Sicily, Syracuse, Agathokles (317-289 BC).
Silver Tetradrachm, c. 305-295 BC.
Obverse: KOΡAΣ, head of Kore facing right, wearing grain wreath and pendant earring.
Reverse: [AΓAΘOK]ΛEIOΣ, Nike, bare to the waist, standing right, constructing a trophy; to right, triskeles to left.
(SNG ANS 665-668).
Extremely Fine. Some minor scratches to the reverse field. A beautiful portrait.
Ex Hess-Leu 45, (12/05/1970), Lot #70.
Ex Munzen and Medaillen 68, (15/04/1986), Lot #76.
Agathokles was a tyrant of Syracuse and King of Sicily, who, after conquering Syracuse in 317 BC (and promising to uphold the city’s democratic values) murdered over 10,000 of its citizens, made himself master of the city, and formed a massive army to conquer the rest of Sicily.
‘It cannot be called prowess to kill fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless, irreligious. … Still, if the courage of Agathocles in entering into and extricating himself from dangers be considered, together with his greatness of mind in enduring and overcoming hardships, it cannot be seen why he should be esteemed less than the most notable captain. Nevertheless, his barbarous cruelty and inhumanity with infinite wickednesses do not permit him to be celebrated among the most excellent men.’
Machiavelli, on Agathokles of Syracuse.