Hieron II (270-215 BC)
AE Litra. 6.46g, 19mm
MINTED: SICILY, Syracuse, 240-215 BC
REF: HGC 2, 1550
OBVERSE: Head of Poseidon left, wearing tainia.
REVERSE: IEΡΩ-NOΣ, Ornamented trident head; flanked by dolphins downward, Δ-T in lower field.
Ex Cardinal Joachim Meisner Collection
Cardinal Meisner (1933-2017) was a leading figure in the Roman Catholic church, serving as Archbishop of Cologne from 1989 to 2014. He was a close friend to both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. After he passed away in 2017, his private collection of antiquities was auctioned off, with the proceeds going to the Cardinal Meisner Foundation of Cologne.
Very Fine. An excellent example with a lovely mossy-green patina.
Hieron was the illegitimate son of a Syracusan noble and a slave girl who eventually became of the great Hellenistic kings of Sicily, ruling for over 40 years. He first gained prominence serving as a general under King Pyrrhos of Epeiros, before making himself tyrant of Syracuse around 275 BC. For his liberation of numerous Sicilian cities from the yoke of the Mamertine mercenaries of Messana, Hieron was declared king between 269 to 265 BC and came to control much of the island. During the First Punic War (264-241 BC), Hieron was initially an ally of Carthage, before making peace with and supporting the Romans in their ultimately successful efforts at ejecting the Carthaginians from Sicily. Machiavelli mentions Hieron in his book The Prince, praising his "great ability, even as a private citizen", and remarking that once he became king, he was secure in his station because of his canniness at building alliances and maintaining a strong army.
SICILY, Syracuse . Hieron II, 270-215 BC . AE19 . Ex Cardinal Meisner Collection
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