The Reign of Hieron II
SICILY, Syracuse. Hieron II.
|Sale: Triton XIII, Lot: 72. Estimate $10000.
Closing Date: Monday, 4 January 2010.
Sold For $6500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
275-215 BC. AV Drachm – 100 Litrai (4.26 g, 1h). Struck circa 269-263 or 217-215 BC. Head of Persephone left with long flowing hair, wearing wreath of grain ears, single-pendant earring, and necklace; torch behind / Charioteer, holding kentron in right hand, reins in left, driving fast biga left; Π below horses, [IE]PΩNO[Σ] in exergue. Carroccio 39 (D24/R34); BAR issue 55; SNG ANS -; SNG Lloyd 1539; Jameson 875 (same dies). Choice EF.
Ex Star Collection (LHS 102, 29 April 2008), lot 97; Vinchon (22 November 1995), lot 21.
The dates for this issue suggest that this coin could have been struck either at the very beginning of the First Punic War or the Second Punic War.
Hieron II was an enlightened ruler of Syracuse, a change the people of the city welcomed after the reigns of several despots. In 263 BC he signed a treaty with Rome recognizing him as king. Throughout his reign, Hieron made a calculated decision to strictly adhere to the treaty, recognizing that the power of Syracuse was no match for the growing power of Rome. His reign as ruler of Syracuse is particularly interesting because it spanned the first two Punic wars.