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My First Animal On A Coin.

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 Posted 11/13/2020  6:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
On the original listing, the head on this coin issued during the reign of Agathokles was identified as Kore, but she is identified as Persephone on other listings. It appears that the names Kore and Persephone are indeed interchangeable.

I thought this coin was rather nice, and it came at a very reasonable cost. The bull on the reverse is beautifully modelled, and the icing on the cake is the two dolphins.

The son of a potter, Agathokles was to become the king of Syracuse. As a young man he was said to have led a criminal life making a living by robbery, and had many changes in fortune. He later devoted himself to the life of a soldier and rose through the ranks. He was a born leader of mercenaries and was not averse to using cruelty to meet his ends. His fortunes changed when he married his first wife, the wealthy widow of his patron Damas.

Leading an army of mercenaries he made himself master of Syracuse, and later most of Sicily, by banishing or murdering some 10,000 citizens. In Chapter VIII of Niccolo Machiavelli's treatise on politics, he cites Agathokles as an example "Of Those Who By Their Crimes Come to Be Princes".

Though his early years were violent and cruel, he became a mild and popular "tyrant", and came to glory by repelling invading Carthaginians and winning the loyalty of the denizens of his land. His final act was restoring the Syracusan democracy on his death bed.

Sicily, Syracuse, 317 - 289 BC. (reign of Agathokles).
Obverse: Head of Kore left, wreathed with corn, ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΩΝ before, control mark behind head. Reverse: Bull butting left, dolphin and Φ above, dolphin below. Bronze. Diameter: 20 mm. Weight: 6.5 gr.
Sear 1195; Calciati 96.
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 Posted 11/13/2020  6:55 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Particularly nice coin with superior engraving on both dies.
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 Posted 11/14/2020  1:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's not worth a photo. The kneeling man and his fish, worn and struck off center on a cracked flan. It's a full weight stater and the price was right.
"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
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 Posted 11/14/2020  6:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's a nice looking coin Jim!..Really good detail on both sides with a strong portrait and an 'uncommonly' well defined reverse with both dolphins 'swimming'! . Cool coin and this one 'could' be dropped on a shag-pile carpet with no problem..

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It appears that the names Kore and Persephone are indeed interchangeable.
.....After searching through quite a few Kore and Persephone coins I wouldn't like to put my money on either.......Unless someone has a little trick?
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 Posted 11/15/2020  7:10 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Particularly nice coin with superior engraving on both dies.

Thanks Bob, it is actually better than the auction images showed.

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It's not worth a photo.

Hopefully next time. @thq

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Cool coin and this one 'could' be dropped on a shag-pile carpet with no problem..

No Problem at all, Paul.

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After searching through quite a few Kore and Persephone coins I wouldn't like to put my money on either.......Unless someone has a little trick?

At first I thought that the ears of corn in her hair might indicate Persephone, as the fertility goddess, but some coins of her "innocent" persona Kore also have ears of corn in her hair. I wonder who decided which coins would be classed as the goddess Persephone, and which would be classed as the innocent Kore?
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 Posted 11/16/2020  1:17 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another bull butting coin from Syracuse in Sicily, and the head on the obverse is identified as Persephone this time. It is from the reign of tyrant, then King, Hieron II (Hiero). 275-215 BC.

Hieron was the son of Hierocles, a Syracusan of illustrious birth, who claimed without grounds, descent from the great Gelon the victor at IIimera. Hieron was however illegitimate, being the offspring of a female servant. Prophesies of his future greatness caused Hierocles to raise him as a true son. There is no clear date of his birth, though it is thought to have been before 306 BC, and according to Lucian, when he died in 215 BC he had attained the age of ninety-two.

After King Pyrrhus of Epirus departed Sicily in 276 BC, the Syracusans appointed Hieron commander of the army. He strengthened his position by marrying Philistis, the daughter of Leptines, the city's leading citizen.

The Mamertini, a body of Campanian mercenaries who had been employed by Agathocles, the former tyrant of Syracuse, had captured the stronghold of Messana (Messina, in northeastern Sicily), and from there harassed the Syracusans. Hieron attacked the Mamertines, and after a severe defeat and further preparation, routed them on the Longanus river, west of Messana. Carthaginian forces then intervened to prevent him from capturing Messana. The grateful Syracusans elected Hieron as king.

In 264 BC when he again attacked Messana, the Mamertini called on Rome for aid. Hieron at once joined the Carthaginian leader Hanno, who had recently landed in Sicily, but they were defeated by the Roman consul Appius Claudius Caudex, and Hieron withdrew to Syracuse. Besieged in Syracuse, Hieron came to terms with the Romans in 263 BC, preserving much of his kingdom, but becoming in effect a subordinate of Rome. His loyalty to Rome in the First Punic War by supplying them with soldiers and provisions, earned him the revision of his treaty in 248 BC and it became a treaty as between equals.

Hieron maintained an efficient navy, enjoyed friendly relations with Carthage (after 241 BC), Rhodes, and Egypt. With the help of his friend Archimedes, the mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer, he improved the defences of Syracuse, and his building programme enriched Syracuse and his kingdom.

On Hieron's death he was succeeded by his grandson Hieronymus, his son Gelon having predeceased him. His legacy was his system of taxation, the Lex Hieronica, which was adopted by Rome after her annexation of Sicily in 241 BC, as it was regarded as both efficient and equitable.

Sicily, Syracuse. Hieron II. 275-215 B.C.
Obverse: Head of Persephone left, wreathed in grain. Reverse: Bull butting left, club and Σ above, IE in exergue. Bronze. Diameter: 16 mm. Weight: 3.8 gr.
SNG ANS 1023.
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 Posted 11/19/2020  1:19 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I was drawn to this coin because of the portrait of Athena wearing Corinthian helmet, and the Hippocamp. Being from the time of Timoleon I did a bit of searching, and what an amazing man he turned out to be.

Timoleon, was a Corinthian statesman and general who famously defeated the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius II, and an army of Carthage against the odds. He was born in Corinth c. 411 BC to Timodemus, and Demariste, who were both from aristocratic families and held in high regard. He was known as a gentle man, apart from his hatred of tyrants and men of base character. Little is known about his early life, apart from him fighting as a common soldier in the war between Corinth and Argos in c. 368 BC.

In the battle fought by the Corinthians against the Argives and Cleonaeans, Timoleon was stationed with the men-at-arms, while his brother Timophanes, commanded the cavalry. Timophanes' horse was wounded and threw him among the enemy. Seing this, Timoleon ran to help his brother, covering him with his shield till the enemy was repulsed, and saving his life.

When the Corinthians, fearing that they might suffer a second loss of their city through the treachery of their allies, hired four hundred mercenaries, and put Timophanes in command of them. Timophanes however, without regard to honour or justice, brought the city under his own control. He had large numbers of the leading citizens put to death, and declared himself tyrant. This greatly distressed Timoleon, who tried to reason with him, but Timophanes rejected his appeals. Timoleon later returned with Timophanes' brother-in-law Aeschylus, and his friend the seer Satyrus, to try and reason with him again. At first Timophanes mocked them, then lost his temper and turned violent. Timoleon withdrew a little, while the other two drew their swords and speedily despatched him. Filled with anguish at what he had done Timoleon gave up all public life, and spent the next twenty years wandering in great distress in the most desolate parts of the country.

Though Timoleon no longer took part in public business, when the Syracusans asked Corinth for help to rid them of tyranny and the threat from the Carthaginians in 344 BC, Timoleon was asked to lead the Corinthian forces. He accepted, and set off with a force of 700 mercnaries and ten ships. In a battle at Adranum, Timolean defeated Hicetas the tyrant of Leontini, and when reinforcements arrived he led an attack on Syracuse itself. The campaign was a success and Dionysius II was forced to live in exile back at Corinth. Timoleon even rather generously ensured that the former tyrant had a small allowance to live off in his enforced retirement.

In 341 BC Carthage invaded Sicily yet again. Timoleon engaged the enemy near the river Crimisus (or Krimisos) in the west of the island and, by attacking first when their force was divided by the river, and for a second time during a violent thunderstorm, managed to defeat the Carthaginians despite having a much smaller army at his disposal (6,000 against 70,000 according to Plutarch). Timoleon made a treaty wth the Carthaginians in 338 BC which divided up the island into two parts. He would keep to the eastern half of the island if they stayed in the western part. Timoleon then proceeded to systematically take over the governments of the various tyrannies in his domain, gave cities a greater level of autonomy, and he established a new constitution at Syracuse.

The historical sources are in accordance, and present Timoleon as a just, modest, and pious man who was known as one of the few political leaders to have ruled in the interests of his people rather than his own. Timoleon died peacefully of old age in the mid-330s BC after retiring voluntarily from public office when his eyesight had failed him. He was buried in the agora of Syracuse and the following inscription made to commemorate his deeds: "He overthrew the tyrants, subdued the barbarians, repopulated the largest of the devastated cities, and then restored their laws to the people of Sicily" (Plutarch, 187). Not only was he buried with the status of an Oikistes (a colony founder) but the Syracusans also dedicated a new gymnasium to him called the Timoleonteum and organised annual games in his honour.

SICILY, Syracuse, 344 - 336 BC. (time of Timoleon).
Obverse: ΣΥΡΑ. Head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet. Reverse: Hippocamp left, with curled wing, rein hanging loose. Bronze. Diameter: 20 mm. Weight: 8.2 gr.
Sear 1193.
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 Posted 11/19/2020  6:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice couple of Syracuse coins Jim...
Really enjoyed the write ups thanks...
Sicily in general is a wonderful island, steeped with history, and I will return there one day...
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 Posted 11/21/2020  8:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Sicily in general is a wonderful island, steeped with history, and I will return there one day.

It certainly is a wonderful Island Paul, and I hope you manage to return there soon. I'd love to go back myself. I'm glad you are still finding the posts interesting.

Another coin from Syracuse, and one of my larger ones at 26 mm. It features the portrait of Hieron II (mentioned in a previous post), and a cavalryman on horseback. There were many sides to Hieron and he was not only a great politician, but ran a very efficient navy and army, and an efficent and equitable taxation system. He could also be ruthless when he felt it was necessary.

When he saw that the veteran mercenaries were becoming unreliable and potentially mutinous, he devised a plan to rid himself of them. He led his army out against the city of Messana, supposedly to attack the Campanians who occupied it. They pitched camp near Centuripa, and the troops were assembled close to the river Cyamosorus. Hieron personally commanded the infantry and cavalry, which consisted of Syracusan citizens. They were held in reserve, as if they were to attack from a different direction. He then ordered the mercenaries to advance, and allowed them to be cut to pieces by the Campanians. While the mercenaries were being slaughtered, Hieron and the Syracusans withdrew back to the capital. In one fell swoop Hieron had rid the army of it's fickle and treacherous elements.

Hieron then proceeded to levy a new army, and as soon as he had organised these troops, marched forth to chastise the Campanians who were naturally elated with their victory. He drove them out of the territory they had conquered, took the cities of Mylae and Alaesa, but Tyndaris, Abacaenum, and Tauromenium, declared in his favour. The Campanians were hemmed in on a corner of the island, and a pitched battle was fought at the river Longanus where they were totally defeated. Their leader, Cios, was taken prisoner, and Messana itself would have probably fallen into the hands of Hieron, had it not been for the intervention of the Carthaginians.

Sicily, Syracuse, 275 - 215 BC., reign of Hieron II.
Obverse: Diademed head of Hieron left. Reverse: Cavalryman charging on horseback to right, holding couched lance in his right hand; below, Φ; in exergue, ΙΕΡΩΝΟΣ. Bronze. Diameter 26 mm. Weight: 15.91 gr.
Calciati - 195 R1 35. Ex Harlan J. Berk.
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 Posted 11/21/2020  10:11 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Getting caught up. Interesting and informative updates, Jim, and super coins. Thanks for the ongoing work. Great thread.
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 Posted 11/21/2020  11:27 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thq to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Here's the badly struck Mysian stater with the kneeling man and his tuna. Not a thing of beauty, but very unusual for its shape. It appears to have been made by striking a ball of electrum, and is about 5 mm thick.

"Two minutes ago I would have sold my chances for a tired dime." Fred Astaire
Edited by thq
11/21/2020 11:28 pm
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 Posted 11/22/2020  11:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Bob. I had no idea that there was such a rich history to be found in Sicily, and I regret not looking into these coins years ago.

Quote:
Not a thing of beauty, but very unusual for its shape.

As is said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder @thq. To me, the condition of a coin is secondary to what it represents and the story behind it. Your stater is unique. There won't be another exactly like it, and I wonder what stories it could tell?

Jim
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 Posted 11/24/2020  1:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another coin that I would appreciate some help with.

The coin was listed as Poseidon with forepart of Pegasos reverse from Lampsakos in Mysia. On checking Wildwinds, there is no coin listed as Sear 3904 in the Lampsakos section. There is however a similar coin, but it is listed as Priapus not Poseidon.

A listing from Frascatius Ancients shows a similar coin, Sear 3904, but described as the laureate head of Zeus, forepart of Pegasos, from Lampsakos, Mysia.

ACSearch brought up one entry for a Poseidon obverse / forepart Pegasos reverse, but it is from Lolla with the identifying inscription above Pegasos. This is off flan on my coin. Another search on ACSearch for Pegasos and grain ear, brings up a list of coins from Adramytion with the head of Zeus.

Yet another reference to Sear 3904 shows a bearded head of Posiedon, but instead of a grain ear there is a small dolphin!

A thread on another forum, shows a near identical coin and is said to be "bearded head right, sometimes identified with Poseidon".

Can anyone point me in the right direction with this confusing coin?

Thanks in advance,
Jim

The original description:
Mysia, Lampsakos, 3rd cent. BC.
Obverse: Head of bearded Poseidon right. Reverse: Forepart Pegasos right, grain ear below. Bronze. Diameter: 12 mm. Weight: 1.56 gr.
Sear 3904v; SNG Cop 213-15v.
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 Posted 11/24/2020  5:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nice coin!....Again really out of my depth here but have you had a look at Zeus, Mysia, Adramytion? There are some that don't show the normal Laurel wreath, saying that maybe the op does?....Just a thought.
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 Posted 11/25/2020  10:43 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, I had looked at the Zeus coins from there as well Paul. There is nothing definitive that I can pin the coin down to though. Thanks anyway.

I guess I'll leave it with the original description in the meantime.

Jim
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