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Lot 28

Estimate: 2'500 CHF   |   Starting price: 2'500 CHF Price realized: 7'500 CHF
SICILY. SYRACUSE. Agathocles, king 317-289 BC. Tetradrachm, 310-305 BC. AR 17.20 g. Head of Arethusa l., crowned with reed, wearing triple pendant earring and necklace, below neck truncation, ΦI; three dolphins around. Rev. ΣYΡAKOΣIΩN Fast quadriga l., the driver wearing sleeveless chiton, holding the reins with his l. hand, the kentron in his r. hand; above, triskelis, in exergue, monogram. M. Ierardi, The tetradrachms of Agathocles of Syracuse: A preliminary Study, AJN 7-8 (1995-1996), 47, 61 (these dies); SNG ANS 642 (this obv. die).

Beautifull hellenistic style. Light tone. Extremely fine


Aquired from Anne Demeester, Brussels.

Auction 51 gallery, Brussels December 9, 2013, 66.

Agathocles, who ruled Syracuse as a military strongman or "tyrant" and later styled himself "King of Sicily," was a western counterpart to the Hellenistic rulers who carved up Alexander the Great's vast empire to the east. The son of a simple potter, he joined the army and rose through the ranks to become a strategos, or general. Ambitious, audacious and unscrupulous, he was banished for attempting to overthrow the democratic government of Syracuse, but returned in 317 BC leading an army of mercenaries, seized the city, and banished or murdered all of his opponents. His early coinage as Tyrant closely follows the decadrachm design of Euainetos struck nearly a century before.

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