Sicily, Dionysius I, 100 Litres


Sicily, Dionysius I, 100 Litres (obverse) Sicily, Dionysius I, 100 Litres (reverse)

This coin was created by the Syracusean master engraver Kimon. The obverse bears the head of the nymph Arethusa with an artful hairdo. Behind her head an ear of barley is depicted, and next to it the signature KI for Kimon. The reverse shows the young, naked Heracles struggling with a lion. Beneath the knees of the hero, another ear of barley can be seen.

The ear of barley was the symbol of one of the two principal workshops operating in parallel for the Syracuse mint at the turn of the 5th to the 4th century BC. Many of the artists, however, among them Kimon, worked for both workshops; moreover, many Syracusian engravers cut dies for coins of other Sicilian cities as well.


Signet Sunflower Foundation