Sicily, Syracuse. Fourth Republic, c. 289-287 BC or later

Sicily, Syracuse. Fourth Republic, c. 289-287 BC or later

275.00

AE22, 8.96g (22mm, 12h). Zeus Hellanios laureate r.; in front Διοζ Ελλανιον (Zeus Hellianos) / Eagle on thunderbolt; around Σνρακοσιων (Syracuse).

Pedigree: from the collection of W. F. Stoecklin, Amriswil, Switzerland, acquired from Hamburger in 1933.

References:  SNG Cop 793; BMC 482 (dates c. 282-278 BC)

Grade:  Slightly rough surfaces but pleasant strike. Dark patina. VF+  (gk1189)

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This coin was struck just subsequent to the death of Agathokles in 289 BC. History suggests that Agathokles was poisoned by his grandson Archagathus but in reality modern medicine suggests that it was cancer of the jaw (The Cambridge Ancient History, p. 636). With Agathokles dead the Syracusans depleted their population of fighting men by the continuous wars fought on behalf of the tyrant.Agathokles was a ruthless leader, smart and strategic but nonetheless an opportunist. Once dead, Archagathus was quickly put to death by a Maenon, an assassin. Shortly afterwards Hiketas came into power but numismatic evidence suggests that there was a short time period where a Republican government was in power between the death of Agathokles and the rise of Hiketas. This time is referred to as the Fourth Republic. There is not a lot known from this short period of time.