SICILY, Syracuse. Agathokles. 317-289 BC. Syracuse, c. 317-310 BC. AR Tetradrachm

Ancient Coins - SICILY, Syracuse. Agathokles. 317-289 BC. Syracuse, c. 317-310 BC. AR Tetradrachm
zoom view

317-289 BC. Syracuse, c. 317-310 BC. AR Tetradrachm, 16.94g (22mm, 4h). Wreathed head of Arethusa left, surrounded by three dolphins; below neck, NK. Reverse: ΣYPAKOΣIΩ[N] in exergue, charioteer, holding goad and reins, driving galloping quadriga left; above, triskeles; in exergue, monogram

Price: $6,500


Agathokles was a tyrant of Syracuse. Tyrants in ancient Greek times were not the same as what we view the reckless and unfeeling tyrants of today. A tyrant was simply a person that seized power unconstitutionally or inherited such power.


Agathokles served with distinction in the army and was banished twice for attempting to overthrow the oligarchic government at the time. In 317 BC, he returned with a vengeance with an army, killed about 10,000 citizens and placed himself as King of Syracuse. The first campaigns that Agathokles waged successfully brought other city states in Sicily under his control. Later he unsuccessfully waged war on the Carthaginians, although he was able to secure a peace agreement that secured some of the land in Syracuse to remain under his control. Family quarrels surrounding his successors caused Agathokles to restore liberty among Syracusans.


This impressive coin of Agathokles follows the style and theme of earlier coins of Syracuse. One difference however is the image of Arethusa portrayed on the obverse of the coin as opposed to the reverse. The dynamic style of the quadriga is similar to its earlier predecessors.


References: Ierardi 42b; SNG ANS 633

Grade: Some minor porosity and wear, otherwise lovely style and great strike. aEF

gk1097


Price SKU: gk1097
US$ 6,500.00
  • € 5,877.30
  • £ 5,038.15
  • AUD 9,537.45
  • CHF 6,451.90
  • CAD 8,646.30

Rates for: 11/20/19

Ships from: United States
Sold