Pyrrhos of Epeiros, 278-276 BC
AE24. 8.67g, 23.6mm
MINTED: SICILY, Syracuse, circa 278-276 BC
REF: CNS 178; HGC 2, 1451
OBVERSE: Head of young Herakles in lion skin headdress left.
REVERSE: ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, Athena Promachos standing right, brandishing thunderbolt and shield.
Good Fine. Warm brown patina. Some surface roughness, but clear and bold details and a nicely styled bust of Herakles. Minor flan split, not affecting devices.
Syracuse was the wealthiest and most important city on the island of Sicily, and, for a time, one of the most influential of Greek cities in the entire Mediterranean region.
Pyrrhos was the famed Epeirote ruler who, fresh from his victory over the Roman Republic in 279 BC, was asked by the Sicilians to become their king and repulse the Carthaginians, who were at the time beseiging Syracuse. Pyrrhos accepted the offer, lifted the siege of Syracuse with his army, and continued to drive back the Carthaginian forces. When Pyrrhos began to demand ever great military and financial contributions from the Sicilians, however, they turned against him, and after a rule of a mere two years, he abandoned Sicily and sailed his navy back to Italy to commence a new conflict with Rome.
SICILY, Syracuse . Pyrrhos of Epeiros, 278-276 BC . AE24 . Athena
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