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In the West foothills of the Hyblaei Mountains of Sicily, an indigenous settlement on a high peak under the name of Menai, flourished until 453 B.C. when its inhabitants were moved to nearby Paliké near the well-known sanctuary of the Palici. No traces of life survive from between the second half of the 5th c. B.C. and the end of the 4th c. B.C. The city, under the name of Menainon, began once more to flourish in the Hellenistic period, as attested by its rich necropolis. After the Roman conquest the city minted its own coinage. Its existence during the Roman period is attested by Cicero (Verr. 3.22.55; 3.43.102) and Pliny (HN 3.91). The site continued to be inhabited until the Arab Conquest and again during the following centuries.GI92062. Bronze trias, Calciati III p. 186, 7; SNG Cop 384; SNG München 617; BMC Sicily p. 97, 5; HGC 2 760 (R1); SNG ANS 290 var. (∆ vice IIII), VF, well centered, porous, weight 3.841 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Menaion (Mineo, Sicily, Italy) mint, Roman Rule, c. 204 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled bust of Demeter right; reverse MENAINΩN, crossed torches, IIII (mark of value) below; ex Muenzen Ritter (Germany); scarce; $80.00 (€70.40)
Naxos, Sicily, c. 461 - 430 B.C.
Naxos was an ancient Greek city of Sicily on the east coast of the island between Catana (modern Catania) and Messana (modern Messina). It was at the mouth of the river Acesines (modern Alcantara) and at the foot of the hill on which was afterwards built the city of Tauromenium (modern Taormina). In 403 B.C., Dionysius of Syracuse, having made himself master of Naxos by the treachery of their general Procles, sold all the inhabitants as slaves and destroyed the walls and buildings of the city. The site of Naxos was never again inhabited in antiquity; but in 358 B.C., the Naxian exiles from all parts of the island joined together and founded Tauromenium on top of the nearby hill.GI91051. Silver litra, Cahn 74.8 (V54/R62); Rizzo pl. XXVIII, 15; SNG ANS 521; SNG Mün 758; SNG Cop 491; BMC Italy 17; de Luynes 1067, HGC 2 970 (R2) (all same dies), VF, well centered, light marks, etched surfaces, weight 0.653 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, die axis 0o, Naxos mint, c. 461 - 430 B.C.; obverse NAXI (clockwise on right), head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath; reverse bunch of grapes on vine with leaves and tendrils around; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 39 (27 Aug 2017), lot 68; ex Mark Christenson Collection; rare; $360.00 (€316.80)
Panormus, Sicily, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.
Pyrrhus occupied Panormos in 276 B.C., taking it away from Carthage. After Pyrrhus departed Sicily, the Romans occupied Panormos in 254 or 253 B.C. Hasdrubal in 251 and Hamilcar in 247 - 245 B.C. attempted to retake the town but failed. Panormos prospered under Rome, assuming great importance in trade due to its location at the center of the Mediterranean Sea.GB89333. Bronze AE 13, Calciati p. 363, 195; Winterthur 1062, HGC 2 -, SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, SNG Morcom -, BMC Sicily -, aVF, flan crack, rough, weight 1.439 g, maximum diameter 14.0 mm, die axis 0o, Panormos (Palermo) mint, Roman rule, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse bust of Demeter right, veiled and wreathed in grain; reverse two heads of grain, crescent above center, flanked by a pellet on each side; very rare; $55.00 (€48.40)
Agyrion, Sicily, 355 - 344 B.C.
Agyrion (modern Agira) was a Sikel city ruled by tyrants, one of whom, Agyris, was the most powerful ruler in the center of Sicily. In 392 B.C., he and Dionysius the Elder, together successfully resisted the Carthaginians under Magno. Agira was not colonized by the Greeks until the Corinthian general Timoleon drove out the last Sikel tyrant in 339 B.C. and settled 10,000 Greeks.
According to Caltabiano, Palagkaios was probably the Sikel name for the larger of the two local rivers (Salso Cimarosa today). Molinari and Sisci propose a Semitic origin, from the Akkadian palag-āsú, 'the gushing river.'GB91174. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 125, 10; Potamikon 14; SNG ANS -; SNG Cop -; SNG Morcom -, VF, dark green patina, undersize flan, weight 2.685 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 270o, Agyrion (Agira, Sicily, Italy) mint, 355 - 344 B.C.; obverse AΓYPINAI counterclockwise before, young Herakles' head left, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse forepart of a man-faced bull (river-god Acheloios Palagkaios) left, ΠAΛAΓKAIOΣ horizontal above, dot border; rare; $190.00 (€167.20)
Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 466 B.C., Unofficial Imitative
The low weight, crude style, and retrograde ethnic indicate this was not an official issue of the city but, more likely, an imitative. Hoover identifies it as an imitative in the Handbook of Coins of Sicily (HGC 2).GS91173. Silver litra, cf. HGC 2 688 (R2) (same); BMC Sicily p. 88; 22 (same retrograde legend, 0.635g); Boehringer Leontini pl. 10, B (similarly crude), VF, well centered, crude style, half the usual weight, weight 0.289 g, maximum diameter 9.7 mm, die axis 330o, unofficial Sicilian mint, c. 476 - 466 B.C.; obverse crude facing lion scalp, linear border; reverse ΛE-ON (retrograde, counterclockwise from upper right), barley kernel, linear border; ex Beast Coins, ex Imperial Coins & Artifacts; very rare; $100.00 (€88.00)
"Kainon," Sicily, c. 367 - 340 B.C.
This issue, assigned to Alaisa in many references, was perhaps produced by Thracian mercenaries operating in Sicily in the 4th century B.C.GI88961. Bronze tetras, Calciati I, p. 252, 10; SNG Cop 134 (Alaesa); SNG München 218 (Alaisa); SNG ANS 1178 (Alaesa); BMC Sicily p. 29, 8 (Alaesa); HGC 2 509, aF, green patina, porous, edge split, weight 7.862 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain mint, c. 367 - 340 B.C.; obverse griffin springing left, wings open, grasshopper left below; reverse horse prancing left, loose reigns flying behind, KAINON in exergue, star with eight rays around a central pellet above; $36.00 (€31.68)
Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.
In 254 B.C. Panormus was captured by the Romans. It retained its municipal freedom, and remained for many years one of the principal cities of Sicily. It continued to issue bronze coins, bearing the names of various resident magistrates, and following the Roman system. Under Augustus, Panormus received a Roman colony.GI89312. Bronze triens, Semuncial standard; Calciati I p. 365, 205 (Panormos); SNG München 835 (Panormos); HGC 2 1691 (R1, uncertain Romano-Sicilian); SNG Cop -, aVF, off center but types on flan, a little rough, weight 3.239 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Romano-Sicilian mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse veiled and draped bust of Demeter-Ceres left, small cornucopia behind neck; reverse double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, tied with fillets, four pellets (mark of value) in a vertical line to left; rare; $100.00 (€88.00)
"Kainon," Sicily, c. 367 - 340 B.C.
This issue, assigned to Alaisa in many references, was perhaps produced by Thracian mercenaries operating in Sicily in the 4th century B.C.GI89575. Bronze tetras, Calciati I, p. 252, 10; SNG Cop 134 (Alaesa); SNG München 218 (Alaisa); SNG ANS 1178 (Alaesa); BMC Sicily p. 29, 8 (Alaesa); HGC 2 509, aVF, flat strike, scattered porosity, tight flan cutting off head of griffin, edge cracks, weight 8.657 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain mint, c. 367 - 340 B.C.; obverse griffin springing left, wings open, grasshopper left below; reverse horse prancing left, loose reigns flying behind, KAINON in exergue, star with eight rays around a central pellet above; $60.00 (€52.80)
Entella, Sicily, c. 420 - 404 B.C.
Entella was an Elymian town in western Sicily. Little known about the Elymians, who are indistinguishable from their Sicani neighbors in the archaeological record of the early Iron Age (c. 1100–700 B.C.). Thereafter they adopted many aspects of the culture of the Greek colonists of Sicily, erecting a temple at Segesta, and using the Greek alphabet to write their own language. As yet, no one has deciphered the Elymian language. The Elymians maintained friendly relations and alliances with Carthage but came into frequent conflict with the expansionist Greek colonies of western Sicily, especially Selinus. Boundary disputes with Selinus broke out into open warfare on several occasions after 580 B.C. They sought to ally first with Athens against Selinus, provoking the disastrous Sicilian expedition of 415 - 413 B.C. Following this failure they encouraged the Carthaginians to attack Selinus in 409 B.C. and succeeded in obtaining the destruction of their rivals. In 404 B.C. Campanian mercenaries, who had been in the service of Carthage, were allowed into Entella on friendly terms. They put all the male citizens to the sword and took the city for themselves.GI88093. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati I p. 317, 1; SNG Morcom 580; SNG ANS Addenda 1324; HGC 2 240 (R2); SNG Cop -; SNG München -, VF, green patina, bumps, marks, light corrosion, edge a bit ragged with a few edge splits, weight 3.571 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, Entella mint, c. 420 - 404 B.C.; obverse female head left, wearing sphendone, earring, and necklace; reverse ENTEΛ, bearded male head (Zeus?) right, wearing tainia; ex David Surber collection; rare; $80.00 (€70.40)
Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, 300 - 264 B.C.
In 278 B.C., envoys from the Sicilian cities of Agrigentum, Syracuse, and Leontini asked Pyrrhus for military aid to remove the Carthaginian dominance over that island. With an army of 20,000 infantry, 3,000 cavalry, 20 war elephants, and some 200 ships, Pyrrhus defeated the Carthaginian forces and captured the city-fortress of Eryx. Carthage sued for peace, but Pyrrhus demanded Carthage renounce its claims on Sicily entirely. Pyrrhus set his sights on conquering Carthage itself, and began outfitting an expedition. However, his ruthless treatment of the Sicilian cities and his execution of two Sicilian rulers led to such animosity that he was forced out of Sicily and abandoned his plan.GB87736. Bronze AE 19, SNG Cop 149, Alexandropoulos 57, Müller Afrique 268, aVF, dark patina, a little off center, pre-strike flan casting sprue, weight 5.096 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Sardinian mint, 300 - 264 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left wearing wreath of grain and plain necklace, dotted border; reverse horse's head right; $70.00 (€61.60)
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