SICILY. Segesta. Circa 412/10-400 BC. Didrachm (Silver, 21 mm, 8.39 g, 7 h). The river-god Krimisos, in the form of a hunting dog, standing right, on the scent; above, diademed small head of the nymph Aigeste to right. Rev. ΣEΓEΣTAZI-B Diademed head of the nymph Aigeste to right; all within shallow round incuse. BMC 28 (same dies). Hurter 155g (this coin). A beautiful coin of wonderful style. The obverse struck somewhat off center and with some edge marks, otherwise, about extremely fine.
From the collection of Regierungsrat Dr. iur. Hans Krähenbühl, privately acquired from Bank Leu on 13 March 1974 (with a photocopy of the original invoice enclosed) and from the collection of C. Gillet ('Kunstfreund'), photofile no. 507.
The types of the long-running series of didrachms from Segesta relate to its foundation myth, in which Aigeste, the daughter of the Trojan Hippotes, was seduced by the river-god Krimisos, who appeared to her in the form of a hunting dog. Aigestes, the offspring of this relationship, became the ancestor of the Elymians, a native people living in western Sicily in and around the cities of Entella, Eryx and Segesta. In the Aeneid, Vergil later took up a local myth according to which Hippotes came to Sicily in the wake of Aeneas' wanderings. The appearance of such mythological connections of local heroes to the progenitor of the Romans was not uncommon in the time of the Roman expansion; it was a way of dealing with changing political dynamics and it often brought along, as in the case of the Elymians, favorable treatment by the Roman administration. However, there may be some truth to the myth, as the few recorded Elymian words do in fact point to an Italic origin of this language.