Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

The historical fight of Athenian “owl” and Sicilian “lizard” on Kamarina’s bronze coins

Sep 13, 2022, 11:40 AM
Auditorium Maximum - Adam Mickiewicz Hall

Auditorium Maximum - Adam Mickiewicz Hall

on-line oral presentation S06. GREECE 6. ITALY – SICILY 2


Maria Caltabiano Caccamo (Università degli Studi di Messina )


In 415 BC, during the second Athenian expedition against Sicily, when almost all the inhabitants of the island had united against the Athenians alongside the Syracusans (Thuc. VII 33 2), Kamarina minted copious series of bronze coins representing both the Athenian owl attacking the Sicilian lizard, and the combat of this small reptile against the great raptor. These coins, found today in all of the archaeological excavations conducted in Sicily, represented a "manifesto of resistance" which Kamarina together with other Sicilian cities was promoting against the attack of Athens. This episode, with its strong political and military significance, must have left a heavy mark on the pride of Athens. In fact, after several decades, around the middle of the 4th century BC, to erase the shame of that defeat the Athenian Praxiteles created the famous statue of Apollo Sauroktonos, “the Lizard-Slayer”.

Primary author

Maria Caltabiano Caccamo (Università degli Studi di Messina )

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