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    Description

    Stylish Apollo

    SICILY. Syracuse. Agathocles (317-289 BC). AV drachm or decadrachm (15mm, 4.31 gm, 1h). Struck ca. 317-310 BC. Laureate head of Apollo left / ΣYPA-KO-ΣIΩN, charioteer driving biga right, holding kentron and reins; triskeles below. HGC 2, 1276. SNG ANS 550. SNG Copenhagen 745. Near-perfect centering, wonderful surfaces and a particularly stylish head of Apollo. NGC Choice AU ★ 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.

    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. War with Carthage followed; with Syracuse under siege, he staged a daring attack on the African hinterlands of Carthage that turned the tide of war in his favor. Though ultimately defeated in Africa, Agathocles returned to Sicily strengthened and was able to conclude a treaty with Carthage on favorable terms. In 304 BC he proclaimed himself King of Sicily and began placing his name and the title Basileus on his coinage. 


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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