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SICILY, Selinos. Circa 540-515 BC. AR Didrachm (21.5mm, 8.96 g). Selinon leaf; pellets flanking stem / Incuse square divided into ten sections, alternately raised and lowered. Arnold-Biucchi Group I; Selinus Hoard 23 (same dies); HGC 2, 1208. Attractive light iridescent tone. EF. Well centered and struck.

Ex Michael F. Price Collection (Stack’s, 3 December 1996), lot 14.

Situated on the southwest coast of Sicily at the mouth of the Selinunte River, Selinos was founded by Dorian colonists from Megara Hyblaia, a town on the eastern coast of the island. Selinos is believed to be the first city on Sicily to strike coins, introducing its didrachms circa 540 BC, less than a decade after Aegina had introduced the concept of coinage to Europe. Based on the Corinthian weight standard, the initial coinage of Selinos regularly featured a tri-lobed wild parsley leaf, since the ancient Greek name for this, selinos, provided an allusive pun on the town’s name.