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476885.

SICILY, Syracuse. Timoleon and the Third Democracy. 344-317 BC. Æ Dilitron (26.5mm, 19.31 g, 9h). Timoleontic Symmachy coinage. 2nd series, circa 339/8-334 BC. Head of Zeus Eleutherios left, wearing laurel wreath; [Z]EYΣ EΛ-EYΘEPIOΣ around / Horse rearing left; ΣYPA-K-OΣIΩN around. Castrizio Series II, 1; CNS 80; Puglisi 306; HGC 2, 1439; SNG ANS 533-41; SNG Lloyd 1456-7; Basel 500. Near EF, attractive dark green patina, a hint of smoothing in fields. Fine style head of Zeus.


By the early 4th century BC, Syracuse had become highly factionalized, and the political turmoil was taken advantage of by the Carthaginians, who supported Hiketas against their enemy, Dionysios I. Eventually a delegation was sent by the Syracusans to Corinth to appeal to their mother city for help. Timoleon was chosen to take control of Syracuse, drive the Carthaginian-backed government from power, and restore the tranquility and prosperity of the great Sicilian city. In this endeavor Timoleon was successful, and his rule sparked a cultural and political revival. This revival is reflected in the city's coinage, with the advent of many new types and denominations. The types on the present issue are quite appropriate: the head of Zeus Eleutherios (Zeus the Liberator), exemplifying the success of Timoleon, and a “free” horse in a triumphal and vigorous pose, exemplifying the newly liberated and unrestrained populace of Syracuse.