The Coinage of Sicily

Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert

in The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195305746
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Coinage of Sicily

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Roman History
  • Historical Archaeology


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The numismatic history of Sicily reflects the vicissitudes of its political history in truly unique fashion. Cities were conquered and destroyed, populations displaced and resettled, tyrannies raised and toppled. Many of these political shifts have left traces in the history of Sicilian coinage. The native Sicilian conception of coinage led to a groundbreaking innovation: the creation of small denominations in bronze, whose value was based not on their material worth but solely on a fixed exchange rate in silver coins—in other words, on the confidence of the citizens that they could exchange their bronze coins for silver the next day. The numismatic history of Sicily developed organically and gradually in the fifth century, years that saw the production of the coins for which Sicily enjoys a fine reputation among art lovers. Names such as Kimon, Euainetos, Phrygillos, and Eukleidas appear in this lexicon of artists.

Keywords: numismatic history; coinage; Sicily; silver; bronze

Article.  6280 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History ; Historical Archaeology

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