thenickelguy Posted July 27, 2022 · Member Share Posted July 27, 2022 (edited) Obv. head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet decorated with wreath. Rev. Hippocamp left, reins trailing. About 18.5 mm diameter. This was a relatively inexpensive coin that I like looking at. It looks a bit more glossy in my picture than in hand for sure. I think that ΣYPA is for Syracuse Mint? I wanted a Hippocamp and for now this will do just fine. A month ago I didn't even know what one was. Struck during the reign of Dionysius I or Dionysius the Elder c. 432 – 367 BC, he was a Greek tyrant of Syracuse. I read more on the meaning of Tyrant too. The original Greek term meant an absolute sovereign who came to power without constitutional right. Greek philosopher Plato saw tyrannos as a negative word. I figured that much. The philosophers Plato and Aristotle defined a tyrant as a person who rules without law, using extreme and cruel methods against both his own people and others. This was some information that accompanied the coin in the sale. The Athena / Hippocamp litrae come in several varieties - with and without legend, with and without olive wreath on helmet, with and without a symbol on the obverse, reins trailing and no reins. Calciati notes that this particular variety, with obverse legend and wreath, no symbol and trailing reins, is by far the most common, and also mentions that it is found throughout Sicily, not just in the environs of Syracuse. This wide distribution is anomalous (different from what is usual ) for a bronze coin. Fiduciary in nature and of minimal value, bronze coins in ancient economies did not normally circulate far from their place of minting. Perhaps the reason for the distribution can be found in Dionysios' expansionist policies and nearly perpetual state of warfare with the Carthaginians. Like most armies of the period, Dionysios employed mercenaries, and although mercenary armies were paid in silver, when they were not on campaign they would certainly need small change. Edited July 27, 2022 by thenickelguy 12 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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