type as last, enclosed in somewhat
broader band, with or without external
pellets, and with four rectangular protube-
rances at equal intervals on its upper surface.

Rev. Incuse key pattern with a square in the centre

containing a scallop-shell in relief . . 7

(These coins are of exceptionally small module, '8 in.)
B. M. Cat., Nos. 1 and 2.

Weight, 5-76 grammes = 89 grains.

[Plate VIII. Fig. 8.]

.4. Qbv. DANK Similar type, without the rectangular
protuberances on the band.

Eev. Similar 12

(Small module as the last, -8 in.)

B. M. Cat, No. 3.
Weight, 5'6 grammes = 85 grains.

5. Obv. DANKVE 3 Similar, but finer band within
border of dots between two linear circles.

Rev. Similar, but less incuse . . . .81

(These coins are of larger module than Nos. 3 and 4,
9 in.)

B. M. Cat., Nos. 47.
Weight, 5-68 grammes = 87 grains.

* The average weight of the well-preserved specimens is

* On some the legend has a more abbreviated form.


No. of Coins in Hoard.


6. Obv. Bearded head of Dionysos 1., with pointed

beard and long hair indicated by small dots,
crowned with ivy. In dotted border.

Rev. I/IOIXAl/J. Bunch of grapes between two

leaves 1

(Cf. B. M. Cat., No. 4.)

7. Obv. Same, but hair indicated by wavy lines.

Border of dots between two circles.

Rev. NAXION. Similar design ... 4

(As B. M. Cat., No. 8.)

From the evidence collected by me, it appears that
besides the coins that passed through my own hands,
there were in the present hoard about twenty -five other
coins of Naxos, similar to Nos. 6 and 7, for the most
part in very bad condition, and about a hundred more coins
of Zankle of the same general character as Nos. 3 5.
There were, however, according to my information, no
other early incuse types like Nos. 1 and 2.

The summary analysis of the hoard is therefore
approximately as follows :

Zankle. Early incuse . 6

Other types described above . 50

,, not personally examined c. 100


Naxos. Described above .... 5

Not personally examined c. . .25


Total ... 186

The coins of this hoard are all drachms on the -ZEgi-


netan standard. 4 The Naxian pieces, though found
together with those of Zankle, had proportionately
suffered more from oxidation than the others, and had
apparently been deposited in a more unfavourable posi-
tion as, for instance, near to the mouth of the pot con-
taining the hoard. Otherwise, in spite of their present
oxidised condition, many of them were, like a large number
of the later Zanklsean types, comparatively fresh from the
mint at the time when the hoard was withdrawn from

As to the date and occasion of the deposit, there are
strong reasons for bringing it into connexion with the
capture of Zankle, in 493 B.C., by the Samian and Milesian
refugees, at the instigation of Anaxilas of Rhegion. It
is now that the early coinage of Zankle comes to an end,
and is succeeded by that bearing Samian and Rhegine
types, and the name of the Messanians or Messenians. The
fact that some of the latest of the early types of Zankle
occurred absolutely fresh from the mint, is itself almost
sufficient to fix the date when this little hoard was hidden
away. Its discovery near Messina naturally connects it
with the historic catastrophe above referred to. On the
other hand, the evidence of the Naxian pieces fully squares
with this conclusion. It was about the same date that
Hippokrates of Gela had seized Naxos, and incorporated
it in his dominion. From the fact brought out by the
narrative of Herodotos that at the moment of its cap-
ture Zankle itself already stood in a state of subject alli-

4 During the latter part of this period, what seem to have
been litras five to the Attic drachm were struck both at
Zankle and Naxos. The weight of these coins averages from
10 to 11-5 grains (-65 to *75 grammes), so that about twenty
would go to three /Eginetan drachms.


ance with Hippokrates, it is probable that his annexation
of Naxos had somewhat preceded this event. He was
strong enough in Western Sicily, not only to enslave
the surviving Zanklaeans who fell into his hands, but to
impose his terms on the victorious Samians and Mile-
sians. 5

The early incuse pieces of Zankle Nos. 1 and 2 of the
above list (PL VIII. Figs. 1, 2), which represent an earlier
stage of the coinage than any yet known, may well go
back on this showing to the middle of the sixth century.
Between them and the latest issue of Zankle, struck during
the period immediately preceding 493 B.C., there intervene
the intermediate types illustrated by Nos. 3 and 4.

Coins of the simple incuse form shown on these two
earliest Zanklaean types, are hitherto unknown from any
Sicilian mint. The later didrachms of Zankle, which
combine an incuse pattern with a small central design in
relief, are also found at Naxos, Syracuse, Himera, and
Selinus. But the simple form in which the principal
type of the obverse is seen incuse on the reverse, is other-
wise confined to the cities of Southern Italy, where it
seems to indicate a distinct monetary convention, going
back to the early part of the sixth century B.C. The
present coins are not so broadly spread as the earliest of
the Italiot alliance pieces ; but then it must be remem-
bered that these were didrachms according to the Attic
standard, weighing about 120 grains (7'78 grammes),
while the Zankltean coins are ^Eginetan drachms, weigh-
ing at most 88 grains (5*68 grammes). Type No. 1,
which is distinct! y the earlier of the two, is, relatively to
its weight, as broadly spread as the early coins of Sybaris.

5 Herodot. vi. 22. Cf. Freeman, Sicily, ii. 112.


From the occurrence of these early incuse types, it
would appear that during the first period of its coinage,
Zankle, though still adhering to the ^Eginetic standard of
its Chalkidian founders, had separated itself from its kins-
men and from the usage of the Sicilian cities, by adopting
the peculiar form of coinage in vogue among the members
of the South Italian Monetary Convention. This adaptation
of type points to the close commercial connexion existing
between Zankle and the cities of the Ionian shore of Italy
in the middle of the sixth century B.C. The Sybarites no
doubt continued to profit by the land transport over their
isthmus, which took the wares of Miletos from the mouth
of the Krathis to the emporia of the Tyrrhene coast. But
to her less geographically favoured neighbours, and espe-
cially to her great rival Kroton, the maritime trade sent
through what are now the Straits of Messina was still of
first-rate importance, and a commercial agreement with
Zankle was a natural goal of policy. That, during the
latest period which preceded the seizure of Zankle by the
Samians and Milesians, an alliance existed between it
and Kroton appears from the following coin (already
known, from an example in the Naples Museum, and
another in Garrucci's collection), 6 and of which I am able
to exhibit a third specimen.

Obv. QPO. Tripod lebes, Kantharos to 1.

Rev. DA. Similar type; to r. thymiaterion.
Weight, 7*65 grammes (118 grains).

6 Garrucci, Le Monete delV Italia Antica, II. Tav. cix. 4,
p. 150, where it is rightly described as an alliance coin of
Kroton and Zankle. Incidentally we learn from this coin
that the incuse issues of Kroton had ceased by 493 B.C.


The latest coins of Zankle, described under No. 3
(PL VIII. Fig. 3), exhibit a curious peculiarity. The
carved band, representing the gayicXov, or sickle-shaped
bar of sand which formed the harbour and gave the name
to the city, 7 is divided by four rectangular protuberances,
which give the whole a horse-shoe-like appearance. These
protuberances obviously have some definite meaning.
They may perhaps be explained as four towers, and the
introduction of these on the coin would suggest that
the citizens of Zankle were divided into four tribes, each
with its own fortified quarter. The various traditions of
the foundation of Zankle show, in fact, four principal
elements, 8 the original Sikel inhabitants who gave it its
name ; the colonists from Cumae ; the later colonists from
Chalkis and other parts of Eubcea ; and finally, accord-
ing to the account preserved by Strabo, those from the
Sicilian Naxos.



Except during the period when Zankle, now become
Messana, was held down by the power of Anaxilas and
his sons, the recurrent tendency of its shifting policy was
to seek alliances against its former masters on the oppo-
site side of the straits. Its most natural associates

7 Thuc. vi. 4. Zay/cA.77 . . VTTO rtav SiKfAuiv KA^flficra art
SptTravoeiSes TO ^a>ptov rrfv i^iav iori' TO 3c SpeTravov ol 2iKeAoi
ay/cAov icaAovo-ij>. The coins show that the truer orthography
of the Sikel word is Say/
8 Compare Thuc., vi. 4, for the Sikel name (indicative of a
native ingredient) and the Cuman and Euboean colonists.
Strabo, vi. 2, makes Zankle a colony of the Sicilian Naxos
which at least suggests that there was a Naxian element.


against Rhegion were the Lokrians, the borderers of
the Rhegine dominions on the land side. The intimate
connexion at one time existing between Messana and
Lokri is well illustrated by an episode recorded by Thu-
cydides, when describing the return voyage from Sicily
of the Athenian ambassador Phseax, in 422 B.C. Phaeax,
on this occasion, fell in with a body of Lokrians who had
just been expelled from Messana. These had been invited
thither by one party during a civic feud, and Messana is
even spoken of by the historian as having for a time
passed into Lokrian hands. 9 In 425 B.C., three years
before the embassy of Phseax, we find that Messana, after
yielding for a moment to Athenian demands, had reverted
to her more natural position as the ally of Lokri and Syra-
cuse. 10 That a formal alliance existed between Messana
and Lokri at a considerably earlier date appears from the
following tetradrachm. 11

Obi\ Hare running r ; above its hind quarters, AO ',
beneath, ME*ANIO[N].

fiev. "Biga of mules walking r. Male charioteer holding
goad and reins. In ex. laurel leaf and berry.
[Plate VIII. Fig. 4-]

The style of this coin would lead us to refer it to the
second quarter of the fifth century B.C. The ^ and A of
the civic legend are features which characterize the Mes-
sanian coinage of the period immediately succeeding the

9 Thuc. v. 5., KOL cye'vero Mto-crr/vrj AoKpwv TWO. \povov. Cf.
Freeman, Sicily, vol. iii., pp. 72, 78, who takes the words
simply to imply that " the Lokrian element in Messana became
so strong that Messana practically followed the lead of Lokroi."

10 Thuc. iv. 1, 1.

11 Formerly in the Boyne Collection. Dr. Ettore Gabriel in-
forms me that another example exists in the collection of Dr.
J. P. Six, and another in that of Herr A. Lobbecke.


domination of Anaxilas, who introduced these Rhegine
coin-types at Messana about 480 B.C. That the tetra-
drachms with the legend ME^ANION had appeared
some time previous to the approximate date 450 B.C., is
shown by the evidence of the Villabate hoard buried about
that date, which contained a somewhat worn coin with this
epigraphy. 12 The present type cannot, however, be re-
garded as by any means the earliest of those which show
the ^ and A ; the form N instead of N is later, and the
coin may be referred to a date not many years anterior to
450 B.C.

It is a noteworthy fact that if, as there seems every
numismatic analogy for believing, the AO on the coin
stands for AOKPON, we have here the first monetary
reference to the Epizephyrian Locri. For some unex-
plained reason it was not till a century later that this
powerful city struck coins in its own name. It is possible,
as Dr. Head suggests, that the laws of Zaleukos, like those
of Lykurgos, may have forbidden the use of coined money. 13
In any case the absence of a native Lokrian coinage lends
additional interest to this Messanian alliance-piece.


The existence of a non-incuse coinage of Zankle has
been hitherto only known from the remarkable and unique
tetradrachm (PL VIII. Fig. 7), the obverse of which repre-
sents a standingfigure of Poseidon 14 hurling a thunderbolt. 15

* Num. Chron., 3rd Ser., 1894, p. 216.

13 Historia Numorum, p. 86.

14 See below, p. 113.

15 Num. Chron., 3rd Ser., iii. (1883), p. 168, PI. IX. 2.
Described by Baron L. de Hirsch from his collection.



This coin, from its advanced style, has caused many search-
ings of heart amongst numismatists and archaeologists. Dr.
Head justly remarks on it, that from the very advanced
style of the figure, he would have been inclined to attri-
bute it to about the middle of the fifth century, but that
" according to our historical data the name of Zankle was
no longer in use after the death of Anaxilas in B.C.
476." *

But the dilemma is more serious than this. There exists
a whole series of coins with the legend MESSENION
and MESSANION, and even ME^ANION, the fabric
of which is distinctly earlier than this tetradrachm with
the legend DANKVAION. That those with the Samian
types the lion's and calf's head were struck shortly
after the occupation of Zankle by the Samians and Mile-
sians in 493 B.C., there seems no good reason for doubt-
ing. It stands equally to reason that the almost contem-
porary tetradrachms with the Ehegine types of the hare
and the biga of mules, originated during the period of
subject alliance under Anaxilas, who does not seem to
have left the Samians long in the enjoyment of their con-
quest. Neither under the government of Anaxilas nor that
of his sons could Zankle have been restored, and the real
alternative presented to us is, either that the tetradrachm
in question was struck before 493 B.C., which is admittedly
impossible, or that it was struck after 461, when the
Messanians succeeded in throwing off the domination of
the Rhegine dynasty.

The absence of historic evidence of a temporary revival
of Zankle under its old name is of little account. Our
knowledge of the history of this and so many other Sici-

16 Op. cit., pp. 175, 176.


lian and Magna Grsecian cities is so fitful and frag-
mentary, that many most important events have remained
unchronicled. Even where the history professes to be of
a more continuous nature, the omissions are astounding.
Diodoros to take a single example in recounting the
history of Dionysios, does not so much as mention the
capture of Kroton, at that time one of the most flourish-
ing cities of Great Greece, or indeed, of the Hellenic
world. The restoration of Messana's important neighbour
Naxos, at about the same time as that of Katane, and of
her own liberation from the yoke of the house of Anaxilas,
is only known from coins, and it is to purely archaeolo-
gical and numismatic evidence, and not to what is a mere
mockery of the name of history, that we must turn for
the chronology of the late " Zanklaean " piece.

I am able to supply a small contribution to the evidence
before us in the shape of a litra, also struck in the name
of Zankle, but separated by a lacuna of style and fabric
from the earlier series.

Obv. Dolphhi 1. in border of dots.

Rev. DAN in border of dots.

Weight, -78 grammes (12 grains). [Plate VIII. Fig. 6.]

Comparing this with the older incuse litra shown on
PI. VIII. Fig. 5, the difference in character becomes
manifest. The flowing outline of the dolphin on the later
coin is widely separated from the stiff archaic curve on
the incuse piece. The system here adopted of engraving
on one side the civic badge, on the other the first letters
of the name, both enclosed in a dotted circle, shows a


close parallelism with some small silver pieces of Rhegion,
Messana, and Kaulonia. 17

The fact that the present coin is a litra, fitting in with
the Attic and Corinthian system as five to the drachm,
does not itself prove a late date. The incompatibility of
the ^Eginetan standard with the Sicilian method of
reckoning according to the litra or silver value of a pound
of bronze, had already obliged the Zanklseans, during the
later period at least of their incuse coinage, to strike silver
litras, such as that shown for comparison in PI. VIII.
Fig. 5. 18 But during the earliest period of the Messa-
nian coinage that which presents the Samian types of the
calf's and lion's heads a more rigorously ^Eginetan
system was adopted. Larger pieces, weighing about
17'50 grammes (c. 270 grains), were indeed struck, which
might pass either as ^Eginetan tridrachms or Attic tetra-
drachms, but with these were issued small pieces of 90
grammes (c. 14 grains), representing the JEginetan obol,
such as had been in use from the beginning of their coin-

17 Garrucci, Le Monete delV Italia Antica, II. PI., Tav. CXI.
28, p. 157 (after Avellino, Giorn. Num., ii. 24, Tav. I. 9). The
weight is not given, but the coin is apparently a litra.

18 Its weight is 0*70 grammes (c. 11 grains). The weight of
others are -. (B. M. Cat., p. 99, No. 7) 0'73 grammes (11-8
grains); Imhoof-Blumer Coll., 0'78 ; Hunter Coll., 0'76 (1 If
grains). Dr. Imhoof-Blumer (Monatsbericht der k. preuss. Akad.,
1881, p. 659, seqq.) appears to group these with the ^Kginetan
obols struck by the Chalkidian cities, Rhegion, Naxos, and
Himera, as also by Messana during its earliest period of
coinage. But the average weight of these obols is 0*90 grammes
= one-sixth of the JEginetan drachm. It further appears that
at Naxos, during the earliest period of the coinage, both
yEginetan obols and Sicilian litras were issued. We find two
classes of small coins, one weighing 1-]0 0'88 grammes, the
other 0-740-68.


age by the other Chalkidian cities, Rhegion, Naxos, and
Himera. 19

During the succeeding period when the mule-car and
hare appear as the civic types, the litra again reappears,
coupled with what we may by this time regard as a
tetradrachm. These pieces show on one side the hare in
a border of dots, on the other the retrograde inscription
S3 M' 20 But it is not till a somewhat later transitional
date that we find the nearest approach to our present
Zanklaean piece, on which the inscription appears as ME^,
no longer retrograde. 21

Let us now turn to the tetradrachm with the inscrip-
tion DANKVAION (PL VIII. Fig. 7). The style of this
coin, as Dr. Head has pointed out, brings us down to the
middle of the fifth century B.C. It might well indeed be
brought down somewhat later than that date. It seems
to me that some Magna-Graecian coin-types give a distinct
clue to its chronology.

The figure of the god on the obverse side presents a
remarkable combination of the attributes of Zeus and
Poseidon. 22 The chlamys falling from the shoulders, and
the general attitude, recall Poseidon, but the thunderbolt,
the usual attribute of Zeus, here takes the place of the
trident. There is, however, a convincing proof that, in
spite of this anomaly, the god here represented is no

19 See above, note 4, p. 104.

20 B. M. Cat., p. 101, Nos. 22, 23, 24.

11 Op. cit. p. 102, No. 35. Weight, 101 grains.

22 The type has been described by Baron de Hirsch (Num.
Chron., 1883, p. 168) as Zeus, following Dr. Imhoof-Blumer
(Monatsb. d. k. preuss. Akad., 1881, p. 667). Dr. Head (Num.
Chron., 1888, p. 175) accepted this interpretation, but in his
Hist. Num., p. 133, amends it to " Poseidon (or Zeus)."


other than the " Earth-shaker," as, indeed, we should
naturally expect in a coin-type of a city standing on
the brink of the watery gulf which Poseidon himself
had rent between it and the Italian mainland. 23 On
some bronze coins of Poseidonia, 24 struck towards the
close of the fifth century, Poseidon appears in pre-
cisely the same aspect as on the Zanklsean tetradrachm
brandishing a thunderbolt in the place of a trident. Add
to this fact that the rendering of the hair and beard on
both the late Poseidonian and the Zanklaean type assume
a naturalistic character which itself indicates a certain
approximation of date. We have here reached a decidedly
later style of artistic evolution than that represented,
for example, on the transitional heads of Dionysos that
appear on the coins of Naxos from about 461 B.C.

The same general resemblance is presented by the figure
of Apollo on the coins of Kaulonia, also belonging to the
second half of the fifth century. And in this case we are
enabled to carry the parallel still further. On the tetra-
drachm of Zankle there is seen in front of the god a
curiously-formed altar, with a kind of upper cushion or
entablature incurved at the sides, and adorned with
palmettes. This type of altar, otherwise unknown, recurs
in a very similar form except that palmettes are here

73 Hence the derivation of the opposite Bhegion
Se 'P^yiov . . . u>s ravrr] aTroppayfjvai. yap OLTTO rfjs rjireipov Trjv SixcAiai/ virb
v (Strabo vi. 1, 6).

24 In the B. M. Catalogue, NOB. 63, 64, Poseidon is
wrongly described as holding a trident. Garrucci, however
(Monete Italia, II. Tav. CXXI. 31, 32), rightly describes
the types (p. 178) : " Nettuno qual Giove fulrumante." The
identification with Poseidon is clear from the inscription,
PO^EIAA[N], and the dolphin opposite the figure.


seen rising from its upper corners in front of the tradi-
tional Apollo (whose pose is here less free than that of the
Zanklsean Poseidon on a didrachm of Kaulonia, PL VIII.
Fig. 8), 25 which comes somewhat late in the issues of
that city. The parallelism is here too complete to be the
result of accident, and here, too, we must therefore assume
some approximation of date. But the Kauloniate piece
presents certain points of agreement with features on the
coins of other Italiot cities which allow us to fix its date
within near limits. The bird, especially, with uplifted
wings, perched sideways on the fountain, seen upon the
reverse of this coin, bears a striking family likeness to
similar profile views of fluttering birds seen on early
coins of Thurii, struck about 430 B.C., 26 and on contem-
porary coins of Terina, upon which is also found the
parallel subject of a water-bird upon a basin. 27 The local
and somewhat old-fashioned traditions of Kauloniate mone-
tary art, make it probable that the didrachm in question
was not much, if at all, anterior to the Thurian and Teri-
naean pieces with these common features. Whether the
altar standing before the figure of Poseidon, on the tetra-
drachm of Zankle, suggested the introduction of a similar
feature before the figure of Apollo on the didrachm of
Kaulonia, or whether the converse was the case, it is
probable that both coins were more or less contemporary.
The occurrence of the D on the coin of Zankle might,
taken by itself, be thought to imply an earlier date. But

25 In my collection.

26 In both cases these features are frequently associated with
the work of the artist see below, pp. 139, 140.

27 Garrucci, Monete d Italia, II. Tav CXYII. 5. Nam. Chron.,
3rd Ser., vol. iii. (1888), PI. XI. 3.


as is shown by a coin with the inscription MESS AN I ON,
exhibiting D in the field, 28 this letter-form survived into
the Messanian period of the city, and on the occasion of
the revival of a coinage in the name of the Zanklaeans, the
old orthography may have been deliberately adhered to.
In any case this epigraphic detail cannot weigh against
the pronouncedly advanced style of the art on this coin,
and its curious approximation in an otherwise unique
feature of the design to a late Kauloniate type. The
tendency of this evidence is to bring down the date of
its issue, and probably also that of the litra above de-
scribed, certainly after 461, and probably to about 440
B.C. We may, therefore, infer that in this city of nicely
balanced factions and perpetual revolutions, a turn of the
wheel about that time gave the old Zanklsean element
once more for a moment the upper hand. So far as
historical records are concerned, Messanian history is a
blank from 461 B.C. to 427, the date of the first Athenian

That the old Zankleean element maintained to the last
its separate entity, whether as a powerful faction within
the walls of Messana, or as exiles outside its dominions, ap-
pears from a curious notice preserved by Strabo. Accord-
ing to the geographer, Tauromenion owed its foundation
to " the Zanklseans in Hybla." 29 This account can hardly
refer either to the first settlement by Himilkon of Sikels
on the height of Taurus in 397, or to the later plantation
there by Dionysios of a military colony of his chosen
mercenaries in 392. It more probably connects itself

* Num. Chron., 1894, p. 215.

29 Geogr. vi. 2, 3. Karar^ 8'e'art Naicoi/ KTICT/AU, Tavpo/JievLov

Tuv iv "V/3X/7 Zuy


with the re-foundation of Tauromenion by Andromachos,
about the middle of the fourth century B.C., who, together
with the Naxian refugees that he now settled there, 30 may
have added yet another Chalkidian element in the shape
of the Zanklaean exiles living in Hybla. 31 By this Hybla
we must in all probability understand the Geleatic Hybla
on the neighbouring heights of Etna. 32



The more minutely Sicilian and Magna-Grrsecian coins
are studied, the more evident it becomes that certain sym-
bols, as well as subsidiary variations of the types, bear
distinct, though allusive, reference to historic episodes.
To take a well-known instance from the earlier coinage of
Syracuse, the pistrix or sea-monster which appears in the
exergue of a whole group of transitional coins, in all pro-
bability owes its introduction as Dr. Head 33 long ago
pointed out to a desire to commemorate the sea-victory of

30 Diod. xvi. 7. Cf. Freeman, Sicily, iv., p. 287.

31 Holm (Gescliichte Siciliens, ii., pp. 437, 438) supposes
that the " Zanklasans in Hybla " had taken refuge there at the
time of Himilkon's capture of Messana. This seems the most
simple explanation.

32 Pais indeed (Storia della Sicilia e detta Magna Grecia,
vol. i., p. 592 seqq.} has a new combination, but, in this case,
hardly a happy one. He would see in Tauromenion the Tauros
near Megara Hyblsea, now Cape Xifonio, and would bring the
Zanklaeans from this more southern Hybla, which, according to
his theory, was occupied by them before the Megarian settle-
ment there.

33 Coinage of Syracuse, pp. 9, 10.



Hieron over the Etruscans off Cumse, in 474 B.C. The
appearance, at a somewhat earlier date, of a lion in the
same position on contemporary coins of Syracuse and
Leontini, has a no less undoubted reference to the great
victory of Gelon at Himera, and at the same time illus-
trates the position of subject alliance in which Leontini
stood. It may also be suggested that the appearance of a
Skylla, pursuing a fish in the exergual space of certain
Syracusan tetradrachms, signed by the artist Euth . . .
who, on these pieces, is found as a collaborator of
Eumenes and Phrygillos, 34 contains a direct allusion to the
naval success of the Syracusans and their allies over the
Athenians in 425 B.C. In each of two encounters fought
in the Straits opposite Peloris and Messana in the very
waters of the fabled monster the Athenians lost a ship. 35
Although the affair was itself a small one, this first suc-
cess of the Syracusans over the Athenians on their own
element may well have caused considerable elation. 36

Analogies such as the above, and especially the last
allusion to the Athenian naval operations of 425, throw a
suggestive light on the appearance, about this very time, of
two parallel groups of Syracusan and Messanian coins,
bearing in the exergue beneath the chariot in either case
the same maritime badge of two dolphins symmetrically
fronting each other with their heads downwards.

34 See Syr. Med., p. 60 seqq. It is there pointed out that the
head by Phrygillos in this collaboration represents his earliest
work, and, therefore, belongs (cf. op. cit., p. 72 and note) to the
period before the Athenian siege.

35 Thuc. iv. 25, 15.

36 Cf. Freeman, Sicily, iii., 41 : " The Syracusans, evidently
well pleased at their first brush with Athens on her own
element, went back to their quarters in the sheltered Messanian


The Syracusan coins on which this device appears are
the later works of Eumenes, 37 in one case associated with
an obverse by Sosion, 38 and the earliest of Evsenetos. 39
In particular, it is associated with the early masterpieces
of Evaenetos, on which Nike is seen bearing a suspended
tablet with that artist's name. The date of this coin, as I
have shown elsewhere, can be approximately referred by
a variety of numismatic evidence to about 425 B.C. 40

It is about the same date that the same double symbol
of the two dolphins makes its appearance on a group of
Messanian tetradrachms. This is shown by the fact that
in style and epigraphy 41 these coins are slightly earlier
than those struck at this city with the signature of the
engraver Kimon. But Kimon's Messanian work 42 itself
represents a somewhat earlier stage of his activity than
that illustrated by his famous Syracusan dies, executed
from 412 onwards.

The chronology thus arrived at for both the Messanian
and Syracusan group of coins with the double dolphin

37 With the signature EY on the obverse and reverse. In my
own collection.

38 B.M. Cat., p. 167, No. 154.

39 B. M. Cat., p. 166, Nos. 148150, associated with
obverse heads signed EYMEWOY, and p. 170, Nos. 166, 167

40 Syracusan Medallions, pp. 58, 59, 85.

41 On these coins the inscription is still ME^^ANION
(sometimes reversed). On the Messanian coin with Kimon's
authenticated signature it is already ME^ANIflN. On
the other piece exhibiting the head of Pelorias, and doubtfully
attributed by me to this artist, we find a mixed usage. See
Some New Artists' Signatures on Sicilian Coins, Num. Chron.,
1890, p. 299.

42 Syracusan Medallions, p. 77, and pp. 187, 188 (Some New
Artists' Signatures on Sicilian Coins).


badge, agrees in an extraordinary way with the historic
record of the alliance at this time concluded between the
two cities. As already stated, 43 the most characteristic
of the Syracusan tetradrachms with these symbols the
earliest signed work, namely, of the monetary artist
Evsenetos has been already referred, on altogether in-
dependent grounds, to the approximate date 425 B.C. But
it was in this very year that Messana, which had for a
time yielded to Athenian direction, revolted from Athens,
and entered into alliance with Syracuse and Lokri. The
great importance at that time attached by the Syracusans
to the Messanian alliance is clearly brought out by Thucy-
dides. They fully appreciated the fact that Messana was the
key of Sicily, and that its possession by the invaders opened
an avenue of attack upon their own territories on a
greater scale than would otherwise be feasible. 44 The
first-fruits of the new symmachia was the naval success in
the Straits, of which record has been sought above in the
exergual design of Skylla pursuing a fish upon a Syra-
cusan coin-type which must be regarded as the contem-
porary of those with which we are dealing. In the simul-
taneous appearance of the double dolphin badge on the
coins of Syracuse and Messana, struck from about 425
B.C., we may venture to see an allusion to the maritime
alliance now concluded between the two cities. The dol-
phin itself had formed the central feature of the earliest
types of Zankle, and as a subsidiary element of the design,
it had also symbolized the sea-girt might of Syracuse

43 See above, p. 119.

14 Thuc. iv. 1, 1 : 6t SupaKoo-iot opaWes Trpocr/SoAj/j/ fyov TO
^wptov Tfjc StKeAi'as, xal (ftofiovfjifvoi: TOVS 'A.Oir)V(iiovs fjir} fi~ avrov
6p/iu>/A/ot TTore a-^iVt fjifi^ovL 7rapcurKv7 tTriXOww. Cf. Freeman,
Sicily, iv., pp. 39, 40.


herself upon her coinage. The alliance between the two
cities could hardly be recorded in a more speaking man-
ner than by the heraldic conjunction of the two dolphins,
as seen on these two parallel groups of coins. The active
alliance between Messana and Syracuse seems to have
been confined to the years 425 424 ; but in a more dor-
mant form it may well have survived the conclusion of
peace with Athens in the latter year, and even the tem-
porary union of Messana and Lokri. The alliance symbol
on the coinage may thus have gone on for some years,
just as the earlier historic badge on the Syracusan coins
commemorating Hieron's sea-victory off Cumae seems to
have survived awhile the fall of the Deinomenid dynasty.
At the time of the great Athenian expedition of 415 B.C.,
there would, however, have been pressing reasons for
omitting such an outward token of community with Syra-
cuse, as being inconsistent with the attitude of severe
neutrality at that time taken up by Messana. It seems
probable, for these reasons, that the issue of the types with
the double dolphin badge at Messana was confined to the
period 425 415 B.C.

The Messanian types on which the confronted dolphins
appear as the exergual badge beneath the mule-chariot
exhibit below the hare, on the other side of the coin, the
following symbols :

A dolphin r. 45

A dolphin, with waves below. 46

A sea-horse I. 47

45 B. M. Cat., p. 103, Nos. 86, 3943; p. 104, No. 48;
Cat. del Mus. di Napoli, Nos. 4577, 458082.

46 B. M. Cat., 105, No. 55. The obverse of this coin is from
a later die (see below).

47 B. M. Cat., p. 104, No. 52; Cat. del Mus. di Nap.,
Nos. 458586.


The head of Pan, bare, and a Syrinx. 48

The head of Pan, in a somewhat more advanced style,

diademed. 49

Bird with expanded wings ; below, ear of barley. 50
Three ears of corn on a stem. 51
Locust feeding on bunch of grapes and leaf. 53
Cockle-shell. 53

To these must be added the interesting type represent-
ing on the obverse the seated Pan caressing a hare. 54

The obverse inscription is ME CAMION or, retrograde,
NO\N A3M ; in one case only, the reverse showing the
biga of mules and the double dolphin badge, is associated
with a later obverse die, in which the inscription appears
as ME^ANIHN. 55 Some of the reverse types bear the
legend ME^ANA or AW A^3M. 56

To the above types of this group may be now added
the following coin, which is of exceptional interest, both
as bearing a new artist's signature and as exhibiting a
hitherto unrecorded form of civic epigraphy :

48 B. M. Cat., p. 104, No. 50.

49 Ib., p. 104, No. 49.

60 Ib., p. 104, No. 46. Cat. del Mus. di Nap., Nos.
4589 90. The bird is described as an eagle, but is probably
a dove. See below, p. 124.

51 Cat. del Mus. di Nap., No. 4587.

12 B. M. Cat., p. 104, No. 45. In the Cat. del Museo di
Napoli, under No. 4584, mention is made of a " locusta

53 Imhoof-Blumer, Monnaies Grecques, p. 22, No. 38 (Vienna

i4 Imhoof-Blumer, op. cit., PI. B. 5, pp. 21, 22. The reverse
of this is from the same die as the last-mentioned piece, with
cockle-shell symbol beneath the hare.

65 B. M. Cat., p. 105, No. 55.

* Ib.


Obv. ME^ANIO^. Hare running 1. ; beneath, ear
of barley with leaves 1. ; in field above, a flying
dove seen sideways, and immediately in front of
it, in minute letters, AN AN.

Rev. Biga of mules driven by female charioteer (Mes-
sana) draped in long chiton, and holding goad
and reins. In exergue, two dolphins confronted,
with their heads downwards [PI. VIII. Fig. 9.]

The inscription ME^ANIO^, of which this is the
only example on a Messanian coin, belongs to a class very
characteristic of the coins of Late Transitional and imme-
diately succeeding styles at Syracuse, Katane, Leontini,
Selinus, and other cities like Rhegion and Taras on the
Italian side of the Straits. Whether such words as rerpa-
^pa^jjL09 or A?y/>to9 should in this and similar cases be
understood remains an open question, but I have else-
where ventured to suggest 57 that this epigraphic fashion
owed its prevalence to a certain confusion due to the inci-
pient adoption by other cities of the Ionic letter forms II
and H. During the early stage of this innovation, as
shown by several examples, no general rule had been
adopted as to the signification of the new forms, and fl
was consequently often used to represent Omicron and H
as Epsilon. In civic names, the judicious use of the sin-
gular adjective form avoided a decision on what was still
a moot point of spelling. In the present instance this
transitional usage fits in well with the period assigned to
the group of coins to which the above type belongs.

The bird above the hare is clearly a dove, 58 resembling

57 Syracusan Medallions, pp. 59, 60.

58 It is rightly described as a dove in the catalogue of the
Boyne collection (No. 119), from which the present piece passed
into my hands.


some on the coins of Sikyon ; the beak, wings, tail, and
general softness of outline entirely preclude its identification
with any form of eagle. It becomes probable, therefore,
that the bird seen flying with expanded wings on a closely
allied Messanian type is also intended to represent a dove,
though it has been described as an eagle. 59

There can, I think, be little doubt that the minute sig-
nature in front of the dove reads AN AN, 60 and the name,
when complete, may therefore be identical with that of
the sixth-century Iambic poet Ananios. The name is new
among the engravers of Sicilian dies.


No numismatic record of the Sicilian Megara belong-
ing to the autonomous Greek periods of its intermittent
history has been hitherto known, though a small bronze
trias exists of the period that succeeded the Roman Con-
quest in 210 B.C. Of its stronghold Stiela, a few rare
silver pieces exist of the last half of the fifth century.
But the older Megara itself did not survive into coin-
striking times. It would be wrong, perhaps, to infer from
this that the original city, founded as early as 728 B.C., in
the neighbourhood of the midmost of the Sikel Hyblas,

69 B. M. Cat., p. 104, No. 46. " ME^ANION. Hare
running 1. ; beneath, ear of barley 1. with leaves ; above, eagle
flying 1." Catalogo del Museo Xazionale di Napoli, No.
458990. "MEiS^ANIflN lepre corrente a sin.; sopra
aquila con ali aperti, sotto spiga." The inscription on examples
known to me is ME^ANION.

* The author of the Boyne Catalogue read it ANAA, but
there is certainly a final up-stroke to the last letter.


had not enjoyed a flourishing period of existence. Its
great colony of Selinus, sent out a century later, would
alone disprove this. The fine remains of its walls, stretch-
ing along the edge of the plateau between its two streams,
and the rich store of black figured vases from its tombs,
recently explored by Professor Orsi, 61 show that the Hyb-
kean Megara had attained a very considerable place
among the Sicilian cities before the time of its overthrow
by its Syracusan neighbours. It does not appear that
even Hippokrates of Grela, who extended his dominions to
the Straits, was ever able to subdue this city.

But the " fat " nobles of Megara, as Herodotos 62 calls
them coupling them thus with the Hippobotae of Chalkis
ventured to provoke a more redoubtable enemy. In
483 B.C., Gelon of Syracuse stormed the Megarian strong-
hold of Stiela, and having forced the city to surrender,
sold the commons as slaves out of Sicily, and transplanted
the aristocracy to Syracuse, where he incorporated them
in the body of citizens. Megara was thus deserted, and
the early date of this catastrophe itself goes far to explain
the absence of coins. The coinage of more than one im-
portant Sicilian city begins only slightly earlier or even
later than this date. Had Leontini and Katane been
overthrown at the same time, no coins of those great
cities would have been known. 63

Even as it befell, its stronghold, Stiela, had by the mid-
dle of the fifth century recovered suflicient importance to

61 Megara Hyblaa, Storia topogrqfia necropoli e anathemati,
per Fr. Sav. Cavallari e Paolo Orsi, Roina, 1892.

62 vii. 156 : TOVS 7raxW Cf. v. 77.

63 The earliest coins of Leontini bear reverse types similar to
those of the Syracusan " Damareteia " struck in 479. (See Num.
Chron., 1894, p. 214.) No Katanroan coins seem quite so early.



strike coins in its own name. These are apparently litraa
bearing on the obverse the legend ^TIEVAWAIO[W], and
the forepart a man -headed bull the river Alabon
while the reverse shows a youthful River-God holding a
slender tree in his hand perhaps a willow and offering
a libation at an altar, in much the same way as the Seli-
nus on the coins of the daughter- city. 64 A little later
appear drachms and hemidrachms, 65 with the head of the
young River-God and a branch in front, and on the re-
verse the forepart of a man-headed bull, here represented
walking (Plate IX. Fig. 1).

Although thus during the last half of the fifth century
Stiela stood forth as a local representative of the Hyblsean
Megara, Megara itself remained deserted. It was in-
deed on the very ground of its being unoccupied, that at
the time of the Athenian expedition Lamachos proposed
Megara as a station for the fleet and a base of operations
against Syracuse. 66 This action was anticipated, however,
by the Syracusans, who in 415 B.C., themselves sent a gar-
rison to Megara, 67 and it is to this event that the partial

64 Avellino, Opuscoli Dirersi, iii., p. 157 segq., Tav. VII. 12.
The weight is not given, but from the module it maybe inferred
that the coin was a litra. The river-god sacrificing with the
tree in his hand may be compared with a similar type on a
slightly later litra of Leontini. The sacred trees of Sicilian
River-Gods would be naturally such as grow on the banks of
rivers. After the final victory of the Syracusans over the
Athenians at the Assinaros, the trophies of the conquerors were
suspended on the tallest trees by the river, in whose name the
memorial games were forthwith instituted. Plut. Nikias,
cxxvii. 8.

65 B. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 144.

i6 Thuc. vi. 49. vavarraOpov . . . Meyapa 077 \prjvai iroieiaOat,
a r) Joi7/xa.

67 Thuc. vi. 75. In c. 94 of the same book, Thucydides
speaks of the Athenians landing at or near Megara and attack-


restoration of Megara as a centre of civic life may por-
bably be traced. Towards the end of the fourth century
it is spoken of as a TTO'\I?. In 309 B.C., at a time when
Syracuse was besieged by the Carthaginians, the Syra-
cusan triremes, which had eluded the blockade in order to
convoy some corn ships for the relief of the city, were
attacked by the enemies' cruisers off Megara, and forced to
make for the shore at a spot where stood a temple of Hera.
The Carthaginians succeeded in dragging off and captur-
ing ten triremes, but the others, says Diodoros, were saved
by the arrival of " reinforcements from the city," which
can here only mean the neighbouring Megara. 68

It is probable that the small silver piece procured by me
at Syracuse belongs to the period between the erection of a
fortified post at Megara by the Syracusans in 415 B.C., and
the first historic reference to it as once more a city in 309.

Obv. Female head to r., from the back of which what
may be either interpreted as a veil or as some-
what shaggy hair, falls down behind the neck.
In front of the head is a small female figure, nude,
and raising the left fore-arm.

Rev. MEFA. Bull with a bearded, human face, stand-
ing r. ; the face turned towards the spectator.

Weight, 0*66 grammes (10*4 grains).

[PI. IX. Fig. 2.]

Owing to its condition the coin is below normal weight,
and should therefore be regarded as a litra. The small
denomination of this silver piece must itself be regarded

ing a certain Syracusan stronghold (Ipv/xa n TW
probably a refortified part of Megara itself. Cf. Schubring,
Umwanderung des Megarischen Meerbusens, p. 456.
68 Diod. xx. 32. Cf. Schubring, op. cit. p. 457; Orsi, Megara
, p. 15, and my own note in Freeman, Sicili/, iii. p. -31).


as d priori evidence of a comparatively early date. As
a general rule litras and obols of silver were given up
by the Sicilian cities at the end of the fifth and the
beginning of the fourth century B.C., in favour of bronze
coins, some of which have now an appreciable weight.
There are, indeed, exceptions to this rule, such as the
silver litras of Hieron II. 's time, and some more or less
contemporary pieces of Tauromenion. But the style of
these would alone proclaim their late date.

In the present case, although the Megarean piece is
unquestionably later than those struck in the name of
Stiela, it does not appear to be later than the first half of
the fourth century. The attitude of the bull, except that
the head is facing, recalls that of some of the latest coins
of the third Sybaris. 69 It is probable that the bull
here, as on the earlier coins of Stiela, refers to the river
Alabon, now the Cantera. The female head on the ob-
verse doubtless represents a local divinity, but the blurred
condition of the design prevents us from arriving at any
certain conclusion. The trias of the Roman period
throws no light on this earlier coinage. It presents a head
of Pallas, and on the reverse a bee, 70 referring to the cele-
brated honey from the neighbouring slopes of Hybla.


A remarkable alliance-piece of Leontini and Katane, to
be described below, affords a fresh illustration of the close
bonds that knit together these two Chalkidian cities, and,
at the same time, a new fixed point for the chronology

69 Garrucci, Le Monete delV Italia Antica, II. Tav. CVIII. 24.

70 B. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 96; Head, Hist. Num., p. 182.


both of the Sicilian and Magna-Graecian coin- types. Al-
ready in the adoption by both cities of the laureate head
of Apollo for the obverse type of their tetradrachms,
which became a fixed rule early in the second half of the
fifth century, 71 we may trace a monetary convention,
whether formal or complimentary, between the two cities.
The resemblance in many cases extends to style, and we
are justified in believing that the same engraver was not
unfrequently employed by both mints. An illustration
of this may be seen in the two coins reproduced on PI.
IX. Figs. 3 and 4. The Katansean piece is perhaps slightly
the earlier, but both agree in their characteristic expres-
sion of the god's face, which on these and other examples
is curiously suggestive of some Italian Renaissance heads
of the late Quattrocento or early Cinquecento. The Leon-
tine coin, with its naturalistic vine-spray, has good claims
to be regarded as representing the last tetradrachm issue
of that city, and belongs to the days of the fatal war with
Syracuse, which induced Leontini to call in Athenian
help. Besides the favourable hearing which the orator
Gorgias succeeded: in obtaining from the great Ionian
city, and which resulted in the first Athenian expedition
to Sicily of 427 B.C., the Leontines had the assistance of
the other Chalkidian cities, of Ehegion beyond the Straits,
in Sicily itself, of Katane and Naxos. In this connexion
it is a noteworthy fact that the vine symbol behind
Apollo's head on the Leontine coin, which has nothing to do
with that god, is an almost exact reproduction of the vine
that appears beside the squatting Seilemos on the contem-

71 In the Villabate hoard, deposited about 450 B.C., the
Apollo's head type is conspicuous by its absence (see Num.
Chron., Ser. iii., vol. xiv., p. 215).


porary coins of Naxos. This late tetradrachm of Leon-
tini, which thus in every way speaks of the Chalkidian
alliance, cannot have been issued later than 423 B.C. In
that year, as a consequence of internal dissensions, Leontini
was merged in Syracuse, and though a part of its trans-
planted citizens subsequently established themselves for a
while in an outlying stronghold, the coinage of the Leon-
tines now shows a considerable break.

At Katane the Apollo type, though it henceforth alter-
nates with the head of the young River-God Amenanos,
shows a continuous evolution, and the cessation of the
parallel Leontine coinage enables us to refer these later
Kntanaean coins to the period which intervened between
the Syracusan absorption of Leontini in 423 and 402 B.C.
the date of the overthrow of Katane itself at the hands
of Dionysios. Among the earliest of these Katanaean
types may be reckoned the tetradrachm now for the first
time reproduced in PL IX. Fig. 5 : 72

Obv. KATANAION. Head of Apollo laureate 1., to
r. laurel leaf and berry. The head is on a larger
scale than that of any other coins of this class.

Rev. Walking quadriga r., driven by male charioteer.
Above, winged Nike flying r., and holding out
wreath to crown horse's head. In exergue,
winged thunderbolt.

The form of the thunderbolt symbol on the reverse of
this coin, with its expanded wings, shows a close corre-
spondence with that on a small bronze trios of Katane,
bearing on its obverse the young head of the River- God

72 The symbol on the reverse is given by Salinas, Le Monete
delh Antiche Citta di Sirilia, Tav. XIX. 4, but the tetradrachm
with which it is there connected is of a very different style.


Amenanos, 73 and which may be referred to the same
approximate date as the tetradrachms.

In beauty and delicacy of workmanship the youthful
head on this coin may be considered to surpass every
other product of the Katansean mint, not excepting the
famous tetradrachm with the Delphic fillet, bearing the
signature of Evsenetos, and struck about the date of the
Athenian siege of Syracuse. 74 The somewhat earlier
drachms by the same artist with the head of Amenanos,
and certain tetradrachms, some with the laureate head of
Apollo, 75 in a style closely approaching that now figured,
others with the bare or diademed head of the youthful.
River -God, 76 serve at Katane to bridge over the period
between the fall of Leontini and the triumph of Syracuse
over the Athenians. Next follow the still more advanced
facing heads of the Apollo by Herakleidas and Choirion,
which have been rightly referred to the years immediately
preceding the capture of the city by Dionysios.

The alliance coin a hemidrachm to which attention
is now called, belongs to this later period. In style the
laureate head of Apollo on its obverse shows a distinct
advance on the latest tetradrachms of Leontini. The
letter forms are also more advanced and 1 replaces O. It
represents a new coinage after a considerable break.

73 On the above example, found at Catania, the three pellets
on the reverse which indicate its value, are clearly visible. The
type is referred to in the B. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 50, No. 51, 52,
without this indication.

74 See my Syracusan Medallions, p. 88 (Num. Chron., 1891,
p. 292).

75 Salinas, Monete di Sicilia, Tav. XIX. 2, 9, 15 ; B. M. Cat.,
Sicily, p. 44 seqq., Nos. 24, 25, 30.

76 Imhoof-Blumer, Monnaies Grecques, p. 16, PL A. 17, 18;
Salinas, Monete di Sicilia, Tav. IX. 13, 14 ; B. M. Cat. Sicily,
pp. 45, 46, Nos. 2729.


The following is a description of this interesting coin,
which was bought by me at the Ashburnham sale.

Obv. AE ON. Laureate head of Apollo 1., the wreath
so arranged that the two ends meet, Dot above
the centre of forehead, but above the right corner
of the eye. In front, laurel-leaf and berry.

Eev. KATANAIHN. Butting bull to r. ; (the river
Symsethos) ; in exergue, fish.

Weight, 1'94 grammes (30 grains).

[PI. IX. Fig. 7, and PI. X., enlarged.]

A hemidrachm of the same type had already been ob-
tained by me some years since at Catania, but owing to
the bad condition of the obverse side, I had been unable to
read the legend, and had set it down as a new variety of
Katanaean coin. Its weight is T60 grammes, or about
25 grains.

The great importance of this alliance-piece is, that the
historical conditions allow us to fix its date within very
narrow chronological limits. Style and epigraphy forbid
us to refer it to the earlier period of active alliance
between Leontini and Katane, dating from the time
of the first Athenian expedition of 427 B.C., and the
immediately succeeding years. In 423 B.C. Leontini, as
already observed, was merged in Syracuse, and her coin-
age breaks off. But in 405 B.C., the policy of the victo-
rious Carthaginians restored and guaranteed the inde-
pendence of Leontini by the treaty of Gela, thus setting a
limit to the dominion of Dionysios on this side. Since
the sister Chalkidian foundations, Katane and Naxos, were
not included in the terms of peace, and Dionysios might
naturally profit by this circumstance to pay off, as he
shortly did, old scores ; it was obviously to their advan-
tage to enter into a close alliance with the resuscitated


Leontines, whose numbers were swollen by the refugees
from Gela and Kamarina, and who now enjoyed Cartha-
ginian protection. When, in 404 B.C., Dionysios broke his
treaty with Carthage, this need became imperative on
both sides. The operations of the Syracusan tyrant were
delayed awhile by the revolt of his own troops, but in
402 B.C., having settled his domestic difficulties, he attacked
and overthrew the three Chalkidian cities 77 that stood in
the way of his westward expansion. Naxos was be-
trayed and destroyed, Katane given over to Campanian
mercenaries, and the Leontines transplanted to Syracuse.

The alliance between Leontini and Katane, recorded by
the present coin, must certainly have been concluded in
404 B.C., and it is to that date that we may with confi-
dence refer the hemidrachm. For a later alliance between
the two Chalkidian cities history leaves no room.

From the style of the coin, and especially the approxi-
mation of the bull to that on the reverse of a contemporary
litra of Katane 78 (PI. IX. Fig. 6), we may infer that the
alliance-piece was executed by an engraver of that city.
The break in the civic history of Leontini, extending from
423 to 450 B.C., had necessarily interrupted its monetary
traditions. But at Katane the engraver's art had con-
tinuously flourished, and we find at this time three skilful

77 Diod. XIV. 14. AtoviVtos 6 rwv ^vpaKoa-twv rvpai/vos eTretS)) rrjv
Trpos Kap^Sovtous tipyvrjv eTrot^craro TOJV Se Kara Trjv TroXiv crrd-
ayayevOai, avrai & r)(rav Naos, Karai/^, A.ZOVTLVOI. As Mr. Free-
man observes (Sicily, vol. iii. p. 29, note 1), Dionysios does
not notice " the wholly different position in which Leontini
stood to the other two."

78 P>. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 50, No. 49. " Obv. Head of Nymph
1., wearing sphendone ; border of dots. Eev. KATAN AlflN.
Bull butting r. ; in ex., crayfish r."



artists, Herakleidas, Prokles, and Choirion engaged upon
its dies.

Small as the present piece is, it must be regarded as a
masterpiece of the engraver's skill, and may compare
with the finest contemporary productions of the Katansean
mint. The work is of gemlike fineness, and the minute
fidelity of the execution can best be realised by the pho-
totype on PI. X., which is enlarged to five diameters.

To which of the above engravers can it with the
greatest probability be ascribed ?

The balance of evidence inclines strongly in favour of
Herakleidas. It is true that the profile rendering of the
head of Apollo on the present hemidrachm makes it
difficult to institute an exact comparison with the facing
heads of the same god that appear on the more advanced
tetradrachms by Herakleidas. 79 But the general richness
of detail in the head of Apollo, and the waving curls ob-
servable above his forehead and in front of his ears, are
quite in keeping with that engraver's style. There is,
however, one small artifice of arrangement about the
wreath which betrays a more special kind of conformity.
It has been noticed in the above description of the coin,
that the two ends of the bay-wreath are not represented
in the usual manner as meeting above the centre of the
forehead, but one end is brought round so that the meet-
ing-point is above the outer corner of the left eye. This

79 Weil, Die Kunstlerinschriften der Sicilischen Miinzen, Taf.
III. 1 ; Salinas, Le Monete della Antiche cittd di Sicilia, Tav.
XIX. 17, 20 ; B. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 47, Nos. 32, 33. Imhoof-
Blumer (Monnaie* Grecques, pp. 16, 17, PI. A, Nos. 17, 18) has
also rightly ascribed to this engraver the tetradrachms present-
ing the head of the youthful River-God Ainenanos, some of
which are signed H on the exergue of the reverse.


picturesque and singular method of disposing the wreath
recurs again on the facing heads of Herakleidas' tetra-
drachms in contradistinction to the evenly -balanced sprays
of the fellow-designs by Choirion, and it is otherwise
unknown on the Katanasan dies.

Equally peculiar to our hemidrachm on the one hand,
and to the tetradrachms of Herakleidas on the other, is
the appearance of a fish in the exergual space of the
reverse. The same river-fish had already appeared at an
earlier period of the Katanaean coinage, and the man-
headed bull is later seen in connexion with the head of
Amenanos. In the present case, however, as in that of
the earlier series with the bearded bull, the personified
River- God cannot be intended to portray the little local
brook of Katane, so fitly represented by the boyish heads
on the coins. Apart from the total inappropriateness of
such a design as a bearded or butting bull to indicate the
infant trickle of Amenanos, the type on the reverse of this
alliance-coin must naturally be taken to apply, like the head
of Apollo on the obverse, to the cult of both cities. It
can only refer to the river Symsethos, the boundary stream
which divided the territories of Katane and Leontini. 80
It watered that richest of Sicilian plains, formerly known
as the Campus Leontinus, now the Campo di Catania.


The appearance on the above alliance- coin of Leontini
and Katane, struck in 404 B.C., of the scheme of the

80 Thuc. vi. 65.


butting-bull, with its head three-quarters facing the spec-
tator, affords a new landmark for the history of numis-
matic art. At Katane itself the same design of the River-
God, with a cray-fish in the exergue, recurs on the
contemporary litra, which exhibits on its obverse
type the head of a Nymph, coifed in a sphendone 81 (PL
IX. Fig. 6). On the other hand, where the tauriform
River- God appears on the latest coins of the other Sicilian
cities, struck before the great Carthaginian invasions of
409 and 405 B.C., we still find a profile representation.
On the most advanced of the tetradrachm types of Seli-
nus, that, namely, exhibiting the galloping quadriga, 82
struck shortly before 409 B.C., although the bull which
indicates the River-God no longer stands stiffly on his base
as upon the earlier coins of this city, and has lowered his
head nearly to the ground for butting, he is still seen
entirely in profile. On the latest bronze triantes of Gela,
the side view of the bull does not even show so much
advancement, the head being only slightly inclined. It is
only on the latter coins, such as the fourth- century bronze
pieces of Adranum, 83 Tauromenion, 84 and Syracuse, 85 that
the fully-developed scheme of the butting-bull the head
in this case wholly fronting the spectator reappears in
what had now become the stereotyped form such as it was
to descend to Augustus.

It will be seen that in Sicily this type of the /3oy9

81 B. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 50, No. 49. Weight, 11-8 grains.

82 B. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 142, No. 44.

83 Salinas, Monete di Sicilia, Tav. II. 9, 11 ; B. M. Cat., Sicily,
p. 8, No. 8. The forepart of the butting bull is also seen at
Abacaenum. Salinas, op. cit., Tav. II. 3.

84 Head, Coinage of Syracuse, PI. VII. A, 4.
88 Head, op. cit. t PI. VIII. 912.


Govpio? first seen on this alliance-piece of Leontini and
Katane" and the Kataneean litra, breaks in as a novelty,
and its antecedent stages are imperfectly represented. To
find these we must turn to the Italian side. On the pro-
lific coinage of Thurii, we -can not only trace the gradual
evolution of the present scheme, but may discover the
source from which, at the close of the fifth century B.C.,
the type was transferred to the mint of Katane and Leon-
tini. At the same time the exact chronological data
afforded by the alliance-piece before us will be found
conversely to supply a new fixed point for the dating of
the Thurian series.

Amongst the earliest didrachms of Thurii are certain
coins with an archaizing head of Athene a reminiscence of
Athenian monetary tradition and with A, probably the
same as the somewhat later AIBY^ between the animal's
forelegs. Upon these earliest types, struck from about
440 B.C., the bull is still seen in profile as if walking, and
with his head only slightly bowed, while the tail hangs down
behind (PI. IX. Figs. 8, 9). In the next stage the bull's
tail is whisked up over the back, the right foot is raised,
and the head, though still in profile, is further lowered, so
that the nose almost touches the knee of the left leg, which
supports the whole weight of the fore part of the animal
(PL IX. Fig. 10). By a further development of the scheme
thus arrived at, the bull's head is now turned three-quarter
round towards the spectator (PL IX. Fig. 11). It is this
type, attained at Thurii by slow gradations, every one of
which can be traced on her coinage, that is reproduced
on the alliance-coin of the two Challddian cities, except
that in this case the tail of the animal still hangs down.
The conformity is carried a step further by the appear-
ance in both cases of a fish in the exergue.


Assuming then that this Katansean and Leontine type
of the River- God was derived from the abundant models
supplied by the Thurian mint, it becomes evident that the
stage of evolution presented by the butting-bull on this
alliance-piece had been reached at the Italian city during
the years immediately preceding 404 B.C., the date of its
issue. In corroboration of this may be cited the appear-
ance of the butting-bull with the three-quarter facing
head on the latest coins of Poseidonia, struck about 400
B.C. At a somewhat later date we find the process of evolu-
tion worked out a step further on the Thurian dies, the
bull's head being represented in full face (PI. IX. Fig. 12).

The chronological conclusions arrived at by these com-
parisons have an interesting bearing on the date of more
than one Thurian engraver. The coins signed I^TOPO^
belong to the immediately preceding stage, in which the
bull's foreleg is raised and the head somewhat lowered,
though the whole is seen entirely from the side. Those
with the signature NIKANAPO^ and <1>PY, represent
the more advanced scheme, as seen on the alliance-coin.
On the other hand, the handiwork of the artist Molossos
shows a complete gradation from the former to the latter
stage of the design (PI. IX. Figs. 10, 11). It follows,
therefore, that his activity belongs to the period imme-
diately preceding the approximate date 404 B.C., and that
therefore the signed work of this engraver was executed at
about the same time as the masterpieces of the great Sici-
lian engravers, which exhibit the fully developed style of art.

It may be further observed that this approximate
chronology for the Thurian coins signed MOAO^O^,
squares with the evidence of a small find of Magna-
Graecian coins seen by me some years since at Naples, and
to which I had occasion to refer in my work on the


Horsemen of Tarentum. 86 In tbis hoard Thurian coins
signed by Molossos were associated witb coins of Kaulonia
and otber cities, struck during tbe period preceding 388 B.C.
The Thurian comparisons above instituted have a fur-
ther bearing on the dates of the most remarkable of all
the Magna - Graecian engravers, the consummate artist
whose signature appears as 4> on coins of Thurii, Herak-
leia, Terina, Pandosia, Velia, and Neapolis. 87 Although
on the Thurian coins this signature is confined to the
obverse side presenting Athena's head, there can be little
doubt that the butting-bull on the reverse is by the same
artist. The little bird with expanded wings, introduced
below the animal, seems indeed, as was pointed out by
Mr. Poole, 88 to be a reminiscence of the Terinaean types
by , on which a fluttering bird of the same kind is seen
poised on the forefinger of the seated Nike. But on the
Thurian didrachmsby <|> (PI. IX. Fig. 9), the bull is still of
the earlier class. The head, indeed, is more lowered, and
the proportions less heavy than on the earliest of all the
Thurian coins, such as those bearing the signature A, struck
about 440 B.C. But the animal is still seen from the side
with all four legs to the ground, and his tail hanging
down. The type then is earlier than the coins by Mo-
lossos, and as three styles of evolution indicating a
somewhat extended period of activity may be traced in
the design of that artist, and the latest of these was

86 Pages 41, 42. The Tarentine coins from this hoard
belonged to my Second Period of the Horseman type, c. B.C.

87 See R. S. Poole, Athenian Coin- Engravers in Italy (Num.
Chron., 3rd Ser., vol. iii. p. 271 segq.).

88 Op. cit., p. 274. It is much to be regretted that the pro-
mised paper (see op. cit,, p. 277) on the coinage of Thurii, by
this lamented archaeologist, has never seen the light.


extant before 404 B.C., it follows that it would not be safe
to bring down the Thurian work of the artist <|> later than
the approximate date, 420 B.C. This conclusion agrees
with the transitional elements that still linger in the
obverse head, and the comparisons it suggests with Syra-
cusan types.


The following highly interesting drachm comes from
a collection formed at Palermo. From its style and
types there can be little doubt that it is of Sicilian fabric
the obverse type, indeed, approaches in character the
myrtle-crowned heads of Sikelia, on coins of Herbessus,
Alaesa and other cities, belonging to Timoleon's time.

Obv. OMONOIA. Female head to r. crowned with
myrtle wreath, and her back hair loose, wearing
ear-ring and necklace.

Rev. KIM 1 33 under flaming altar wreathed with laurel,
above which, on either side of the fire, are horns
or prominences shaped like the forepart of two
stags' heads, the antlers of that to the left being
partly visible. On either side of the altar are
two laurel sprays.

Weight, 1-94 grammes (30 grains). [PI. IX. Fig. 18.]

Taken in connection with other considerations to be
explained below, there can be little doubt that the inscrip-
tion KIM I 3 stands in fact for KPIMI33O3, and that we
have to do either with a moneyer's erratum, or what is
more probable, with a local, Elymian, version of the
river's name, which in its classical Greek form appears as
Krimissos or Krimisos. 89

89 Note a similar phenomenon in the dialect of E. Crete.
Thus piKpo becomes /AIKO (pronounced micho}.


The resemblance of the head on the obverse to that
of the myrtle-crowned Sikelia on coins of Timoleon's
time has already been noted. The inscription that accom-
panies it, however, shows that here the ideal portrait
is that of 'O/zoVofct, but its assimilation to the type
personifying liberated Sicily is none the less sugges-

From the style of the work, the treatment of the hair, 90
with its flowing locks behind, and the form of the Z, with
the upper and lower limbs nearly parallel, the present
coin must be referred to a somewhat later date than Timo-
leon's time, perhaps to the epoch immediately preceding the
tyranny of Agathokles. It probably belongs to the close
of the twenty years' peace that followed Timoleon's death in
B.C. 336. But the character of the types still suggests a
reference to the peace and concord which he had founded.
The coins, apparently struck at Alsesa, at the time of
Timoleon's expedition, with the inscription ^YMMAXI-
KON, 91 refer to the period of active alliance with the
Liberator. O MONO I A seems rather to betoken the
peaceful alliance between two cities, and is, indeed, the
usual indication of the alliance of free cities under the
Roman dominion. It is true, that so far as the inscription
itself goes, it may be taken simply to refer to concord
among the inhabitants of a single city. It is thus, for
instance, that by the analogy of other types, we should
naturally interpret the inscription KOMONOIA, oppo-
site a head personifying Concord on a Metapontine piece

80 Compare, for instance, the head of Pelorias on Messanian
bronze coins of the period preceding the Mamertine Conquest
of 282 B.C.

91 Head, Coinage of Syracuse^ p. 38 seqq.



of the middle of the fifth century. 92 But in the present
case, if we are right in supposing that the only local
reference of the coin is to the river Krimissos, it is more
reasonable to suppose that we have here a common coin-
age of two or more cities, issued from some local sanc-
tuary connected with a common cult of the River- God.
The laurel-crowned altar recalls the wreathed altars of
the Hypsas and the Selinus, nay, that, perhaps, of Kri-
missos himself, on a tetradrachm of Segesta. 93 It would
be the natural meeting-place of a common religion for all
borderers of the stream.

What were the cities thus bound together by this com-
mon cult? The geographical and mythical connexion
in which the Krimissos stood with Segesta 94 certainly
indicates one of them. In style, indeed, the present piece
shows perhaps a closer approach to some fourth-century
bronze pieces of Segesta than to any other coin-types.

On the other hand, the fact that the coin was in all
probability found near Palermo, suggests that Panormos,
always so closely related to Segesta, was another party to
this alliance. This conclusion gains considerable weight

92 B. M. Cat., Italy, p. 240, No. 59. Compare similar per-
sonifications of HYFIEIA and NIKA on coins of Metapontion.

93 I refer to the magnificent and unique tetradrachm of the
De Luynes collection, now in the Cabinet des Medailles, on the
obverse of which a Nymph, probably Segesta, is seen sacrificing
at a flaming altar with square horns. See the interesting
monograph of Salinas, Sul tipo de' tetradrammi di Segesta
(Florence, 1870), Tav. I. 1, and p. 9 eeqq. A similar altar
occurs on a tetradrachm of Himera signed MAI. Syr. Medal-
lions, PL X. 2, p. 180 seqq. B. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 81, No. 48.
Weil, Kvnstlerinschriften, &c., Taf. I. 14. E. Gabrici, Numis-
matica dell' Imera, Tav. VI. 14.

94 Lycophr. 901 ; Tzetz. ad loc. ; Verg. J&n. v. 38 ; Serv. ad
jEn. I. 550 ; M\. V. H. ii. 83. Dionysios i. 52. Cf. E. H.
Bunbury, in Smith's Diet, of Geogr. B. v. Crimisus.


from the fact that the later coins of Panormos, struck
during the period of Roman suzerainty, which began in
254 B.C., present certain types which have a strong affi-
nity both to the obverse and reverse designs on the present
piece. One of these 95 has the legend OMONOIA and
the head of Concord, accompanied on the other side
with a cornucopia, and the inscription FIANOPMITAN.
Others exhibit on their reverse a square altar with horns 96
(PI. IX. Fig. 14) or a round altar, flaming, enclosed
within a laurel-wreath. 97


95 Catalogo del Museo Nazionale di Napoli, Medagliere, No.
4,726, 4,727. Mionnet, Descr. des Mddailles grecques T. I.
p. 279, No. 619. The type was wrongly described by Paruta
as bearing the legend OMONIA. Of. Eckhel, D. N. I.
p. 231.

96 B. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 123, Nos. 17, 18. Obv.~ HANOP-
MITAN and female head in stephane. Border of dots on
both obv. and rev. On another variety, Cat. di Napoli. Nos.
4722 23, the obverse is described as " testa di Cerere coronata
di spighe a dr."

97 B. M. Cat., Sicily, p. 123, No. 19. Obv." Hermes
seated 1. on rock holding caduceus ; border of dots."