Hiketas, Tyrant of Syracuse 287-278 BC

Jameson 871,  Superb Extremely Fine

Head of Persephone to left, wearing grain wreath, pendant earring and pearl necklace; poppy bud behind, QE below. Rev. Nike driving galloping biga to right; moon above; Q below horses. EPI IKETA in exergue. Jameson 871.

Hiketas apparently never styled himself as a king, as evidenced by the lack of any title on the reverse of this coin. During his reign he took the city of Akragas and then turned his attention to the Carthaginians. He was however dealt a severe defeat in battle and as a result was expelled from Syracuse. This coin was produced to pay for this ill-fated campaign of 279 BC. It is noted that after his defeat, the Syracusans continued to issue gold coins of this type but his name was removed from the die. This tyrant ruled Syracuse for some nine years as a military commander. He was expelled from Syracuse by Thynion, an event which took place not long before the arrival of Pyrrhus in Sicily circa 279-278 BC.