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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.

Byzantine Empire, Philippicus Bardanes, 4 November 711 - June 713 A.D.

|Philippicus|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Philippicus| |Bardanes,| |4| |November| |711| |-| |June| |713| |A.D.|, |follis|
Philippicus Bardanes was from a prominent Armenian family in Pergamum and a general of the Opsikion Theme army under Justinian II. While Justinian II ruled in a bloodthirsty frenzy of revenge, the Bulgars ravaged the empire right up to the city walls. Bardanes arrived at Constantinople with the army. But, instead of fighting the Bulgars he seized the throne. An ineffective ruler, Philippicus engaged in destructive internal religious disputes while the external threats grew and Bulgars and Arabs continued to raid Byzantine territory. In less than two years, he was deposed in a coup, blinded and exiled to a monastery.
BZ82676. Bronze follis, Anastasi 374, SBCV 1460A, Hahn MIB 24, DOC II part 2,, -, Tolstoi -, Ratto -, Morrisson BnF -, F, ragged flan, weight 3.824 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 4 Nov 711 - Jun 713 A.D.; obverse Philippicus standing facing, wearing helmet and military attire, eagle-tipped scepter in left hand, globus cruciger in right hand; reverse large M flanked by two stars, monogram above, SCL in exergue; very rare; $610.00 SALE |PRICE| $549.00


Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon and the Third Democracy, c. 344 - 317 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Timoleon| |and| |the| |Third| |Democracy,| |c.| |344| |-| |317| |B.C.|, |dilitron|
Threatened by Carthage and dominated by Hiketas, the tyrant of Leontini, Syracusans sent an appeal for help to their mother city, Corinth. By a unanimous vote Corinth selected Timoleon to set sail for Sicily with a few leading citizens of Corinth and a small troop of Greek mercenaries. After defeating Hiketas, Timoleon put order to Syracuse' affairs and established a democratic government. He repelled Carthage in several wars, ending with a treaty which divided the island. Timoleon then retired without any title or office, though he remained practically supreme. He became blind before his death, but when important issues were under discussion he was carried to the assembly to give his opinion, which was usually accepted. When he died the citizens of Syracuse erected a monument to his memory, afterward surrounded with porticoes, and a gymnasium called Timoleonteum.
GI95238. Silver dilitron, SNG ANS 518; SNG Cop 717; SNG Munchen 1126; BMC Sicily p. 186, 283; Weber 1644; HGC 2 1373 (R2), VF, well centered, very dark toning, porosity, edge crack, weight 1.226 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 344 - 317 B.C.; obverse laureate Janiform female head, ΣYPAKOΣI-ΩN upward on left, two dolphins nose to nose on right; reverse horse galloping right, barley ear right above, N below; ex Forum (2018); rare; $450.00 SALE |PRICE| $405.00


Constantine IV Pogonatus, 15 July 668 - 10 July 685 A.D.

|Constantine| |IV|, |Constantine| |IV| |Pogonatus,| |15| |July| |668| |-| |10| |July| |685| |A.D.|, |half| |follis|
Constantine IV Pogonatus should be credited with saving Europe from Muslim conquest. Beginning in 674, the great siege of Constantinople, by the caliph Muawiyah I, lasted four years. The newly invented famous "Greek Fire" made the city impregnable and the Arabs were forced to retreat. In 681 he deposed his two brothers. He was succeeded by his 16-year-old son Justinian II.
BZ84239. Bronze half follis, Anastasi 245, DOC II 67, Spahr 186, Hahn MIB III 112, SBCV 1214, Berk -, VF, green patina, rough, weight 2.566 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 679 - 681 A.D.; obverse helmeted and cuirassed bust facing slightly right, holding spear over shoulder; reverse large K, cross above, +AN-NO ∆ (year 4) flanking left and right; very rare; $250.00 SALE |PRICE| $225.00


Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon and the Third Democracy, c. 344 - 317 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Timoleon| |and| |the| |Third| |Democracy,| |c.| |344| |-| |317| |B.C.|, |hemilitron|
Timoleon installed a democracy in 345 B.C. After the long series of internal struggles had weakened Syracuse's power, Timoleon tried to remedy this, defeating the Carthaginians near the Krimisos river in 339 B.C. Unfortunately the struggle among the city's parties restarted after his death and ended with the rise of another tyrant, Agathocles, who seized power in 317 B.C.
GI91325. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 211, 92 DS 25 (same obv. die); BMC Sicily p. 188, 304 var. (no helmet); SNG ANS 1384 var. (same); HGC 2 1505 (S); SNG Cop -; SNG MŁn -, gVF, well centered, rough corrosion/encrustation, weight 2.588 g, maximum diameter 14.4 mm, Syracuse mint, c. 336 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of head of nymph Arethusa facing slightly left, Thessalian helmet (control symbol) left; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, Pegasos forepart flying left, archaic curved wing; Ex Eric J. Engstrom Collection; scarce; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00


Byzantine Empire, Michael II and Theophilus, 12 May 821 - 2 October 829 A.D.

|Michael| |II|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Michael| |II| |and| |Theophilus,| |12| |May| |821| |-| |2| |October| |829| |A.D.|, |follis|
The reverse symbols resemble past issues of 40 Numismatik, an anachronism. However, these are the symbols for Michael and Theophilius, effectively a pun. Michael II started his career as a humble soldier. Leo V's assassination while trying to impose iconoclasm probably taught Michael a lesson, as he chose to remain religiously neutral. With Bulgarian help, he defeated the usurper Thomas, who with his Arab allies even besieged Constantinople for one year. Even after the rebellion was crushed, the Arabs still occupied Crete and initiated an invasion of Sicily.
BZ91007. Bronze follis, Anastasi 513; DOC III part 1, 21; Sommer 30.8.3; Wroth BMC 20; Morrisson BnF 31/Sy/AE/01; Tolstoi 27; Ratto 1814; SBCV 1652, aVF, dark patina, some unstruck areas, scratches, weight 3.827 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 12 May 821 - 2 Oct 829; obverse MIXA-HL - S ΘEOF (F upside down), facing crowned busts of Michael, on left with short beard and chlamys, and Theophilus, beardless with loros; reverse large M (40 nummi), cross above, Θ below; scarce; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00


Syracuse, Sicily, Second Democracy, 466 - 405 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Second| |Democracy,| |466| |-| |405| |B.C.|, |hemilitron|
Following Hieron's death, democracy was restored. Similar to Athens, the polis was ruled by a council and popular assembly with an elected general or strategoi as the executive. War against Athens 427 - 424 B.C. and 415 - 413 B.C. tested the democracy, but Syracuse was victorious. With further reforms by Diocles, the democratic political structure was further strengthened.
GI95006. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 41, 18; SNG ANS 394; SNG Cop 695, SNG Munchen 1099; SGCV I 1185, F, green patina, rough, pitting, weight 4.730 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, Syracuse mint, c. 415 - 410 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa left, hair in a sphendone; reverse sixteen pointed star within incuse circle at the center of a shallow quadripartite incuse square; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00


Byzantine Empire, Heraclius & Heraclius Constantine, 23 January 613 - 11 January 641 A.D.

|Heraclius|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Heraclius| |&| |Heraclius| |Constantine,| |23| |January| |613| |-| |11| |January| |641| |A.D.|, |follis|
Heraclius came to power through revolt against the tyrannical Focas. He defeated the Sassanid Persians, but this only facilitated Arab conquest of Persia and the eastern Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines lost Syria and Palestine before Heraclius died and Egypt fell soon after.
BZ68100. Bronze follis, DOC II part 1, 243; Anastasi 66; Wroth BMC 398; Tolstoi 315; Ratto 1450; Morrisson BnF 10/Sy/AE/35; SBCV 884; Sommer 11.115, F, overstruck, weight 5.875 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 632 - 11 Jan 641 A.D.; obverse facing busts of long-bearded Heraclius and his son Heraclius Constantine, wearing short beard, cross above, all within large round countermark; traces of undertype; reverse Heraclian monogram and SCs within large round countermark; traces of undertype; $32.00 SALE |PRICE| $28.80







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