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Hieron I, the brother of Gelon, was tyrant of Syracuse, Sicily, 478 - 467 B.C. He greatly increased the power of Syracuse. He removed the inhabitants of Naxos and Catania to Leontini, peopled Catania (which he renamed Aetna) with Dorians. He defeated the Etruscans and Carthaginians at the Battle of Cumae (474 B.C.), by which he saved the Greeks of Campania from Etruscan domination. He was a liberal patron of literature and culture. He established the first secret police in Greek history. He was an active participant in panhellenic athletic contests, winning several horse and chariot races. He died at Catania in 467 and was buried there. His grave was destroyed when the former inhabitants of Catania returned.SH98005. Silver tetradrachm, Boehringer series XI, 244 (V110/R165); HGC 2 1307, aVF, centered on a tight flan, toned, light deposits, scratches and marks, uneven strike, die wear, pre-strike casting sprues, weight 17.379 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 315o, Syracuse mint, c. 475 - 470 B.C.; obverse slow quadriga driven right by bearded male charioteer, kentron in right hand and reins in left hand, Nike above flying right crowning horses; reverse ΣVRAKOΣION (clockwise on right), head of Arethousa right, hair turned up in a krobylos, wearing a pearl diadem earring and necklace, four dolphins around; from the CEB Collection, ex Frank L. Kovacs; $1250.00 (€1025.00)
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.GI93452. Bronze litra, cf. Calciati II p. 287, 150; BMC Sicily p. 196, 389; SNG ANS 740; SNG Cop 767 ff.; HGC 2 1465 (R1), aVF, well centered, a little rough, weight 8.083 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Syracuse mint, 305 - 295 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, head of young Herakles left, wearing taenia; reverse lion walking right, right foreleg raised, club right above; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $110.00 (€90.20)
Syracuse, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 212 - 133 B.C.
Overcoming formidable resistance and the ingenious devices of Archimedes, the Roman General Marcus Claudius Marcellus took Syracuse in the summer of 212 B.C. Archimedes was killed during the attack. The plundered artworks taken back to Rome from Syracuse lit the initial spark of Greek influence on Roman culture.GI93809. Bronze AE 15, Calciati II p. 422, 221; SNG ANS 1080; SNG Cop 895; SNG Munchen 1463; HGC 2 1516 (R1); Grose 2975, F, well centered, dark patina, porosity/corrosion, light earthen deposits, weight 2.684 g, maximum diameter 14.7 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 212 - 180 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo left, with short hair, somewhat archaic style; reverse vertical long torch, ΣYP-AKO/ΣI-ΩN in two divided lines across lower field; from the Errett Bishop Collection; $60.00 (€49.20)
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