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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Sicily| ▸ |Syracuse||View Options:  |  |  | 

Syracuse, Sicily

Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysios I, c. 405 - 367 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Dionysios| |I,| |c.| |405| |-| |367| |B.C.|, hemilitron
Dionysius I was tyrant of Syracuse. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies. He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot - cruel, suspicious and vindictive.
GS86597. Silver hemilitron, SNG ANS 301; SNG Cop 669; SNG Lloyd 1379; BMC Sicily p. 182, 237; Boehringer Münzprägungen pl. II, 19; HGC 2 1392 (R2) , VF, dark toning, light marks and corrosion, tiny edge cracks, weight 0.434 g, maximum diameter 10.1 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 405 - 395 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa left, wearing drop earring, hair bound in ampyx and sphendone, no control symbol or signature; reverse four-spoked wheel, SY-PA in upper quarters, two dolphins heads downward nose to nose in lower quarters; very rare; $270.00 SALE |PRICE| $243.00
 


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

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Pyrrhus| |of| |Epirus,| |278| |-| |276| |B.C.|, AE 26
This combination of control symbols is not listed in the references examined. The cornucopia obverse control symbol is normally paired with a fulmen (thunderbolt) on the reverse. The vertical trident reverse control symbol is normally paired with a club on the obverse.
SH73164. Bronze AE 26, Calciati II p. 325, 177 Ds 69 var. (club vice cornucompia); SNG Cop 810 var.; SNG ANS 844 ff. var.; SNG München 1333 ff. var.; HGC 2 1450 (S), VF, nice style, nice patina, broad flan, edge split, weight 11.274 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 90o, Syracuse mint, 278 - 276 B.C.; obverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, head of Herakles left, clad in lion-skin headdress, cornucopia (control symbol) behind; reverse Athena Promachos advancing right, helmeted and draped, hurling javelin with raised right hand, shield in left hand, no inscription, vertical trident head upward (control symbol) behind; rare variety; $150.00 SALE |PRICE| $135.00
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Hiketas, 287 - 278 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Hiketas,| |287| |-| |278| |B.C.|, litra
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| $135.00
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Dionysius I, 405 - 367 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Dionysius| |I,| |405| |-| |367| |B.C.|, tetras
"The model for the head on the obverse is derived from the facing Arethusa by Kimon. Exemplars signed by the great master are known. This issue is usually attributed to Exakestidas with several exemplars signed E. However, stylistic evidence of many exemplars reveals such substantial differences the intervention of other engravers seems to be certain, while the discovery of traces of signature not completely legible but certainly not pointing to Exakestidas confirm the assumption." - Calciati p. 59
GI79945. Bronze tetras, Calciati II p. 59 ff., 29; SNG ANS 385; SNG Cop 679; SNG München 1105; HGC 2 1432 (R1, Second Democracy, 415-405 B.C.); SNG Morcom -, VF, nice green patina, fine classical style, obverse slightly off-center, scratches and bumps, weight 1.825 g, maximum diameter 12.4 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 405 - 400 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Arethusa facing slightly left, wearing necklace; reverse octopus; $95.00 SALE |PRICE| $85.50
 


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

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Hieron| |II,| |275| |-| |215| |B.C.|, hemilitron
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| $81.00
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Roman Rule, c. 212 - 133 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Roman| |Rule,| |c.| |212| |-| |133| |B.C.|, AE 19
This type was perhaps the last pseudo-autonomous issue of Syracuse.
RP79995. Bronze AE 19, Calciati II p. 434, 240/9 (same obverse die), SNG Morcom 838, SNG ANS 1099, SNG München 1483, Fine/Fair, obv off-center, ragged flan, weight 4.933 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 345o, Syracuse mint, c. 212 - 133 B.C.; obverse diademed, bearded male (Serapis, Poseidon or Zeus) head right; reverse ΣYPAKOCIΩN, female (Isis?) standing left, wreath (or sistrum?) in right, long scepter vertical behind in left; ex Forum (2011); scarce; $55.00 SALE |PRICE| $49.50
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Agathokles, 317 - 289 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Agathokles,| |317| |-| |289| |B.C.|, trias
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 München 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
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Agathokles, 317 - 289 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Agathokles,| |317| |-| |289| |B.C.|, AE 14
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.
GI75172. Bronze AE 14, Calciati II p. 248, 119; SNG ANS 751; SNG Cop 777; BMC Sicily p. 198, 413; SGCV I 1204 var. (head left), VF, green patina, light corrosion and encrustations, weight 2.127 g, maximum diameter 14.08 mm, Syracuse mint, c. 295 - 289 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing ornamented Corinthian helmet; reverse ΣYPAK/OΣIΩN, thunderbolt; rare; $36.00 SALE |PRICE| $32.40
 


Syracuse, Sicily, Fifth Democracy, 214 - 212 B.C.

|Syracuse|, |Syracuse,| |Sicily,| |Fifth| |Democracy,| |214| |-| |212| |B.C.|, tetras
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.
GI74344. Bronze tetras, Calciati II p. 418, 209; BMC Sicily p. 225, 675; SNG ANS 1052; SNG München 1549; SNG Cop -; SGCV I -; HGC 2 -, VF, heavy patina, corrosion, rough, weight 2.294 g, maximum diameter 11.5 mm, die axis 0o, Syracuse mint, c. 214 - 212 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Poseidon right, crescent with horns up behind; reverse ornamented trident head, dolphin downward flanking on each side, ΣYP−AKO/ΣI−ΩN in two lines in lower field divided by shank; ex David Surber Collection; rare; $32.00 SALE |PRICE| $28.80
 







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REFERENCES|

Burnett, A. "The Enna Hoard and the Silver Coinage of the Syracusan Democracy" in SNR 62 (1983).
Boehringer, E. Die Münzen von Syrakus. (Berlin and Leipzig, 1929).
Calciati, R. Corpus Nummorum Siculorum. The Bronze Coinage, Vol II. (Milan, 1986).
Caltabiano, C., B. Carroccio, & E. Oteri. Siracusa ellenistica: Le monete 'regali' di Ierone II, della sua famiglia e dei Siracusani. Pelorias 2. (Messina, 1997).
Castrizio, D. La monetazione mercenariale in Sicilia, Strategie economiche e territoriali fra Dione e Timoleonte. (Soveria Manelli, 2000).
Evans, A. "Contributions to Sicilian Numismatics" in Numismatic Chronicle XVI, 1896., pp. 101 - 143.
Evans, A. Syracusan Medallions and their Engravers. (London, 1892).
Favorito, E. The Bronze Coinage of Ancient Syracuse. (Boston, 1990).
Gabrici, E. La monetazione del bronzo nella Sicila antica. (Palermo, 1927).
Gallatin, A. Syracusan dekadrachms of the Euainetos type. (Cambridge, 1930).
Gardner, P. The Types of Greek Coins. (Cambridge, 1882).
Head, B. History of the Coinage of Syracuse. (London, 1874).
Hill, G. Coins of Ancient Sicily. (Westminster, 1905).
Hoover, O.D. Handbook of Coins of Sicily (including Lipara), Civic, Royal, Siculo-Punic, and Romano-Sicilian Issues, Sixth to First Centuries BC. (Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Sicily. (London, 1876).
Reinach, T. Sur la valeur relative des métaux monétaires dans la Sicile greque (L'Histoire par les monnaies). (Paris, 1902).
Rizzo, G. Monete greche della Sicilia. (Rome, 1946).
Salinas, A. Le monete delle antiche città di Sicilia descritte e illustrate da Antonino Salinas. (Palermo, 1871).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Strauss, P. Collection Maurice Laffaille - monnaies grecques en bronze. (Bàle, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 1: Italy - Sicily. (West Milford, NJ, 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 6: Sikelia, Punier in Sizilien, Lipara, Sardinia, Nachträge. (Berlin, 1980).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 2: Sicily - Thrace. (London, 1947).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume X, John Morcom Collection. (Oxford, 1995).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 5: Sicily 3 (Syracuse - Siceliotes). (New York, 1988).
Tudeer, L. Die Tetradrachmenprägung von Syrakus in der Periode der Signierenden Künstler. (Berlin, 1913).
von Bahrfeldt, M. Die römisch-sicilischen Münzen aus der Zeit der Republik, etc. (Geneva, 1904).
Weil, R. Die Künstlerinschriften der sicilischen Münzen. Winckelmannsfest-Progr. 44. (1884).

Catalog current as of Friday, February 21, 2020.
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Syracuse