Signed by Euainetos
SICILY, Syracuse. Dionysios I.
|Triton XVI, Lot: 232. Estimate $50000.
Sold for $40000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
405-367 BC. AR Dekadrachm (34mm, 42.68 g, 6h). Reverse die signed by Euainetos
. Struck circa 404-390 BC. Charioteer, holding kentron in extended right hand and reins in left, driving fast quadriga left; above, Nike flying right, crowning charioteer with wreath held in her extended hands; below heavy exergual line, [military harness], shield, greaves, cuirass, and crested Attic helmet, all connected by a horizontal spear; [AΘΛA below] / Head of Arethusa left, wearing wreath of grain ears, triple-pendant earring, and pearl necklace; ΣΥ-ΡΑΚ-Ο-ΣΙ-ΩΝ above (bottom of letters visible), four swimming dolphins around, and EY-A[IN]E along lower edge (top of letters visible). Gallatin dies R.VIII/C.XV; Rizzo pl. LIV, 6–7; SNG ANS 369; SNG Lloyd 1412; Dewing 896–7; BMC 175 (same dies); SNG München 1078 (same dies). EF, even gray tone with golden hues, minimal die rust. Excellent metal.
Ex Classical Numismatic Group 75 (23 May 2007), lot 80.
Dionysios assumed power in 405 BC and immediately set out to make Syracuse the greatest and best fortified city in all of Greece. He was defending against the renewed imperialistic expansion of Carthage. Three times he defeated the Carthaginians, bringing further prestige and wealth to Syracuse. During his reign, the Syracuse navy became the most powerful in the Mediterranean, allowing Syracuse to expand her territorial control over much of southern Italy.
Dionysios reintroduced the large and ostentatious silver dekadrachms, a denomination that had not been used in Syracuse since the issue of the Demareteion decades earlier. Dionysios entrusted two of the greatest local numismatic artists, Kimon and Euainetos, to design these impressive pieces. The regard for these coins in modern times is reflected by the fact that they are considered a must for any first rank collection of Greek coins.