SICILY. Segesta. Circa 412/0-400 BC. Didrachm (Silver, 25 mm, 8.26 g, 12 h). ΣELEΣTA 𐤆IB The river-god Krimisos, in the form of a hunting dog, standing right, on the scent; behind, three grain ears. Rev. Diademed head of the nymph Aigeste to right, her hair in a krobylos that is bound up and falls over her diadem. Hurter 195 (V61/R110). Jameson 710 (same dies). SNG ANS 644 (same dies). SNG Lloyd 1187 (same dies). A superb, fresh and clear example. Areas of weakness, otherwise, nearly extremely fine.
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 toward an Italian origin of this people.