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    Description

    SICILY. Syracuse. Agathocles (317-289 BC). AV stater, octobol or double-decadrachm (16mm, 5.67 gm, 5h). NGC MS ★ 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.  Struck as King of Sicily (295-289 BC). Head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet pushed back on head, the bowl decorated with leaping griffin / AΓAΘOKΛEOΣ / BAΣIΛEOΣ, winged thunderbolt, Φ below. HGC 2, 1535. SNG Copenhagen 778. SNG ANS 702. Bold, well-struck and sharp with problem-free surfaces.

    Ex Ebert Collection (Gemini V, 6 January 2009), lot 479.

    This beautiful stater falls into the late series of coins struck in the name of Agathocles, who first ruled Syracuse as a military strongman or "tyrant" and later styled himself "King of Sicily." In many ways he 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. 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.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2018
    17th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
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