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bgr_512973 - SICILY - SYRACUSE Obole

320.00 €(Approx. 348.80$ | 268.80£)
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Type : Obole
Date: c. 480-470 AC.
Mint name / Town : Syracuse, Sicile
Metal : silver
Diameter : 9 mm
Weight : 0,64 g.
Rarity : R2
Coments on the condition:
Flan bien centré. Usure régulière. Joli portrait ainsi qu’un revers bien venu à la frappe. Patine grise de collection ancienne avec des reflets dorés
Catalogue references :


Obverse legend : ANÉPIGRAPHE.
Obverse description : Tête féminine à droite avec un cordon perlé dans les cheveux et un collier ; une partie de la chevelure tombant sur la nuque.


Reverse legend : ANÉPIGRAPHE.
Reverse description : Roue à quatre rayons avec un moyeu central.


Il s’agit bien d’une obole et pas d’une litra. Ce type pourrait avoir inspiré le monnayage primitif de Massalia (Marseille) à la roue avec les oboles au Lacydon (voir MONNAIES XV, n° 48). Le revers servira de modèle à la litra à la tête casquée (cf. MONNAIES XV, n° 46).

Historical background


(5th century BC)

Hieronymus, tyranus of Syracuse

The government of Syracuse, founded in 733 BC by Corinthian settlers, was ensured from 485 BC by Gelon, tyrant of Gela since 491 BC. He had won a victory at the Olympic Games of 488 BC (chariot race) and recalled this victory by representing it on the obverse of the coinage of Syracuse while the reverse was occupied by the head of Arethusa. This nymph, in mythology, resided in the island of Ortygia, opposite the city of Syracuse, in the form of a fountain of fresh water, (Virgil, Eclog. IV.1, X.1). Alpheus, a satyr, representing a river-god in the Peloponnese, near Phylace in Arcadia, had pursued Arethusa. At her request, Artemis transformed her into a river and only the sea allowed the nymph to escape the satyr. This legend made it possible to explain a hydro-geographical phenomenon: an underground river passes under the sea to emerge in the island of Ortygia. In 480 BC, the Carthaginians invaded Sicily but were defeated by Gelon at Himera. In 478, Gelon died and his nephew Hieron succeeded him.

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