AR Syracuse, Sicily Stater Timoleon and the Third Democracy
344-317 B.C. (8.63g), minted 344-335 B.C.
When Timoleon arrived in Sicily there was no local currency sufficient to pay his mercenary troops. No Greek coinage had been minted for several decades in Sicily and the older coins that remained in circulation were worn and of mixed origin. Timoleon undoubtedly brought with him a war chest consisting primarily of Staters (Pegasi) from his native Corinth and her allies and colonies in northwestern Greece. These quickly became the dominant currency in Greek Sicily. When bullion became available, it is not surprising that Timoleon struck his own Staters, based on the weight and bearing the types of his native Corinthian Staters, but with the Syracusan ethnic. Hoards of Pegasi found in Sicily indicate that Corinth and her colonies along the western coast of Greece became the middle men for the importation of Sicilian agricultural produce into mainland Greece which they paid for in Pegasi.
O: Pegasos flying l. SNG ANS 994.
R: Head of Athena right wearing Corinthian helmet. SYPAKOSION before.
G: Choice EF with iridescent toning. From the Lawrence R. Stack Collection of Ancient Greek Coins. Ex Hess-Divo 307 (June 2007, lot 1083).
S: Stack’s The Golden Horn Collection 1/12/09, lot 2139