SICILY. Syracuse. Gelon, son of Hieron II, 275-216/5 BC. 4 Litrai (Silver, 16 mm, 3.32 g, 6 h), c. 240. Diademed head of Gelon to left. Rev. ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣIOI ΓΕΛΩΝΟΣ Eagle with closed wings standing to right on a thunderbolt; to left, E; to right, BA. BMC 534. SNG ANS 898 (same reverse die); SNG Lockett 1020. Giesecke pl. 25, 12 (same dies). Rare. An unusually fine, toned and attractive example with an elegant portrait of fine hellenistic style. Extremely fine.
Ex Tradart 7, 17 Novemeber 1994, 31.
Gelon, son of Hieron II and co-king of Syracuse, was an interesting character. He was intelligent enough to have Archimedes dedicate his study, The Sand Reckoner, to him, but he was unwise enough to seek to break Hieron’s alliance with Rome in the aftermath of the battle of Cannae. This resulted in his assassination by his father’s orders. The quality of this portrait shows him as a serious and strong personality.
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