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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Sicily| ▸ |Katane||View Options:  |  |  | 

Katana, Sicily

Catania, on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, has had a long and eventful history, having been founded in the 8th century B.C. As observed by Strabo, the location of Catania at the foot of Mount Etna has been both a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, violent outbursts of the volcano throughout history have destroyed large parts of the city, on the other hand the volcanic ashes yield fertile soil, especially suited for the growth of vines. Katane was captured by Dionysios of Syracuse in 403 B.C., who sold the population into slavery and resettled the city with Campanian mercenaries. The city submitted to Rome during the First Punic war.

Katane, Sicily, c. 415 - 404 B.C.

|Katane|, |Katane,| |Sicily,| |c.| |415| |-| |404| |B.C.||tetras|NEW
Katane was captured by Dionysios of Syracuse in 403 B.C., who sold the population into slavery and resettled the city with Campanian mercenaries. The city submitted to Rome during the First Punic war.
GI96877. Bronze tetras, Calciati III p. 91, 1; SNG ANS 1272; BMC Sicily p. 50, 51; HGC 2 607 (S); SNG Cop -; SNG Mun -, VF, nice green patina, attractive style, centered on a tight flan, light marks, scattered small pits, weight 1.668 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 270o, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 415 - 404 B.C.; obverse AMENANOΣ (clockwise on left), young head of river-god Amenanos left, with horns and wavy hair; reverse winged thunderbolt, wings open, K-A flanking under wings, three small pellets around (two above wings, one right); scarce; $260.00 (€213.20)
 


Katane, Sicily, c. 405 - 402 B.C.

|Katane|, |Katane,| |Sicily,| |c.| |405| |-| |402| |B.C.||drachm|
The oldest, wisest and most drunken of the followers of Dionysus, Silenos was also one of the young god's tutors. He was usually so drunk that he had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When intoxicated, Silenus was said to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy. The Phrygian King Midas was eager to learn from Silenus and caught the old man by lacing a fountain from which Silenus often drank. Silenus shared with the king a pessimistic philosophy: That the best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible. An alternative story was that when lost and wandering in Phrygia, Silenus was rescued by peasants and taken to King Midas, who treated him kindly. In return for Midas' hospitality, Silenus told him some tales and Midas, enchanted by Silenus’ fictions, entertained him for five days and nights. Dionysus offered Midas a reward for his kindness towards Silenus, and Midas chose the power of turning everything he touched into gold.
GI84579. Silver drachm, Jameson 554 (dies); SNG ANS III 1262; Mirone 103; BMC Sicily p. 49, 43; HGC 2 579 (R2); SNG Cop -, VF, extraordinary style from the period of finest art, high relief obverse, die wear, flan flaw (some restoration?) on the reverse, weight 3.753 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 0o, Katane mint, c. 405 - 402 B.C.; obverse facing head of Silenos, bald, bearded, donkey ears; reverse KATANAIΩN, head of Apollo left wearing taenia, olive leaf and berry behind, all within a shallow circular incuse; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 224 (13 Oct 2014), lot 54; rare; SOLD


Katane, Sicily, c. 461 - 445 B.C.

|Katane|, |Katane,| |Sicily,| |c.| |461| |-| |445| |B.C.||litra|
The oldest, wisest and most drunken of the followers of Dionysus, Silenos was also one of the young god's tutors. He was usually so drunk that he had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. When intoxicated, Silenus was said to possess special knowledge and the power of prophecy. The Phrygian King Midas was eager to learn from Silenus and caught the old man by lacing a fountain from which Silenus often drank. Silenus shared with the king a pessimistic philosophy: That the best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible. An alternative story was that when lost and wandering in Phrygia, Silenus was rescued by peasants and taken to King Midas, who treated him kindly. In return for Midas' hospitality, Silenus told him some tales and Midas, enchanted by Silenus’ fictions, entertained him for five days and nights. Dionysus offered Midas a reward for his kindness towards Silenus, and Midas chose the power of turning everything he touched into gold.
SH41259. Silver litra, Boehringer, Kataneische, series I, Li 2; SNG Munchen 442; SNG Tüb 590; SNG Cop 182, SNG ANS 5 Appendix 1317; HGC 2 587 (S), VF, toned, weight 0.804 g, maximum diameter 11.6 mm, Katane (Catania, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 461 - 445 B.C.; obverse horned, balding, and bearded head of Silenos left; reverse KATANE, winged thunderbolt, flanked by small round shields; ex Hesperia Art XII, 3, Oct 1961 ($160); from the Dr. J. Hewitt Judd Collection (author of United States Pattern Coins Experimental & Trial Pieces); SOLD










REFERENCES|

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