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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     77000075
Type:     Greek
Region:     SICILY
City:     Syracuse
Issuer:     Fifth Democracy
Date Ruled:     214-212 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     10 Litrai
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC 214-212
Weight:     8.42 g
Die Axis:     11 h
Obverse Description:     Head of Persephone left, wearing wreath of grain, single-pendant earring, and necklace; long torch to right
Reverse Legend:     ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ / XAP
Reverse Description:     Zeus Strategos standing facing, head right, holding scepter in right hand; to left, XAP above eagle flying right
Primary Reference:     Carroccio, basileus, type 85
Reference2:     Burnett, Enna, obv. die 38 (same dies as illustration)
Reference3:     SNG ANS -
Reference4:     BMC 661 (same dies); De Luynes 1394 (same dies)
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Superb EF, lightly toned, hairline flan crack
Notes:     Sale: Triton XI, Lot: 75 Overstruck on a 10 Litrai of Hieronymos The Syracusan ruler Hieron II, a loyal ally of Rome, died in 215 BC while the Romans were locked in a life-and-death struggle with Hannibal of Carthage. Hieron’s son, Gelon, had predeceased him, so the throne of Syracuse passed to Hieron’s grandson, Hieronymos, a youth of only fifteen. The Carthaginian faction in Syracuse persuaded the new ruler to renounce the Roman alliance which his grandfather had so steadfastly maintained, but this soon resulted in a revolution at Syracuse in which Hieronymos and all the members of his family perished (214 BC). The young king had reigned for a mere thirteen months. Democratic government was now reestablished but the following year the Romans laid siege to the city and it was sacked following its fall in 211, thus bringing to an end almost three centuries of Syracusan preeminence in the affairs of Greek Sicily. The three-year period of the restored democracy saw a surprisingly large and varied output of coinage, principally in silver, all the more remarkable as the city was under siege by the Romans throughout most of this period.The reverse of the 10 litrai has a figure that appears to represent the statue of Zeus Strategos mentioned by Cicero in II Verr. iv. 58 (cf. Historia Numorum, pp. 186-7). This denomination is probably the rarest of all the coinage of the Fifth Democracy. Only the BMC and BN (De Luynes) have specimens in published collections. Three other examples have appeared in auction sales: Gorny & Mosch 148, 77; Triton V, 1248 = Triton I, 369; and NAC 29, 135 = Lanz 36, 115.