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

Carthagians in Sicily

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 München 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; $125.00 (€106.25)
 


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.
GS79961. 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, toned, reverse slightly off center, weight 0.547 g, maximum diameter 9.1 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; $115.00 (€97.75)
 


Entella, Sicily, c. 420 - 404 B.C.

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Entella was an Elymian town in western Sicily. Little known about the Elymians, who are indistinguishable from their Sicani neighbors in the archaeological record of the early Iron Age (c. 1100–700 B.C.). Thereafter they adopted many aspects of the culture of the Greek colonists of Sicily, erecting a temple at Segesta, and using the Greek alphabet to write their own language. As yet, no one has deciphered the Elymian language. The Elymians maintained friendly relations and alliances with Carthage but came into frequent conflict with the expansionist Greek colonies of western Sicily, especially Selinus. Boundary disputes with Selinus broke out into open warfare on several occasions after 580 B.C. They sought to ally first with Athens against Selinus, provoking the disastrous Sicilian expedition of 415 - 413 B.C. Following this failure they encouraged the Carthaginians to attack Selinus in 409 B.C. and succeeded in obtaining the destruction of their rivals. In 404 B.C. Campanian mercenaries, who had been in the service of Carthage, were allowed into Entella on friendly terms. They put all the male citizens to the sword and took the city for themselves.
GI88093. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati I p. 317, 1; SNG Morcom 580; SNG ANS Addenda 1324; HGC 2 240 (R2); SNG Cop -; SNG München -, VF, green patina, bumps, marks, light corrosion, edge a bit ragged with a few edge splits, weight 3.571 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 180o, Entella mint, c. 420 - 404 B.C.; obverse female head left, wearing sphendone, earring, and necklace; reverse ENTEΛ, bearded male head (Zeus?) right, wearing tainia; ex David Surber collection; rare; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Motya, Sicily, c. 409 - 397 B.C.

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Motya was an ancient and powerful city on an island off the west coast of Sicily, between Drepanum (modern Trapani) and Lilybaeum (modern Marsala). The island was renamed San Pantaleo in the 11th century by Basilian monks. It lies in the Stagnone Lagoon, and is within the comune of Marsala. The island is nearly 850 metres (2,790 ft) long and 750 metres (2,460 ft) wide, and about 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) (six stadia) from the mainland of Sicily. It was joined to the mainland in ancient times by an artificial causeway (paved road), by which chariots with large wheels could reach the town. The remarkable and exquisite Motya Charioteer marble sculpture found in 1979 is world famous and is on display at the local Giuseppe Whitaker museum.
GI85822. Bronze onkia, Jenkins Punic pl. 23, 14; Campana 30; CNS 10 (Eryx); HGC 2 947, F, green patina, tight flan, weight 1.690 g, maximum diameter 10.6 mm, die axis 0o, Motya mint, c. 409-397 BC; obverse bearded male head right; reverse crab seen from above; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $70.00 (€59.50)
 







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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. Coins of Punic Sicily. (Zürich, 1997).
Jenkins, G. & R. Lewis. Carthaginian Gold and Electrum Coins. Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication No. 2. (London, 1963).
Hoover, O. 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. 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. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Sicily. (London, 1876).
Rizzo, G. 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, Vol. 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 1: Italy - Sicily. (West Milford, NJ, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 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 X, John Morcom Collection. (Oxford, 1995).
Viola, M. Corpus Nummorum Punicorum. (Milan, 2010).

Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 18, 2018.
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Punic Sicily