Second Democracy, 466-405 BC
AE Onkia. 1.15g, 11.8mm
MINTED: SICILY, Syracuse, Second Democracy, struck circa 435-415 BC
REF: HGC 2, 1434 (R1); CNS 10
OBVERSE: ΣVPA, Head of the nymph Arethousa right.
REVERSE: Octopus; pellet between tentacles.
Very Fine. Dark green patina with patches of red. A charming and scarce little coin in attractive style.
Following the overthrow of Thrasybulus (466-465 BC), the last of the Deinomenid tyrants, Syracuse became a republic, governed by an elected assembly of citizens and council of generals (strategoi). During the period that followed, known as the Second Democracy (466-405 BC), Syracuse cemented its position as the strongest city on the island of Sicily. Its growing power eventually brought it into conflict with Athens, once in 427 BC in a conflict which ended in a stalemate, and again in 415 BC, when a huge Athenian armada was sent to invade Sicily. The latter Sicilian Expedition resulted in a catastrophic defeat for the Athenians when the Spartans allied with Syracuse. The Athenians lost their entire force of two hundred ships and well over 10,000 men, and the preeminence of Syracuse was firmly re-established.
SICILY, Syracuse . Second Democracy, 466-405 BC . AE Onkia . Nymph & Octopus
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