Rare Agathokles Electrum Coin, Struck C. 304-289 BC
Very pretty style, attractively toned, extremely fine and rare. Sold at auction for 32,000 USD.
This 100 litrai is from the city of Syracuse, Sicily under the rule of Agathokles. The obverse shows the name ΣYPAKOΣIΩN and the laureate head of Apollo facing to left with a tripod behind him. The reverse has the word ΣΩTEIPA and the head of Artemis facing to the right, wearing a ribbon in her hair, an earring and a pearl necklace, with a quiver over her shoulder and a tripod behind her.
Agathokles (361- 289 BC) took control of Syracuse in 317 BC at the head of a large army, banishing or murdering all those who opposed him. Clearly a man of ambition, he proceeded to invade the territories of the surrounding cities of Sicily and eventually became embroiled in war with the Carthaginians, the longstanding enemies of the Sicilian Greeks since the 6th century.
Peace was finally concluded in 306 BC with Carthaginian power restricted to west Sicily. Thereafter, Agathokles continued to strengthen his rule over the Greek cities of Sicily. By 304 BC he declared himself King of Sicily, extending his influence into southern Italy and the Adriatic.