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v11_0025 - SICILY - SYRACUSE Tétradrachme

MONNAIES 11 (2002)
Starting price : 487.84 €
Estimate : 838.47 €
Realised price : 487.84 €
Type : Tétradrachme
Date: c. 480-475 AC.
Mint name / Town : Sicile, Syracuse
Metal : silver
Diameter : 24 mm
Orientation dies : 3 h.
Weight : 17,01 g.
Rarity : R2
Coments on the condition:
Exemplaire frappé sur un flan un peu court, mais complet avec un magnifique portrait expressif au revers. Patine légèrement dorée
Catalogue references :


Obverse legend : ANÉPIGRAPHE.
Obverse description : Bige au pas à droite, conduit par un aurige tenant les rênes et le kentron ; le bige est couronné par Niké volant à droite.


Reverse description : Tête d'Aréthuse à droite, les cheveux relevés et retenus par un diadème de perles, entourée de quatre dauphins.
Reverse legend : SURAKOSIO-N.


Mêmes coins que l’exemplaire de l’American Numismatic Society (ANS. 87).

Historical background


(Fifth century BC)

Hieron I, tyrant of Syracuse (478-467 avant J.-C.)

The government of Syracuse, founded in 733 BC by Corinthian settlers, was assured from 485 BC by Gelon, tyrant of Gela since 491 BC It was a victory Olympics 488 BC (chariot race) and remembered the victory by representing the right of coinage of Syracuse while the reverse was occupied by the head of Arethusa. This nymph, in mythology, residing in Ortygia Island, opposite the city of Syracuse, in the form of a freshwater fountain (Virgil Eclog. IV.1, X.1). Alpheus, a satyr, representing a river god in the Peloponnese, near Phylace in Arcadia, sued Arethusa. In his prayer, Artemis transformed her into one river and the sea nymph allowed to escape the satyr. This legend allowed to explain a hydro-geographical phenomenon: an underground river passes under the sea to lead in Ortigia island. In 480 BC, the Carthaginians invaded Sicily but were defeated by Gelon at Himera. In 478, Gelon died and his nephew succeeded him Hiero.

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