SICILY, Syracuse

Hieron II (270-215 BC)
AE19. 5.51g, 19.1mm
MINTED: SICILY, Syracuse, Hieron II, circa 275-265 BC
REF: CNS 192; HGC 2, 1497
OBVERSE: Wreathed head of Kore-Persephone left.

REVERSE: Bull butting left; club and AP monogram above, IE in exergue.


Dark brown and green patina with some roughness but nice style and details.  


Historical Notes:

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, 275-215 BC . AE19 . Charging bull

SKU: 2659
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