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Aes Formatum
Aes Grave
Aes Rude
The Age of Gallienus
Alexander Tetradrachms
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coin Prices 101
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Armenian Numismatics Page
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Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
A Case of Counterfeits
Byzantine Christian Themes
Clashed Dies
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Danubian Celts
Damnatio Coinage
Damnatio Memoriae
Denarii of Otho
Diameter 101
Die Alignment 101
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
ERIC - Rarity Tables
Etruscan Alphabet
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Gallienus Zoo
Greek Alphabet
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Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Hasmonean Dynasty
Helvetica's ID Help Page
The Hexastyle Temple of Caligula
Historia Numorum
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Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Important Collection Auctions
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
Julian II: The Beard and the Bull
Julius Caesar - The Funeral Speech
Kushan Coins
People in the Bible Who Issued Coins
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
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Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
List of Kings of Judea
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Parthian Coins
Patina 101
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Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Reading Judean Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
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Star of Bethlehem Coins
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Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
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Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
     SiciliaSicily, the most celebrated island of
that part of the Mediterranean, called Tyrrhenum
, or the Tuscan sea. It was anciently
denominated Sicania, from the Sicani, a Spanish
tribe, who held possession of it until driven to
its western extremity by the Siculi, a nation
of Italy, the original inhabitants of Latium. --
The soil of Sicily, favoured by its fine climate,
was so luxuriantly fertile, especially in corn, as
to have obtained for it the not undeserved
appellation of the granary of the Roman empire ;
it was regarded as the cella panaria, or
bread store-houses of the Romans -- plebisque Romanae nutrix. It is believed, at a very
remote period of antiquity, to have been joined
to Italy, from which it afterwards was divided
by some great natural convulsion. Thence it is
supposed to have derived its name quasi.
     Sicilata, i.e. Resecta. -- The very narrow sea
which seperated it from the main land, presented
two well-known objects of terror to
ancient mariners, in Chrybdis and Scylla, the
former rock being on the Sicilian, the latter on
the Italian shore. On the general principle of
assimilating countries to the form of some
familiar object, Sicily was called Triquetra,
from the figure of a triangle. It was also called
Trinacria, from its three promontories Peloram,
Pachynum and Lilybaeum.
     Sicily, (observes M. Hennin,) from the remarkable events which have taken place in it,
offers, in a numismatic point of view, the
greatest degree of interest. The principal cities
of the island issued a very considerable number
of coins, in all the metals, which do not yield
to those of any other country in historical
importance and in beauty of workmanship.
Some of them are perhaps even superior to all
that can be mentioned as belonging to other
countries -- particularly those pieces of unusual
size, commonly named large silver medallions
of Syracuse. These are in the highest degree
to be admired for the style and grand character
which they display in their fabric. It is doubtful
whether they were current money. There seems
better ground for believing that they were used
as prizes at the games, or on other occasions.
   [In this class holding a chief place in the
foremost rank of excellence of design and
execution, is that with the head of Proserpine
on one side, and on the other a quadriga, and a
Victory flying to meet and crown the successful charioteer, who seems to be cheering on his fleet
coursers to the goal. -- The Arethusa, with a
similar reverse, is also a splendid specimen of
the Greco-Sicilian mint. -- Syracuse indeed, as
Kolh says, is a veritable Peru for the antiquary,
for no city produces so many gold and silver
pieces, nor of such heavy weight, and, what is
most remarkable, they surpass in perfection
everything that presents itself on other medals.]
     Money appears to have been coined in Sicily
from almost the original period of the art.
     Passing  the autonoms and the coins of kings
and tyrants, it may be remarked that the Carthaginians, who conquered and occupied a
portion of Sicily, struck money there which is
conspicuous for its elegance. These pieces, with
Punic characters, are considered to have been
coined at Panormus (Palermo), the central seat
of Carthaginian power in the island.
     The neighbourhood of Magna-Graecia, and
the relations existing between the monetary
systems of those two countries, warrant the
belief that Sicily was subjected by the Romans
to the same regulations as those they imposed
upon Italy, and that the independent rights of
coinage ceased to be exercised in both those
countries towards the same epocha. Some cities
of Sicily, however, issued Imperial-Greek pieces,
which was not the case in Italy ; but those
pieces were struck only under Augustus and
Tiberius. Subsequently, there is reason to
believe, offices were established in that island
for minting coins of Roman die.
     In the partition of territory, which took
place after the death of Sextus Pompey, who
at one time held despotic sway over the island,
whilst Corinth and Achaia were ceded to M.
Antony, Sicily, with Sardinia, was assigned to
Octavianus (afterwards Augustus). By that
emperor the Sicilians were included in the
number of Roman citizens ; and Panormus
(Palermo) made a Roman colony, with the
power of coining money, which privileges were
continued to that city under Tiberius. The
whole island became a praetorian or proconsular
province. Hence it is that so many coins, both
denarii and brass money, are extant, on which
the remembrance of those Roman proconsuls
and praetors, who were sent into Sicily, are
preserved. From family medals we also learn
that Sicily received two Quaestors from Rome.
     Sicily is represented, as well on Latin as on
Greek coins by the Triquetra, composed of three
human legs, spread out from one another in a
triangular form, in allusion to the three-sided
shape of the island, or to its three promontories.

On some also of these medals, in the centre between the three uniting thighs, a female head (namely, of Medusa) is seen.  See Panormus. --
The tria crura, and a Medusa's head in the centre, and sometimes with corn ears joined thereto, as upon the above denarius of the Cornelia family ;
also a maritime trophy in a temple, whose pediment exhibits the same symbol of Sicily, appear on certain medals of Augustus, and refer,
says Spanheim, to the defeat ofSextius Pompeius (shortly after that of Brutus and Cassius,) in the straights of Sicily, where this son of the Great Pompey had become a captain of pirates, as Florus states : not to say that Augustus oppressed this young man under the appearance
of Peace, as some wise men view it in Tacitus, and moreover that Agrippa had the better share
in all the successes of that war of which Sicily was
the theatre. -- On a denarius of L. AQVILIVS FLORVS, monetal III. VIR. to Augustus, we see the three legs with the head of Medusa, which
symbolise Sicily, which coin he caused to be struck in memory of his ancestors, the Caii and Manii
who were proconsuls of that province.

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