circa 450-440 BC
Charioteer, holding kentron and reins, driving slow quadriga right; above, Nike flying right, crowning horses; in exergue, ketos (sea-serpent)
ΣVRAKOΣI-ON, large head of Artemis-Arethusa right, wearing pearl necklace with pendant, hoop earring with small pendant, and fillet around which hair rolled in back; four dolphins around swimming clockwise
24.67mm, 16.4g, 10h
Choice VF, well centered, toned, some roughness, lamination
ex H.D. Rauch eAuction 24 (29 September 2017), Lot 25
An exceptional example of classical numismatic art at its finest. The die-engravers of Sicily, Syracuse were responsible for the finest art to found on a coin, whether by ancient or modern standards. Such coins are coveted by collectors and unsurprisingly fall outside a budget available to many collectors.
The Deinomenid tyrants ruled Sicily, Syracuse from 485-465 BC. The tyrant rulers comprised the brothers Gelon I (ruled 485 BC-478 BC), Hieron I (478 BC-466 BC) and Thrasybulus (466-465 BC), all sons of Deinomenes. Legend has it that Deinomenes was told by an oracle that each of his sons were destined to become tyrants. When the Deinomenid tyrant Thrasybulus was overthrown, Syracuse became a republic for sixty years. This period from 466-405 BC is known as the Second Democracy.