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Area: Sicily: The Mamertini
Period: After 210 BC
Denomination: AE Pentonkion
Obverse: Head of Zeus right.
Reverse: Naked warrior advancing right, holding spear and shield. "ΜΑΜΕΡΤΩΝ" To right: "Π"
Reference: GCV 1144
Weight: 10.7 gms
Diameter: 25.3 mm


"Mamertini" comes from "Mamers", the Oscan name for Mars. They were a band of Campanian (Oscan) mercenary soldiers, hired by the Tyrant of Syracuse, Agathocles to prosecute his war with the Carthaginians. On the death of Agathocles, the Mamertines seized Messina. They were beseiged by Hiero II of Syracuse and so sought the aid of both the Romans and the Carthaginians. This lead to the First Punic War (264-241 BC) between the two super-powers.

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