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Historia Numorum

History of HN and work on HN3 Sicily and Adjacent Islands:

Barclay V. Head’s Historia Numorum is the standard work on ancient Greek coinage. First published in 1886, it received its second edition in 1911. A third edition, radically revised and up-dated, was being planned by Sir Stanley Robinson at the time of his death in 1976 and the first volume of that project, Historia Numorum3, Italy, was published in 2001, with Keith Rutter as principal editor.

Suzanne Frey-Kupper is currently preparing, with Keith Rutter and John Morcom, a further volume of Historia Numorum: Historia Numorum3, Sicily and Adjacent Islands. It provides an account of the development in their historical contexts of the Greek, Punic and local coinages of Sicily and its adjacent islands down to the Roman imperial period.

Outline of content:

  • Introductory matter: Contents pages; Acknowledgements; Using this Book; Glossary of Terms; Lists of Abbreviations.
  • An Introduction describing the development of coinage in Sicily and including a Chronological Table.
  • Catalogues of mints arranged in alphabetical (latinized) order, including a section listing uncertain Sicilian issues. The introduction to each mint provides background historical and geographical information and a brief numismatic overview of the coins, together with full bibliographical references. Each entry in the catalogue contains a description of the types and other elements of the design, the usual technical data and is given a running serial number in bold type. An asterisk accompanying the number indicates that the entry is illustrated.
  • Two Appendices: I. Countermarks; II. Overstrikes.
  • Indexes: I. Obverse types; II. Reverse types; III. Symbols; IV. Obverse legends; V. Reverse legends; VI. Geographical (areas and mints); VII. General.
  • Maps: at the front of the volume, one general map of Sicily and adjacent islands, with names of mints and rivers; at the end, approx. 15 half-page maps showing the mints in operation at different times.
  • List of coins illustrated on plates.
  • 100 plates (approximately).

As currently envisaged the work will be published in two volumes, the second volume to contain the Plates and the Indexes.


Keith Rutter, Emeritus Professor (‘Greek History and Numismatics’), in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh,
author of: Campanian Coinages, Edinburgh (1979); Greek Coinages of Southern Italy and Sicily, London (1997); Historia Numorum, Italy, London (3rd edn., 2001).

Suzanne Frey-Kupper: Professor in Classical Archaeology and Numismatics in the Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick,
author of: ‘Appendice I. I ritrovamenti monetali’, In B. Bechtold, La necropoli di Lilibeo, Palermo (1999), pp. 394-457; with Clive Stannard, ‘“Pseudomints” and small change in Italy and Sicily in the late Republic. AJN 20 (2008), pp. 351-404, pl. 83-85; Die Fundmünzen vom Monte Iato (1971-1991). Ein Beitrag zur Geldgeschichte Westsiziliens (Studia Ietina X), (Lausanne: Les Éditions du Zèbre) (2013), 2 vols, XVI + 522 pp. & VIII + 294 pp., 120 illustrations, 80 tables, 65 plates.

John Morcom, Honorary Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society,
author of: Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, vol. X, The John Morcom Collection of Western Greek Bronze Coins, Oxford (1995).

Michael Crawford, Emeritus Professor, University College London,
author of Roman Republican Coin Hoards, London 1969; Roman Republican Coinage, London, 1974; Coinage and Money under the Roman Republic, London 1985) will contribute the entry on the coins of the Mamertini.

Specimen of the SIKELIOTAN coinage 213-212 BC.