SICILY, SYRACUSE, Hiketas, 288-279 BC, bronze


SICILY, SYRACUSE, Hiketas, 288-279 BC, minor, no date, Obverse: beardless head of Zeus R, Reverse: eagle standing L, star before, bronze, 22mm, 9.39g, SG1212, VF

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Hiketas (Hicetas) was a Tyrant, which would be the equivalent of a Strong Man or a Warlord today. Sometimes tyrants came to power at the top of some kind of popular movement or rebellion.Often they fought their way to the top. Sometimes they were just criminals grown big. Some of them declared themselves “King” of something, and if they managed to hand on their rule to a descendant that would have turned out to be true.

Syracuse was founded by Greek colonists from Corinth and Tenea around 734 BC. No mention is made regarding who financed the expedition. The government was usually despotic, the head of government usually going by the title of Tyrant. Turmoiil and war were the normal conditions of Sicily before the coming of the Romans.

Ancient Sicily was the subject of colonizing activity by Greeks and Phoenicians, who contested control of the island and carved out zones of activity for several centuries before the coming of the Romans.

We think that our culture grew out of the culture of Greece because it was in Greece (and in China) that people started thinking about how things could be different than they were in a world where everything was dangerous and might made right. They also established principles of artistic expression that we still use today. We see this approach to art in their coins.

Ancient Coins includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.