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Tauromenium - Tyrrheni

Tauromenium (Taormina), which stood on a lofty height, Mount Taurus, near the site of the ancient Naxus, was a Sikel fortress built in B.C. 396. Subsequently, B.C. 358, the exiled inhabitants of Naxus occupied the place. It then became an important Greek town. Its ruler,

Andromachus, supported Timoleon, while he was occupied in liberating Sicily from her tyrants, and this is the period to which its largest bronze coins are to be attributed. Subsequently it passed under the dominion of Hieron II, and after the fall of Syracuse, B.C. 212, under that of Rome. The coins of Tauromenium belong to two periods.

Circ. B.C. 358-275.
ΑΡΧΑΓΕΤΑS Head of Apollo.
[Hill Sicily, Pl. XII. 18.]
ΤΑΥΡΟΜΕΝΙΤΑΝ Bull, often man-headed, walking.
Id. [Ibid., Pl. XII. 19.] Bull rushing.
Id. Forepart of bull.

The worship of Apollo Archegetes, which the Naxians brought with them from Greece, was kept up by the people of Tauromenium. According to Thucydides (vi. 3) whenever any sacred Theori left Sicily they sacrificed at the altar of this god before setting sail. The bull is the punning badge of the city.

ΑΡΧΑΓΕΤΑΣ Head of Apollo.
[Hill Sicily, Pl. XIV. 1.]
Id. Tripod.
Id. Bunch of grapes.
ΣΑΡΔΩΙ (retrogr.) Female head in stephanos Grapes and leaves.

Whether this last coin is rightly attributed to Tauromenium is doubtful. The legend of the obverse remains unexplained (Imhoof, Berl. Bltt., v. 59).

The following little gold coins, of about B.C. 300, may possibly be of Tauromenium (Holm, iii. p. 692), as the types are appropriate and as the monogram occurs on other Tauromenian coins.

Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet. ΠΑ or ΑΠ (in monogram) Owl.
AV 8.3 grs.
[Hill Sicily, Pl. XII. 16.]
Head of Apollo. Lyre.
AV 5.4 grs.
[Ibid., Pl. XII. 17.]

Circ. B.C. 275-210.
Head of Apollo. ΤΑΥΡΟΜΕΝΙΤΑΝ Tripod.
AV 33.75 grs. = 30 litra.
Id. Symbols: bee, cicada, club, &c. Id. Various monogram sand letters.
AV 16.8 grs. = 15 litra.
Head of Apollo. ΤΑΥΡΟΜΕΝΙΤΑΝ Omphalos encircled by serpent.
AR 135 grs. = 10 litra.
[Paris; Holm, Pl. VII. 6.]
Head of Athena. ΤΑΥΡΟΜΕΝΙΤΑΝ Pegasos; beneath, star.
AR 90 grs. = 8 obols.
Head of Apollo. Symbol: star.
[B. M. Guide, Pl. 47. 40.]
AR 54 grs. = 4 litra.
Bulls head facing.
ΤΑΥΡΟΜ Grapes.
AR 13.5 grs. = 1 litra.
[Hill Sicily, Pl. XIV. 9.]

The weights here given are the normal weights (Head, Syr., pp. 79-80).


With the octobol compare the contemporary octobol of Syracuse. The precise date of the issue of these gold and silver coins cannot be fixed with certainty, but some of them may be placed as late as the interval between the death of Hieron II, B.C. 216, and the constitution of the Roman province of Sicily, B.C. 210 :

Head of bearded Herakles wearing taenia. ΤΑΥΡΟΜΕΝΙΤΑΝ Bull.
Head of Apollo. Tripod.
ΤΑΥΡΟΜΕΝΙΤΑΝ Head of young Dionysos. ΑΠΟΛΛΩΝΟΣ Id.
Head of Athena. ΤΑΥΡΟΜΕΝΙΤΑΝ Pegasos.
Head of Apollo. Bull.
Head of Dionysos. Bull.
Head of Athena. Owl on amphora.
Head of Zeus. [Tropea, p. 33, No. 9.] ΤΑΥΡΟΜΕΝΙΤΑΝ Eagle
wt. 85 grs.
Id. [Tropea, No. 10.] Rushing bull.
wt. 62 grs.
Head of Hermes. [Tropea, No. 19.] ΤΑΥΡΟΜ Bull.
wt. 162 grs.
Head of young Dionysos. ΤΑΥΡΟΜΕΝΙΤΑΝ Dionysos standing, holds thyrsos; at his feet, panther.

Although Tauromenium retained a nominal independence under the Romans, and in the reign of Augustus received a Roman colony, it does not appear to have coined money after B.C. 210, with the possible exception of the last coin mentioned above.

Tyndaris (near C. Tindaro), on the north coast of Sicily, near Mylae, and about thirty-six miles west of Messana, was founded by Dionysius the Elder B.C. 396 and peopled with Messenian exiles from Naupactus and Peloponnesus expelled from Greece by the Spartans at the close of the Peloponnesian war. The Messenians called their new city Tyndaris, after the Dioskuri, sons of Tyndareus, whom they claimed as natives of Messenia (Paus. iii. 26-3). The worship of Helen as Tyndaris also falls into the same mythological cycle.

The coins of Tyndaris (see von Duhn, Z. f. N., iii. 1876, pp. 27-39; and Imhoof MG, p. 33) are of three periods :

Circ. B.C. 396-345.
ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΣ Head of Helen wearing stephane. Free horse; above, two stars.
AR 11 grs.
Id. Behind, star. One of the Dioskuri.

Circ. B.C. 344.
ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΔΟΣ Head of Apollo. ΑΓΑΘΥΡΝΟΣ The hero Agathyrnos standing with shield and lance.
ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ Head of Persephone in corn-wreath. ΣΩΤΗΡΕΣ the Dioskuri on horseback. [Hill Sicily, Pl. XII. 21].
ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ Head of Apollo. Horses head.
Id. Cock.

[Tropea, p. 34, No. 7.]
wt. 23 grs.


The coin reading ΣΩΤΗΡΕΣ appears to belong to the time of Timoleons expedition, when we hear of Tyndaris as espousing the cause of freedom. The type of Agathyrnos shows that the Sikel town of Agathyrnum was at the time in the possession of Tyndaris. At a later period Tyndaris was in the hands of the Carthaginians, and does not appear to have struck money again until after the fall of Panormus.

Circ. B.C. 254-210.

Female head, veiled. ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ The Dioskuri on horseback.
Id. ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ Zeus standing; holds fulmen and sceptre.
Head of Zeus. ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ The Dioskuri standing, with or without horses.
Id. ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ Eagle on fulmen.
Head of Poseidon. Trident.
Head of Athena. Caduceus between olive-branch and corn-ear.
Id. ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ Hermes standing sacrificing.
Female head veiled. ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ Caps of the Dioskuri. [Hill Sicily, Pl. XIV. 11].
Bust of Eros, winged. ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ Thunderbolt.
Head of young Dionysos. Grapes.
Prow. Caps of Dioskuri with stars.
Caps of Dioskuri with stars. ΤΥΝΔΑΡΙΤΑΝ Star.

For coins struck by Tyndaris and Lipara in alliance, see under Lipara.

In the time of Augustus coins were issued with the names of L. Mussidi[us] Procos, and the duumviri C. Iulius F. Longus, C. Iulius Dionysius, &c. (Holm, Nos. 755-7).

The statue of Hermes on the reverse of one of these coins is doubtless the one mentioned by Cicero (II Verr. iv. 39) as simulacrum Mercurii pulcherrimum. It had been carried off by the Carthaginians and was restored to the people of Tyndaris by Scipio.

Tyrrheni. Among the coins restruck over Syracusan bronze in the time of Timoleon is the following, which was probably issued at Aetna or Thermae by mercenaries of Dionysius.

Circ. B.C. 344-339.
ΤΥΡΡΗ Head of Ares (?).
[Head, Syracuse, p. 39, Pl. VII a. 6.]
Athena standing to front.

Uncertain town.

Circ. B.C. 300 (?).
ΩΝΑΣ Head of young river-god, horned, and crowned with reeds. [Imhoof MG, Pl. B. 24, 25.] ΘΗΡΑΙΩΝ(?) Pan playing syrinx before a large oblong chest (?) surmounted by the busts of three nymphs.

Siculo-Punic Coins. See under Carthage