Sicily, Segesta, Litra


Sicily, Segesta, Litra (obverse) Sicily, Segesta, Litra (reverse)

Segesta started to issue coins for the first time around 460 BC. The obverse always showed the river god Crimisus in the form of a hound; the reverse bore the head of the nymph Segesta.

This litra additionally depicts a mollusk in front of the hound. From such mollusks the color of purple was made: a dye of such incredible expense – many times more expensive than gold –, that it became a symbol of royalty already in antiquity. Above the hound is a gorgoneion, the head of the brute Gorgon. The inscription is Greek and refers to the coin's origin, ΕΓΕΣTAION.


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