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

Ancient Greek Coins of Sicily

The coins of Ancient Greek Sicily are considered among the finest numismatic works of art ever produced. Superb examples may cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Forum's selections include some more affordable examples.

Selinous, Sicily, c. 540 - 415 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Selinous,| |Sicily,| |c.| |540| |-| |415| |B.C.|, |didrachm|
The leaf/incuse didrachms of Selinus vary in the shape and features of the leaf, and the number of divisions and arrangement of the incuse. We have been unable to find an exact match to this coin.
SH95209. Silver didrachm, Arnold-Biucchi Selinus 6; HGC 2 1211 (R1); SNG ANS 679; SNG Cop 592; SNG Ash 1886; SNG Delepierre 602; Selinous Hoard pl. 2, 25; BMC Sicily p. 138, 7, VF, toned, die wear, etched surfaces, flan crack, weight 8.276 g, maximum diameter 25.4 mm, die axis 0o, Selinus mint, c. 540 - 415 B.C.; obverse selinon (wild parsley) leaf, two tiny pellets at base of stem; reverse incuse square divided into twelve triangular alternating deeper and shallower sections; ex Forum (2017), ex David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; rare; $1000.00 SALE |PRICE| $900.00


Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

|Kamarina|, |Kamarina,| |Sicily,| |420| |-| |405| |B.C.|, |tetras|
A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgs, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
SH95223. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins, type E, 194; Calciati III p. 55, 20; SNG ANS 1226; HGC 2 547 (S); BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -, EF, well centered on a tight flan, dark brown patina, weight 2.673 g, maximum diameter 14.1 mm, die axis 180o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 420 - 405 B.C.; obverse facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) with radiating locks, fierce expression, knitted eyebrows, no hairband, chubby cheeks; reverse KAMA (downward on right), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, grasping lizard with head down in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; ex Forum (2018); scarce; $200.00 SALE |PRICE| $180.00


Tyndaris, Sicily, c. 380 - 254 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Tyndaris,| |Sicily,| |c.| |380| |-| |254| |B.C.|, |AE| |23|
Tyndaris, 36 miles from Messana (modern Messina), was founded by Dionysios of Syracuse in 396 B.C., on land taken from Abakainon, peopled with Messenian exiles, and named for Tyndaris, the mythical king of Sparta and father of Castor. In Greek mythology, the Dioscuri, the twin brothers Castor and Pollux, were sons of the Spartan Queen Leda. Tyndareus was the father of Castor, thus a mortal, while Zeus was the father of Pollux, thus a demigod. Helen of Troy was the daughter of Leda and Zeus, thus the sister of the Dioscuri.
GI95231. Bronze AE 23, Calciati p. 79, 1/1; BMC Sicily p. 235, 1; Weber 1753; SNG Cop 948; HGC 2 1632 (R2); SNG ANS -; SNG Mn -; SNG Tb -; SNG Lloyd -, gVF, dark brown tone, cleaning scratches, smoothing, weight 8.876 g, maximum diameter 22.7 mm, die axis 45o, Tyndaris mint, c. 380 - 254 B.C.; obverse TYN∆APIΣ, head of Helen of Troy left; wearing stephane and earring, star of eight rays and central pellet behind; reverse Castor on horseback cantering right, wearing cap and chlamys, palm frond in left hand and over left shoulder, reins in right hand; ex Forum (2018); very rare; $650.00 SALE |PRICE| $585.00


Akragas, Sicily, 338 - 317 B.C.

|Akragas|, |Akragas,| |Sicily,| |338| |-| |317| |B.C.|, |AE| |16|
We received this coin in 2005. Worried that the light green spots were active bronze disease, we set the coin aside with intentions to examine it more closely and probably treat it. It was misplaced and never treated. Upon its "rediscovery" and a close examination, it is clear, the light green spots are not bronze disease. The coin has not changed in the slightest over the last 14 years.
GI91782. Bronze AE 16, Calciati I p. 206, 116 R1 2 (different dies); SNG ANS 1113; HGC 2 164; SNG Cop 95 var.; SNG Munchen -, VF, beautiful style - finest style for the type, dark patina with lighter encrustations, tight flan, weight 4.200 g, maximum diameter 16.0 mm, die axis 270o, Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily, Italy) mint, 338 - 317 B.C.; obverse AKPAΓA, laureate head of Zeus left; reverse eagle left, wings open, hare in talons with head down and left, ∆ below wings; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00


Agyrion, Sicily, 355 - 344 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Agyrion,| |Sicily,| |355| |-| |344| |B.C.|, |tetras|
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-ās, '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 SALE |PRICE| $171.00


Leontini, Sicily, c. 476 - 466 B.C., Unofficial Imitative

|Other| |Sicily|, |Leontini,| |Sicily,| |c.| |476| |-| |466| |B.C.,| |Unofficial| |Imitative|, |litra|
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 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Uncertain City (Panormos?), Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

|Roman| |Italy| |and| |Sicily|, |Uncertain| |City| |(Panormos?),| |Sicily,| |Roman| |Rule,| |c.| |211| |-| |190| |B.C.|, |triens|
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 Munchen 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 SALE |PRICE| $90.00


Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Hieron| |II,| |275| |-| |215| |B.C.|, |hemilitron|
Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 to 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity, and Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
GI87391. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 361, 193 Ds 40; HGC 2 1547 (S); SNG ANS 909 ff. var. (controls); SNG Cop 843 var. (same); BMC Sicily p. 215, 565 ff. var. (same), F, dark patina, tight flan, bumps and marks, corrosion, weight 20.012 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 230 - 215 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Hieron left, beardless, conch shell (control symbol) behind; reverse IEPΩNOΣ, cavalryman prancing right, holding couched spear, no control symbols; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00


Syracuse, Sicily, Hiketas, 287 - 278 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Hiketas,| |287| |-| |278| |B.C.|, |litra|
This combination of obverse and reverse control symbols (thunderbolt / star) is not published in the many references examined by Forum, however, we know of about a half dozen examples. The thunderbolt obverse control is most often combined with A over a star reverse left. The star reverse control is paired with a variety of obverse controls most commonly a trophy or bucranium.
GI87381. Bronze litra, cf. Calciati II p. 303, 157 Ds 59 Rs 14; SNG Mn 1308; SNG ANS 810; SNG Morcom 783; BMC Sicily p. 204, 473, VF, dark patina, tight flan, some bumps, scratch, and mild corrosion, weight 10.719 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 287 - 278 B.C.; obverse ∆IOΣ EΛΛANIOY, beardless and laureate head of Zeus Hellanios left, thunderbolt (control symbol) behind; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN (upward on left, undivided), eagle with wings open standing left atop fulmen, star (control symbol) lower left, linear border; apparently unpublished; rare variant; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00


Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysios I, c. 405 - 367 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Dionysios| |I,| |c.| |405| |-| |367| |B.C.|, |hemilitron|
Dionysius I was tyrant of Syracuse. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies. He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot - cruel, suspicious and vindictive.
GS86597. Silver hemilitron, SNG ANS 301; SNG Cop 669; SNG Lloyd 1379; BMC Sicily p. 182, 237; Boehringer Mnzprgungen pl. II, 19; HGC 2 1392 (R2) , VF, dark toning, light marks and corrosion, tiny edge cracks, weight 0.434 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 405 - 395 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa left, wearing drop earring, hair bound in ampyx and sphendone, no control symbol or signature; reverse four-spoked wheel, SY-PA in upper quarters, two dolphins heads downward nose to nose in lower quarters; very rare; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00










REFERENCES|

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