Ancient Greek, Sicily, Syracuse, Agathokles, Artemis Copper Litra, 306-289 BC

Denomination: AE21 or copper litra

Period: Time of Agathokles

Date: c295 BC

Origin: Syracuse, Sicily 

Condition: VF for type

Obverse: Draped bust of Artemis Soteira, right, quiver over shoulder, SWTEIRA in Greek lettering downward to right

Reverse: Winged thunderbolt; AGAQOKL[EOS] BASILE[OS] in Greek lettering (Agathokles King) above and below

Size and Weight: 21mm, 7.66g

References: Sear 1200, BMC 422

Features and Provenance: Our coin was issued between 306-289 BC, probably about 295 BC. At that time, Greece was not one country but made up of many kingdoms led by a large number of rulers. Agathokles (born 361 BC) made himself king of Sicily during this period. He ended up a tyrant but began life a a potter. Things changed for him when he entered the army and became politically involved; being banished twice for trying to overthrow the ruling regime in Syracuse. He later returned with his own army of mercenaries and took control in 304BC, making himself king. He was considered a 'popular tyrant' (if there is such a thing), but he is described as 'behaving as a criminal at every stage of his career'. He was either poisoned or died of natural causes in 290 BC. Maybe the thunderbolt on the coin was apt! 



Condition Summary. This varies with the age of coin and there are grades between

Uncirculated (U). As struck with no traces of wear

Extremely Fine (EF). Very slight traces of wear, all parts of legend etc present, visible and clear

Very Fine (VF). Some signs of wear on the higher parts of the relief, all parts of legend etc present, but maybe worn

Fine (F). Wear on the coin and parts of legend etc may be missing or not visible






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  • Product Code: 21081313
  • Availability: Sold
  • £80.00

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