Sicily Syracuse "Zeus & Pegasus" 344-335 BC AV Hemidrachm (30 Litrai)
SICILY. Syracuse. Time of Timoleon (ca. 344-335 BC). AV hemidrachm or 30 Litrai (12mm, 2.15 gm, 9h). Struck ca. 344-339/8 BC. ZEYΣ EΛEYΘEPIOΣ, laureate head of Zeus left / Pegasus flying left; ΣYP-A-KOΣIΩN around, AP monogram to left, pellet below. HGC 2, 1284. SNG ANS 493 corr. Very rare! A handsome piece struck from dies of refined style. In the mid 4th century BC Syracuse suffered governmental paralysis due to rival political factions and Carthaginian meddling. A delegation from Syracuse traveled to their long-ago mother city, Corinth, seeking help in the form of a strong leader, and Timoleon answered the call. Given dictatorial powers, he drove the pro-Carthaginian faction from power, set up a stable government, and sparked a revival in prosperity and confidence. The economic rebound was mirrored by the coinage, which introduced many new and attractive designs and denominations, many featuring the traditional emblem of Corinth, the winged steed Pegasus.