Sicily, Segesta, Litra

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.