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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.

Messana, Sicily, c. 478 - 476 B.C.

|Messana|, |Messana,| |Sicily,| |c.| |478| |-| |476| |B.C.||tetradrachm|
Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century B.C., Messina was originally called Zancle, from the Greek meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbor (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus). In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it in honor of the Greek city Messene.
SH95922. Silver tetradrachm, Caltabiano Series IIB, 71 (D39'/R37); SNG ANS 319; SNG Cop 390; SNG Tübingen 605; SNG München 629; BMC Sicily p. 100, 11; HGC 2 779, Choice aVF, toned, well centered on a tight flan, bumps and scratches, die wear, weight 17.355 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Messana mint, c. 478 - 476 B.C.; obverse bearded man seated driving biga of mules walking right, knees drawn up, reins in both hands, goad in left hand, laurel leaf in exergue; reverse MESSA-NIO-N (counterclockwise from lower left, S's inverted), hare springing right; from the Errett Bishop Collection; ex Bowers & Ruddy Galleries auction; Dr. Richard P. Ariagno Collection Part II (9-11 Jun 1980), lot 39; $950.00 (€874.00)


Kentoripai, Sicily, c. 211 - 190 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |Kentoripai,| |Sicily,| |c.| |211| |-| |190| |B.C.||hexas|
Kentoripai was an iron age Sikel town that maintained its culture and language long after much of Sicily had become Hellenized. In 414 B.C., the town allied with Athens to help defeat a Syracusan inland expedition. In 396, Kentoripai made a treaty with Syracuse. In 344, Timoleon defeated Nikodemos, the ruler of Kentoripai and annexed the city and its territory. Kentoripai was one of the first cities in Sicily to make a treaty with Rome. The city was rewarded for its loyalty and under Roman protection it became one of the most important cities in Roman Sicily.
GI93441. Bronze hexas, Calciati III p. 175, 7; BMC Sicily p. 56, 13; SNG ANS 1323; SNG Cop 216; SNG Munchen 517; HGC 2 637 (R1), aVF, well centered on a broad flan, green patina with red copper areas, porous, small edge cracks, weight 4.435 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 0o, Kentoripai mint, c. 211 - 190 B.C.; obverse draped bust of Demeter right, wreathed in grain, wearing earring and necklace, stalk of grain behind; reverse plow right, bird on the share, two pellets left, KENTO/PIΠINΩN in two lines, starting above, ending below, linear border; from the Errett Bishop Collection; scarce; $70.00 (€64.40)


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-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; $170.00 (€156.40)


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

|Roman| |Italy| |&| |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; $90.00 (€82.80)


The Sileraioi, Sicily, c. 357 - 330 B.C.

|Other| |Sicily|, |The| |Sileraioi,| |Sicily,| |c.| |357| |-| |330| |B.C.|
Sileraioi was not a city. The Sileraians were Campanian mercenaries who took their name from their proximity to the river Silaros. These rare coins have been found at the site of their settlement, Cozzo Mususino, a natural strong-hold in north central Sicily. The coins are often overstruck on coins from Syracuse minted c. 375 - 345 B.C.
SH68704. Bronze Calciati p. 301, 2; HGC 2 1243 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG ANS -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Morcom -, VF/F, reverse rough, weight 7.521 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 90o, Sileraian mint, c. 340 - 330 B.C.; obverse ΣI−ΛEPAIΩ−N (retrograde counterclockwise from 3:00), man-faced bull forepart charging right; reverse SIL (retrograde, upward behind), warrior advancing right, spear in right hand, shield in left; rare; $130.00 (€119.60)










REFERENCES|

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