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Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon and the Third Democracy, c. 344 - 317 B.C.
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
Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon, 344 - 336 B.C.
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.GI93448. Bronze hemidrachm, Calciati II p. 167, 72; SNG ANS 477; SNG Cop 727; SNG Munchen 1151; BMC Sicily p. 189, 313; Laffaille 220; HGC 2 1440 (S), VF, attractive style, a few spots of corrosion, thick flan with pre-strike casting sprues remaining (normal for the type), weight 16.099 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 342 - 338 B.C.; obverse ZEYΣ EΛEYΘEPIOΣ (clockwise starting upper right), laureate head of Zeus Eleutherios right; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN (clockwise starting upper right), thunderbolt, eagle on right standing right with wings closed; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $260.00 SALE |PRICE| $234.00
Syracuse, Sicily, Timoleon and the Third Democracy, c. 344 - 317 B.C.
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 Mün -, 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
Syracuse, Sicily, Hiketas, 287 - 278 B.C.
This combination of obverse and reverse control symbols (thunderbolt / star) is not published in the many references examined by Forum, however, we know of about a half dozen examples. The thunderbolt obverse control is most often combined with A over a star reverse left. The star reverse control is paired with a variety of obverse controls most commonly a trophy or bucranium.GI87381. Bronze litra, cf. Calciati II p. 303, 157 Ds 59 Rs 14; SNG Mün 1308; SNG ANS 810; SNG Morcom 783; BMC Sicily p. 204, 473, VF, dark patina, tight flan, some bumps, scratch, and mild corrosion, weight 10.719 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 287 - 278 B.C.; obverse ∆IOΣ EΛΛANIOY, beardless and laureate head of Zeus Hellanios left, thunderbolt (control symbol) behind; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN (upward on left, undivided), eagle with wings open standing left atop fulmen, star (control symbol) lower left, linear border; apparently unpublished; rare variant; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $120.00
Syracuse, Sicily, Agathokles, 317 - 289 B.C.
With an army of mercenaries, through deceit, and after banishing or murdering some 10,000 citizens, Agathocles made himself master of Syracuse and later most of Sicily. Machiavelli wrote of him, It cannot be called prowess to kill fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless, and irreligious and cited him as an example of those who by their crimes come to be princes. According to the historian Justin, very early in life Agathocles parlayed his remarkable beauty into a career as a prostitute, first for men, and later, after puberty, for women, and then made a living by robbery before becoming a soldier and marrying a rich widow.GI93451. Bronze AE 13, cf. Calciati II p. 284, 149; SNG ANS 744; SNG Morcom 748; HGC 2 1525 (R1); SNG Cop -; SNG Munchen -, BMC Sicily -, F, brown tone, porosity/corrosion, reverse off center, weight 1.496 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 295 - 289 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣION, laureate head of Apollo left, uncertain control symbol behind; reverse dog seated left, looking back right at tail, Y (control letter) above, A (control letter) in exergue; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $120.00 SALE |PRICE| $108.00
Syracuse, Sicily, Hieron II, 275 - 215 B.C.
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.GI87391. Bronze hemilitron, Calciati II p. 361, 193 Ds 40; HGC 2 1547 (S); SNG ANS 909 ff. var. (controls); SNG Cop 843 var. (same); BMC Sicily p. 215, 565 ff. var. (same), F, dark patina, tight flan, bumps and marks, corrosion, weight 20.012 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, c. 230 - 215 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Hieron left, beardless, conch shell (control symbol) behind; reverse IEPΩNOΣ, cavalryman prancing right, holding couched spear, no control symbols; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $70.00
Syracuse, Sicily, Agathokles, 317 - 289 B.C.
Although Agathocles was brutal in pursuit of power, afterward he was a mild and popular "tyrant." His grandest goal was to establish democracy as the dominant form of government for the world. He did not want his sons to succeed him as king and restored the Syracusan democracy on his death bed.GB69177. Bronze trias, Calciati II p. 247, 118; SNG Munchen 1255 ff.; SNG ANS 752; SNG Cop 776; BMC Sicily p. 198, 414; SGCV I 1204; HGC 2 1509 (S), aVF, smoothing, weight 1.880 g, maximum diameter 15.5 mm, die axis 45o, Syracuse mint, c. 308 - 307 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena left, wearing ornamented Corinthian helmet; reverse ΣYPAK/OΣIΩN, thunderbolt; scarce; $50.00 SALE |PRICE| $45.00
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