Gelon of Gela, Sicily, Tyrant of Syracuse: My new most beautiful coin, according to RC (he's right)

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ryro, May 8, 2022.

  1. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status Supporter

    Having scouted out the coin show the day before I'd had a chance to fool around and fall in love... HARD, but didn't want to pull the trigger before @Roman Collector and I could take a look around together. And also maybe to think about it.
    The next day we met up, had a BLAST and I had a chance to show him the coin that I'd been pinning over. It was even more beeeeautiful than I'd remembered:singing::kiss:
    Once I'd paid the esteemed seller, Bill Rosenblum, RC congratulates me and says, "That's gotta be the most beautiful coin in your collection."
    That artistry:artist: and toning:cigar:...1000% correct RC:smuggrin:
    Screenshot_20220508-132424_PicCollage-removebg-preview.png 20220508_140805~2.jpg
    And this from a time many would call Archaic and the dawn of classical! :jimlad::pompous:

    From the outset it was clear that Gelon (540/1-478 BCE) was special.
    (Gelon was big on Scotch and velour body towels)

    Highly intelligent, a great warrior in battle and it hardly feels right to call him the tyrant of Gela as, 1- Tyrant had a much different meaning then and B: it was HIS ancestors that none other than Herodotus says founded the site of Gela (though, after his uncles death the people did overthrow his sons in favor of Gelon):
    (In real life his skin was much more pale;))

    After becoming tyrant of his homeland Gelon he was in charge of other cities such as Zancle, Naxos, Camarina etc, and then was summoned by the recently thrown out rulers of Syracuse for assistance. Which he did while becoming tyrant of Syracuse as well along the way. Remarkably in a bloodless takeover!
    (Sicily was always self-conscious of her varicose veins)

    He would then overtake Euboea and Magara.
    All areas under his control prospered during his rule.

    After his death his rule would be remembered as the golden age of Sicily. Looking at my latest acquisition and these sites from ancient Sicily I cannot doubt it:

    (Oops! What are they doing here??)

    Another couple possibly Gelatinous:facepalm: coins of mine:
    SICILY. Syracuse. Deinomenid Tyranny
    485-466 BC. AR Tetradrachm (24mm - 17.45 g). Struck circa 480-475 BC. Charioteer driving walking quadriga right, holding kentron and reins; Nike flying above crowning horses / Diademed head of Arethusa right, surrounded by four dolphins swimming clockwise. Boehringer 134 (V60/R93); SNG ANS 38 (same dies); Randazzo -. rev sl off-ctr, sl surface imperfections,most notably a horizontal scratch like flaw in obv right field.

    Sicily, Syracuse
    Deinomenid Dinasty (485-425), Litra, c. 470 BC, AR (g 0,78 mm 10), Laureate head of nymph Arethusa r., wearing earrings and necklace, dotted border, Rv. Σ-V-R-A, wheel with four spokes. Boehringer 402 SNG Copenhagen - SNG ANS 124-126.

    So please share your coins purchased with friends, anything from Sicily, Gelon, Arethusas, your most beautiful coin or anything that is the dawn of a golden age:singing:
    Last edited: May 8, 2022
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  3. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That coin was a bargain, too, I think!

    One of my most beautiful coins just happens to be from Sicily, too!

    Philistis, wife of Hieron II.
    Greek AR 5 litrae.
    Syracuse 270-230 BCE, 4.46 gm, 18.1 mm.
    Obv: Diademed and veiled head, l., palm branch behind.
    Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΑΣ ΦΙΛΙΣΤΙΔΟΣ, Nike driving biga to left, E in l. field.
    Refs: SNG ANS 893; SNG III (Lockett) 1017; Forrer 196.
    Edessa, Seated J, svessien and 21 others like this.
  4. Ryro

    Ryro Trying to remove supporter status Supporter

    Bill was AMAZING:bookworm::) He worked with me on the other coin I purchased as well, was INCREDIBLY knowledgeable and a truly fun character to engage with.
    The quality of coins he has is astounding:cigar: Double so compared to current auction houses sold prices:greedy:
    I'd go on more about the man but don't want anybody else getting goodies from him that I may decide to purchase when I eagerly head up next for the next show:woot:
    Dude, you get me!
    And that absolutely GOBSMACKING beauty of yours is of his nephews wife.
    His brother:):) Hieron I ook over after his death, and then was followed by his son.
    This guy:
    Hieron II, 275-215 B.C.
    SICILY. Syracuse. AE Litra, 263-218 B.C. NGC Ch VF.
    HGC-2, 1550. Obverse: Head of Poseidon left, wearing tainia; Reverse: Ornamented trident head; downward dolphin to left and right, I to lower left, AΠ to lower right. Well centered and struck, this example features yellow-brown surfaces and some scattered spots of green.
    From the Poseidon Collection. Purchased from Stack’s Bowers Gallery Aug 2021

    Don't worry folks. The coin was safely removed from its would be death tomb:
  5. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE

    Nice ones @Ryro !


    Gelon 485-478 BCE
    AR Tet
    24mm 16.7g
    Slow Biga Victory
    Arethusa 4 dolphins
    Sear-Greek S 914
    Ex Charles Reeve
    Edessa, Seated J, Curtisimo and 19 others like this.
  6. happy_collector

    happy_collector Well-Known Member

    Great addition, @Ryro.
    The tetradrachm will surely be a centerpiece in your collection.

    Here is a Syracuse tetradrachm I picked up last year, followed by a bronze piece a year or 2 earlier. Although expensive, I really enjoy these 2 coins each time I see them in my tray. :)
    =Sicily Bronze.jpg
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  7. Herodotus

    Herodotus Well-Known Member

    Congratulations, that's a sweet coin!
    Ryro likes this.
  8. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Congrats, that's a very iconic issue, Ryro!

    A lot of nice coins were posted in this thread.
    Roman Collector and Ryro like this.
  9. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    That's a really nice coin, very high grade. I like your other Syracusan coins as well!

    Those are two standout coins that I never tire of!

    I'm afraid that my Syracusan coins are few in number, so I apologize for the repetitious postings.

    Deinomenid Tyranny, 480-475 BC
    D-Camera Syracuse Tetradrachm, Deinomenid Tyranny, 480-475 BC, 5-16-20.jpg

    Second Democracy, 460-406 BC

    D-Camera Syracuse reshoot tetradrachm, 2nd democracy 460-406 BC, 17.3 g  12-2-20.jpg

    Agathokles, 317-310 BC

    D-Camera Syracuse tetradrachm reduced Agathokles reshoot 317-310BC 17.0g  Berk 4-8-21.jpg

    AE Litra, circa 309 BC

    D-Camera Syracuse AE Litra c. 390BC SNG ANS 435 7.12g 3-8-22.jpg

    AE 29 Litra, 344-336 BC

    D-Camera  Syracuse AE 29 Litra, 344-336 BC, 7-28-20.jpg
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  10. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE

    Syracuse Bull-Dolphin

    Sicily Syracuse 317-289 BC AE 23 Hemilitron Agathokles Kore Bull Dolphin Left
  11. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander find me at NumisForums Supporter

    Spectacular acquisition, @Ryro!! Super congrats!!

    I have the Hieron I version. The rare "headless horses" issue. ;)
    hieron i.jpg
  12. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    @Ryro that is indeed a most beautiful Tetradrachm in your collection. Excellent choice, congrats:)
    On mine, Arethusa has short hair:

    AR Tetradrachm
    Sicily, Syracuse, struck ca. 450 - 440 BC, Second democracy

    During this time the polis was governed by a council and popular assembly with an executive consisting of elected generals or strategoi.

    20 x 23 mm, 16.884 g
    Boehringer series XVIIa 586; Mc Clean 2670; Pozzi 582; HGC 2 1313; SNG ANS 189-192
    (could be also Boehringer Series XVIb, 564 SNG ANS -; SNG München 1023; SNG Lockett 941);

    Obv.: Charioteer wearing a long chiton, holding kentron (goad) in his right hand and reins in both, driving quadriga to right, above, Nike above flying to r. crowning horses; signature AIΣ …EY below exergual line; (ketos to right)
    Rev.: (ΣY)PAKOΣI(ON) Diademed head of Arethusa to r. hair bound with wide taenia, four dolphins around (two off flan)
    upload_2022-5-9_14-11-16.png upload_2022-5-9_14-11-31.png
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  13. kirispupis

    kirispupis Supporter! Supporter

    Congrats on the tet! That sure is a gorgeous coin. I've admired a few at auction recently, but I haven't dared bid on any coin from Sicily. My worry is they're so beautiful that I'll want a bunch of them and then my wife will be very, very, angry.

    So, I'll just have to admire the wonderful coins in this thread!
    Ryro likes this.
  14. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    I agree that is a very nice coin I hope will be a long term part of your collection. In addition to the beauty and condition, may I point out a couple other features?

    The city name is base out retrograde and consistent in this. These are found right to left, left to right and mixed up (see the one posted by Severus Alexander). While the centering of the reverse is not equal to the obverse, the entire legend is clear and clean. Very nice! The coin was struck in a way that demonstrates the flans used for these coins in a very interesting way IMO. Blanks were like balls of silver with sprues that often were erased when the coin was struck but this one retains the top sprue and striking created a fold in the flan leading along the right edge. Had the centering been perfect ,this would not be seen. I find this adds interest but some will see it as a flaw rather than a 'situation'.

    Boehringer is online but the reproduction quality of the plates could be better:ünzen_von_Syrakus_2_Katalog

    see 353 on plate 14.ünzen_von_Syrakus_3_Tafeln

    I thought there was an online resource that showed decent photos of most of the coins but I have lost the link. Anyone?
  15. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    I downloaded this pdf some time ago Syracuse_Boehringer_and_Tudeer.pdf - 175 pages, 15.1 MB but can't remember from where. The pictures are very nice. Don't know if it is the one at academia. If you want it, I can send it to you.
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  16. Spaniard

    Spaniard Well-Known Member

    @Ryro .....Wonderful looking coin! Really enjoyed the write up Thanks!
    Here's my only Syracuse coin...

    Sicily, Syracuse. Hieron II. 274-216 BC. Æ-Litra (19mm, 6.38g).
    Obverse..Diademed head of Poseidon left with border of dots.
    Reverse..ΙΕΡΩΝΟΣ, Ornate scroll decorated trident with lotiform shaft flanked by dolphins.
    Ref:for type SNG Cop 844-856.

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  17. Kavax

    Kavax Well-Known Member

    very few are missing

    The coin is in a bad state of preservation but I have an unpublished combination V198/R268. R268 is a die from the master of the Demareteion.


    Coin probably struck under Hieron and not Gelon.
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  18. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

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  19. Mr.MonkeySwag96

    Mr.MonkeySwag96 Well-Known Member


    Sicily, Syracuse, Hieron II, 275 - 215 BC AE Litra, 23mm, 6.82 grams Obverse: Head of Poseidon left wearing tainia. Reverse: Ornamented trident head flanked by two downwards dolphins. SNG Copenhagen 844ff

    Ex. Ken Dorney
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  20. octavius

    octavius Well-Known Member

    Truly nice addition. Congrats!
    Ryro likes this.
  21. Curtisimo

    Curtisimo the Great(ish) Supporter

    Beautiful new addition Ryan! Excellent centering on the obverse and great detail on the reverse. I’m jealous of new coin AND your quality coin-friend time. :woot:

    I’ve shown my favorite Sicily before but what the heck...
    Sicily, Syracuse
    Agathokles, AR Tetradrachm
    Dia.: 26 mm
    Wt.: 17.19 g
    Obv.: KOΡAΣ Head of Kore to right, wearing grain wreath and pendant earring.
    Rev.: AΓAΘOKΛEIOΣ Nike, bare to the waist, standing right, attaching armor to trophy to her right, she holds a nail in her right hand and a hammer in her left; to left, triskeles of legs running to right.
    Ref.: Ierardi 143/141 (O38/R95). SNG ANS 674 (same obverse die). An unrecorded die combination; toned.
    Ex W. F. Stoecklin (1888-1975) acquired in Taormina, Sicily, in 1931.

    ...and I suppose this coin might count as the dawn of a golden age (Five Good Emperors).
    Roman Empire
    Nerva (AD 96-98)
    AR Denarius, Rome mint, struck October AD 97
    Dia.: 17 mm
    Wt.: 3.47 g
    Obv.: IMP NERVA CAES AVG P M TR P II COS III PP; Laureate bust right
    Rev.: SALVS PVBLICA; Salus, seated left, holding grain ears
    Ref.: RIC II 20
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