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

Carthagians in Sicily

Eryx, Sicily, c. 344 - 339 B.C.

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Eryx was founded by Elymians on the summit of a mountain in northwest Sicily, about 10 km from Drepana (modern Trapani), and 3 km from the sea-coast, at the site of modern Erice. The Elymians maintained friendly relations and alliances with Carthage and came into frequent conflict with the Greeks. In 397 B.C., however, Eryx joined Dionysius I of Syracuse. It was speedily recovered by Himilco the following year. It again fell into the hands of Dionysius shortly before his death in 367 B.C., but was soon recovered by the Carthaginians, and probably was subject to their rule until the expedition of Pyrrhus in 278 B.C.
GS84640. Silver litra, Campana CNAI 47; Jenkins I pl. 24, 24; SNG ANS 1348; Jameson 1894; Winterthur 630; HGC 2 324 (????) corr. (male head/man-faced bull); SNG Cop -, VF, toned, tight flan, obverse slightly off center, weight 0.567 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 270o, Eryx (Erice, Sicily) mint, Punic rule, c. 344 - 339 B.C.; obverse head of nymph left, hair in a bun at the crown, wearing triple-pendant earring and necklace; reverse bull standing left, Punic "RK" above; from the Nicholas Molinari Collection; very rare; $850.00 (€756.50)
 


Ziz (Panormos), Punic Sicily, c. 336 - 330 B.C.

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Panormos was the ancient Greek name (meaning, 'All-haven') for present day Palermo. Palermo was, however, originally a Phoenician colony and numismatists identify the city before Greek rule with the Punic name Ziz. It seems the only evidence for this ancient name is the coinage and some scholars believe that Ziz may have been another city.
GI76350. Bronze AE 12, Calciati I, p. 272, 10; HGC 2 1061 (R1); SNG ANS 5, III, pl. 44, 1362; SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -; BMC Sicily -, gVF, dark green patina, light smoothing, light marks and corrosion, small edge split, obverse 1/5 off-center, weight 1.975 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 0o, Ziz (Palermo, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 336 - 330 B.C.; obverse horse galloping right, barley-kernel above, linear border; reverse forepart of a man-faced bull right, Punic inscription above: ZIZ; all within a deep round incuse; rare; $250.00 (€222.50)
 


Solus (Kefra), Sicily, c. 395 - 350 B.C.

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Solus (or Soluntum, near modern Solanto), one of the three chief Punic settlements on Sicily, was on the north coast about 16 km east of Panormus (modern Palermo). It lay 183 meters above sea level, on Monte Catalfano, in a naturally strong situation, and commanding a fine view. The date of its founding is unknown. Solus was one of the few colonies the Phoenicians held when they withdrew before the Greeks to the northwest corner of the island. Together with Panormus and Motya, it allied with Carthage. Dionysius took the city in 396 B.C., but it soon broke away again to Carthage. In 307 B.C. it was given to the soldiers and mercenaries of Agathocles, who had made peace with Carthage after he abandoned them in Africa. In the First Punic War, Solus opened its gates to Rome only after Panormus fell. Under Rome it was a municipal town of no great importance, scarcely mentioned by Cicero. It was noticed by Pliny and Ptolemy, and later. Its destruction probably dates from the time of the Saracens.Solus
GI76344. Bronze tetras, Calciati I p. 310, 5; Jenkins Punic I pl. 23, 20; SNG ANS 740 ff.; SNG Munchen 909; SNG Morcom 672; HGC 2 1254; BMC Sicily -; SNG Cop -; Laffaille -, gF, green patina, weight 2.235 g, maximum diameter 13.1 mm, Kefra (near Solanto, Sicily, Italy) mint, Carthaginian occupation, c. 395 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of Athena facing slightly right, wearing Corinthian helmet; reverse Punic inscription: KFRA, nude archer kneeling right, wearing pileus, shooting arrow; scarce; $180.00 (€160.20)
 


Arpi, Apulia, Italy, 215 - 212 B.C., Struck Under Hannibal

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Arpi remained faithful to Rome until Rome's defeat at the battle of Cannae and then defected to Hannibal. Rome captured Arpi in 213 or 212 B.C. and it never recovered its former importance. No Roman inscriptions have been found there, and remains of antiquity are scanty.
GB73614. Bronze AE 20, HN Italy 650; SNG ANS 646; SNG Cop 613; BMC Italy p. 131, 12, F, weight 3.792 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 270o, Arpi (near Foggia, Italy) mint, 215 - 212 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet; reverse APΠANOY, bunch of grapes; rare; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


Ziz (Panormos), Punic Sicily, c. 405 - 380 B.C.

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Some authorities have identified the male head on the obverse as Apollo. Indeed, on some examples the head does resemble other depictions of the youthful sun god, but on other examples the god is horned. On this coin the head seems to better resemble traditional depictions of Herakles or Baal. The type usually has the Punic ethnic above the bull. Sometimes it is below. Most likely it should be above on this coin but is merely unstruck.
GS66771. Silver obol, cf. Jenkins Punic (SNR 50) 14; BMC Sicily p. 249, 27; SNG ANS 551; SGCV I 889 (all w/ Punic ethnic "sys" above bull), aVF, weight 0.547 g, maximum diameter 9.14 mm, die axis 45o, Ziz (Palermo, Sicily, Italy) mint, c. 405 - 380 B.C.; obverse male head left; reverse Man-faced bull advancing left, head turned facing; $85.00 (€75.65)
 


Carthage, Zeugitana, North Africa, Early 3rd Century B.C.

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Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse, died in 289 B.C. He restored the Syracusan democracy on his death bed, stating that he did not want his sons to succeed him as king. The following year, some of his disbanded mercenaries, calling themselves Mamertines (Sons of Mars), seized Messana in northeast Sicily. The city became a base from which they ravaged the Sicilian countryside. Syracuse was weakened by his loss and Carthage began a renewal of their power in Sicily.
GB76852. Bronze AE 17, Viola CNP 94, Alexandropoulos 22, HGC 2 1674 (S), Müller Afrique 315, Weber III 8486, SNG Cop VIII 126, SGCV II 6530, BMC Sicily -, F, well centered, green patina, areas of corrosion, weight 3.626 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 90o, Carthage or uncertain Sicilian mint, early 3rd century B.C.; obverse date palm tree with two bunches of hanging fruit, no legend, symbols or monogram; reverse unbridled horse standing right, head turned back looking left, no legend, symbols or monogram; scarce; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Siculo-Punic, Late 4th - Early 3rd Century B.C.

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Before it was incoporated within the Persian Empire in the 370s B.C., Tyre was the economic and political hub of the Phoenician world. Supremacy passed to Sidon, and then to Carthage, before Tyre's destruction by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. Each colony paid tribute to either Tyre or Sidon, but neither had actual control. The Carthaginians, however, appointed their own magistrates to rule the towns and took much direct control. This policy would result in a number of Iberian towns siding with the Romans during the Punic Wars.
GB65641. Bronze half unit, Viola CNP 126, SNG Cop VIII 96 ff. (=SNG Cop I 1022 ff.), SNG Munchen 1626 ff., SNG Morcom 897, Alexandropoulos 15, aVF, rough, nice green patina, weight 5.015 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 270o, Carthage or Sicilian mint, late 4th - early 3rd century B.C.; obverse male head left, wreathed in grain, wearing hoop earring; reverse free horse prancing right, short exergual line below rear hooves, linear border; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


Solous, Sicily, c. 400 - 350 B.C.

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Solous, a Punic town, was attacked and damaged by Dionysios in 396 - 395 B.C., but recovered. In 306, the town received a group of mercenaries who rebelled against Agathocles, and it became a base for the Carthaginian army. The Romans occupied Solous in 244 B.C.
GB68416. Bronze AE 13, Calciati I p. 309, 3; SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, SNG Munchen -, BMC Sicily -, F, corrosion, reverse off-center, weight 1.741 g, maximum diameter 13.0 mm, die axis 315o, Solos mint, c. 400 - 350 B.C.; obverse head of young Herakles right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse hippocamp left; rare; $55.00 (€48.95)
 


Sardinia, Punic Rule, 264 - 241 B.C.

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Head of Tanit / horse head types were likely struck at many different mints in the Punic realm. The style of this particular type, which was struck in Italy during the Second Punic War, is very atypical. Robinson suggested Locri as the possible mint, noting similarity between the style of Tanit on this type and Persephone on Locri bronzes.
GB72291. Bronze AE 15, Alexandropoulos 60 (Sardinia); SNG Cop 224 (Africa); Müller Africa 274, Fair/Fine, small flan, weight 1.612 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Sardinia mint, 264 - 241 B.C.; obverse head of Tanit left, wearing wreath of grain; reverse horse head right; scarce; $36.00 (€32.04)
 







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REFERENCES

Alexandropoulos, J. Les monnaies de l'Afrique antique: 400 av. J.-C. - 40 ap. J.-C. (Toulouse, 2000).
Calciati, R. Corpus Nummorum Siculorum. The Bronze Coinage, Vol. I - III. (Milan, 1983 - 1987).
Gabrici, E. La monetazione del bronzo nella Sicila antica. (Palermo, 1927).
Jenkins, G.K. Coins of Punic Sicily. (Zürich, 1997).
Jenkins, G.K. & R.B. Lewis. Carthaginian Gold and Electrum Coins. Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication No. 2. (London, 1963).
Hoover, O.D. Handbook of Coins of Sicily (including Lipara), Civic, Royal, Siculo-Punic, and Romano-Sicilian Issues, Sixth to First Centuries BC. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Lindgren, H. C. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints from the Lindgren Collection. (1989).
Müller, L. et. al. Numismatique de l'ancienne Afrique. (Copenhagen, 1860-1862).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Sicily. (London, 1876).
Rizzo, G.E. Monete greche della Sicilia. (Rome, 1946).
Salinas, A. Le monete delle antiche città di Sicilia descritte e illustrate da Antonino Salinas. (Palermo, 1871).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 1: Italy - Sicily. (West Milford, NJ, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 8: Egypt, North Africa, Spain - Gaul. (1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 6: Sikelia. Punier in Sizilien. Lipara. Sardinia. Punier in Sardinien. Nachträge. (Berlin, 1980).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 2: Sicily - Thrace. (London, 1947).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume X, John Morcom Collection. (Oxford, 1995).
Viola, M.R. Corpus Nummorum Punicorum. (Milan, 2010).

Catalog current as of Thursday, March 30, 2017.
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Punic Sicily