Among the finest known 10 Litrai from Syracuse
Lot 26
SICILY. Syracuse. Second Democracy, 466-405 BC. 10 Litrai or Didrachm (Gold, 11 mm, 0.67 g, 6 h), 406/5. ΣYΡΑ Head of Athena to left, wearing crested Attic helmet. Rev. Aegis with facing gorgoneion in center and border of serpents; all within shallow round incuse. Boehringer, Finanzpolitik, pl. 38, 9. Boehringer, Ehrenrettung, pl. 2, 6. HGC 2, 1290. Rizzo pl. XL, 6. SNG ANS 326. SNG Copenhagen 687. SNG München 1087. Rare and in exceptional condition for the issue, a wonderful example and undoubtedly among the finest known. Perfectly struck on a very broad flan and free of the die rust that plagues this series. The obverse struck slightly off center, otherwise, good extremely fine.

Ex Tradart, 16 November 1995, 25.

Unlike in Asia Minor, gold was only coined in Greece and Magna Graecia in times of peril during the 5th century BC. The magnificent Syracusan gold coinage of the late 5th century BC is undoubtedly linked to the great Carthaginian campaigns of 406-405 BC, which prompted several Sicilian cities to issue emergency gold coins. The metal for this likely originated from melted-down temple treasures; the denominations were based on the value ratio of gold to silver, initially at 1:13 and later rising to 1:15. The present, wonderfully preserved example comes from the earliest series and corresponds in value to a silver didrachm of 8.71 g. In contrast to Akragas and Gela, both of which fell to Carthaginian conquest and destruction, Syracuse successfully resisted the Carthaginian threat. Yet, this victory came at the price of losing its democratic constitution, ultimately leading to Dionysios' rise as Sicily's most renowned tyrant.
10000 CHF
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