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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Byzantine Coins| ▸ |Byzantine Mints| ▸ |Syracuse||View Options:  |  |  | 

Byzantine Syracuse (c. 540 - 878)

Justinian I struck coins in Sicily, most likely at Syracuse beginning in the 540's. The Syracuse mint remained operational until the city was captured by the Arabs in 878.

Syracuse, Sicily, Pyrrhus of Epirus, 278 - 276 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Pyrrhus| |of| |Epirus,| |278| |-| |276| |B.C.||litra|
In 279 B.C., Pyrrhus' forces, supporting the Greek cities of southern Italy, met and defeated the Romans at the battle of Asculum in Apulia. Pyrrhus, however, lost many men, several close associates, and all of his baggage. When one of his soldiers congratulated him on his victory, he famously replied: "Another such victory and we are ruined!" From this we have the term Pyrrhic victory, a victory achieved at ruinous cost.
GB82757. Bronze litra, Calciati II p. 325, 178; BMC Sicily p. 207, 505; SNG Cop 814, SNG ANS 850; HGC 2 1451 (R1), SNG Munchen -, VF, brown and green patina, minor edge split, weight 9.262 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, 278 - 276 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles left, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress; reverse ΣYPA-KOΣIΩN (clockwise starting at 3:00), Athena Promachos advancing right, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, oval shield on left arm, owl in lower right field; rare; SOLD


Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Hieron| |II,| |275| |-| |215| |B.C.||AE| |28|
Hieron II was tyrant and then king of Syracuse, c. 270 to 215 B.C. His rule brought 50 years of peace and prosperity, and Syracuse became one of the most renowned capitals of antiquity. He enlarged the theater and built an immense altar. The literary figure Theocritus and the philosopher Archimedes lived under his rule. After struggling against the Mamertini, he eventually allied with Rome.
GI86316. Bronze AE 28, Calciati II p. 375, 195 Ds 18 R1 15; SNG ANS 927; SNG Cop 839; Pozzi 1359, HGC 2 1548; BMC Sicily p. 217, 584 var. (no obv. control), gVF, well centered and struck, fine style, smoothing, weight 20.570 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 210o, Syracuse mint, c. 240 - 215 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Hieron left, beardless, bucranium (control symbol) behind; reverse horseman prancing right, holding couched spear, Z (appearing as I, control symbol) lower right, IEPΩNOΣ in exergue; SOLD


Byzantine Empire, Tiberius III Apsimar, Late 698 - Summer 705 A.D.

|Tiberius| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Tiberius| |III| |Apsimar,| |Late| |698| |-| |Summer| |705| |A.D.||follis|
All coins of Tiberius III are scarce or rare.

After the Arabs took Carthage, the disgruntled army declared Tiberius emperor. He mutilated Leontius (the previous emperor), cutting off his nose, just as Leontius had done to Justinian II. After Justinian II attacked and regained his throne, both Leontius and Tiberius were beheaded.
BZ82678. Bronze follis, Anastasi 341; DOC II part 1, 33; Wroth BMC 18; MIB 80; SBCV 1396, aVF, red and green patina, well centered on a ragged flan, weight 2.651 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, late 698 - summer 705 A.D.; obverse Tiberius III standing facing, wearing crown with pendilia, and long tunic, long cross in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; reverse large M (40 nummi) between two crosses, Tiberius' monogram above, star below, SCL in exergue; rare; SOLD







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