Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 72

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Lot 4033

Sicily, Syrakuse. Fifth Democracy, 214-212 BC. Silver 16 Litrai (13.54g). Laureate, bearded head of Zeus left. Reverse: ΣYPAKOΣIΩN. Nike (Victory) driving fast quadriga right, holding reins in both hands and kentron in left; below horses' forelegs, ΞI. Burnett, SNR 62, pl. 8, D3 = Gulbenkian 358 (same dies). Attractively toned. A fantasitc example of powerful Hellenistic style. Superb Extremely Fine.

This handsome Hellenistic rendering of the head of Zeus, produced at the very end of the period of the city's independence, provides a fitting final testament to the magnificence of the Syrakusan coinage over the preceding three centuries. Its issue should be set against the backdrop of turmoil in the city following the rejection of the Roman alliance by Syrakuse's last king Hieronymos (215-214 BC). His subsequent assassination led to the reestablishment of democratic government in Syrakuse (Fifth Democracy, 214-212 BC) and the city's subsequent siege and capture by the Romans under M. Claudius Marcellus. The Nike in a galloping four-horse chariot on the reverse speaks to the forlorn hope of the Sicilian Greeks that they could withstand the onslaught of the Roman forces.
Estimated Value $40,000 - 50,000.
The Hunter Collection; Ex Numismatic Fine Arts XII, 23-24 March 1983, lot 30.

Realized $77,625

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