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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Themes & Provenance ▸ Animals ▸ LizardView Options:  |  |  | 

Lizards on Ancient Coins

Kamarina, Sicily, 413 - 405 B.C.

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Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GI88919. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins 200; Calciati III pp. 63 - 65, 33; BMC Sicily p. 40; 40; SNG Mnchen 415; SNG ANS 1228; SNG Cop 169; HGC 2 548, VF, well centered, bold strike, brown patina, porous, weight 3.263 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 0o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 413 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with wing, dot border; reverse owl standing left on left leg, head facing, lizard in right talon, KAMA downward on right, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; $200.00 (170.00)


Kamarina, Sicily, 413 - 405 B.C.

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Kamarina was suffering a plague. A marsh north of the city was the suspected source. The town oracle advised them not to drain the marsh, but in 405 B.C., the leaders ignored the advice. Once the marsh was dry, there was nothing to stop the Carthaginian army. They marched across the newly drained marsh, razed the city, and killed every last inhabitant.
GI88921. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins 200; Calciati III pp. 63 - 65, 33; BMC Sicily p. 40; 40; SNG Mnchen 415; SNG ANS 1228; SNG Cop 169; HGC 2 548, VF, well centered, brown patina, scratches, earthen deposits, weight 2.925 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 0o, Kamarina (near Scoglitti, Sicily, Italy) mint, 413 - 405 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with wing, dot border; reverse KAMA (downward on right), owl standing left on left leg, head facing, lizard in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue; $200.00 (170.00)


Kamarina, Sicily, 420 - 405 B.C.

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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.
GI88930. Bronze tetras, Westermark-Jenkins, type E, 194; Calciati III p. 55, 20; SNG ANS 1226; HGC 2 547 (S); BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; SNG Mnchen -, VF, dark green patina, scratches, weight 2.864 g, maximum diameter 15.0 mm, die axis 0o, 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, lizard with head down in right talon, three pellets (mark of value) in exergue, no control marks; scarce; $170.00 (144.50)


Eion, Macedonia, c. 500 - 480 B.C.

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Published examples of this type are about twice the weight of this coin and identified as diobols and trihemiobols. Our coin might be an underweight diobol or trihemiobol, but the weight is closer to an obol.

Eion was only about 3 miles from Amphipolis and after the 5th century was merely a seaport of its large neighbor. The denomination is either a diobol or trihemiobol. The significance of the obverse type is not clear, but presumably makes reference to the characteristic fauna of the region at that time.
GS86791. Silver diobol, SNG Cop 175; SNG ANS 277; BMC Macedonia p. 73, 5, VF, centered, porosity, edge crack, weight 1.033 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Eion mint, c. 500 - 480 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, left leg raised, head turned back, lizard left above; reverse mill-sail incuse square; $150.00 (127.50)


Eion, Macedonia, c. 460 - 400 B.C.

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Eion was only about three miles from Amphipolis and from the late 5th century onwards served merely as a seaport of its much larger neighbor. The denomination is variously described as a diobol or trihemiobol. The significance of the obverse type is not clear, but presumably makes reference to the characteristic fauna of the region at that time.
GA85755. Silver trihemiobol, SNG ANS 281, SNG Berry 29, Klein 151, BMC Macedonia p. 75, 21, SNG Cop 180 corr. (says H below, none on plate); HGC 3.1 521, VF, well centered on a broad flan, etched and porous surfaces, edge cracks, weight 0.882 g, maximum diameter 12.1 mm, die axis 0o, Eion mint, c. 460 - 400 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, looking back, lizard above, no control letter; reverse quadripartite incuse square; $120.00 (102.00)







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Catalog current as of Friday, March 22, 2019.
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