Thoenon and Sosistratos, Tyrant of Syracuse 278 BC

Jameson 870; de Hirsch 684 (same dies),  Mint State

Head of Persephone left, hair wreathed in grain ears; B behind. Rev. Nike driving galloping biga right, holding kentron in right hand, reins in left; star above; SYRACUSE below horses. Struck from slightly rusted dies. This issue was struck by Hiketas to finance the preparations campagin against the Carthaginians.

The siege of Syracuse by land and sea in 278 BC was the last attempt by Carthage to conquer the city-state, which had been weakened by a civil war between Thoenon and Sosistratos, who in desperation acted as one and appealed to King Pyrrhus of Epirus to rescue them. When Pyrrhus arrived with a massive military force, the Carthaginian navy, which had sent many of its warships to another battle, retreated without a fight. After Thoenon and Sosistratos delivered the city to Pyrrhus, he reconciled them briefly; in fear, Sosistratos fled, and soon afterward Theonon was murdered by Pyrrhus.