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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

440, Lot: 12. Estimate $300.
Sold for $360. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SICILY, Syracuse. Pyrrhos. 278-276 BC. AR Oktobol (19mm, 5.68 g, 5h). Wreathed head of Persephone left; altar and A to right / Athena Alkidemos advancing left, holding shield decorated with aegis, preparing to cast thunderbolt. B&S Type 6, pl. 91, 20; BAR Issue 46; HGC 3, 264. VF, toned, hard green deposit on obverse, slightly off center on reverse.

From the Colin E. Pitchfork Collection. Ex Noble 79 (26 July 2005), lot 3196; BRN Collection (Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 85, 17 March 2004), lot 10.

From 280 BC, Pyrrhos was fighting against the Romans in Italy and Sicily on behalf of the Greeks there, and although he was ultimately successful after the battle of Asculum in 279 BC, his losses were such that he had to withdraw to his Sicilian base. In Sicily, he engaged the Carthaginians, then Roman allies, and almost forced them from the island before departing back to Italy, where he was finally defeated by the Romans at the battle of Beneventum in 275 BC. It is likely that this coin's issue was either related to his war against the Carthaginians, or else in preparation for his return to Italy.