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313, Lot: 54. Estimate $100.
Sold for $140. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BITHYNIA, Herakleia Pontike. Dionysios. Tyrant, 337-305 BC. AR Siglos or Drachm (17mm, 4.47 g, 12h). Wreathed head of Dionysos left, thyrsos over shoulder / Herakles standing left, holding lion’s skin and erecting trophy; ram’s head below. SNG BM Black Sea 1612; HGC 7, 501. Fine, toned, some porosity. Scarce.

A civil struggle in Herakleia lead to the founding of a tyranny by Klearchos in 364 BC. Klearchos himself was assassinated in 352, followed by a six year regency of his brother Satyreos until his son Timotheos came of age in 346. Timotheos shortly thereafter raised his younger brother Dionysios as a joint ruler, and Dionysios remained tyrant of Herakleia after the death of Timotheus in 337 until his own passing in 305. The dynasty continued under his sons until Lysimachos seized the city in 284 BC. The family of Klearchos seems to have have had a special attachment to the god Dionysos; he named one of his sons after the god, and was even murdered while offering sacrifice at his temple. Dionysos was the standard type for the coinage of the dynasty, although the named coinage seems to have ended shortly after the accession of Dionysios, probably at the time of the arrival of Alexander in Asia Minor in 334 BC. Such expressions of autonomy were not viewed favorably by the new master of the Greek east.