Seller: highrating_lowprice (20,792) 100%, Location: Rego Park, New York, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 321825514664 Item: i51570 Authentic Ancient Coin of: Greek city of Syracuse in Sicily Struck under Dionysios I and Dionysios II, circa 375-344 B.C. Bronze Trias 18mm (7.24 grams) Reference: HGC 2, 1456; Sear 1193 (Timoleon time); B.M.C. 2. 289; CNS II, nos. 34-45 ΣYPA, Head of Athena left, wearing Corinthian helmet bound with olive-wreath. Hippocamp left, with curled wing. When in it's foundations that the city of Syracuse only consisted of the island of Ortygia, that island was said to have been the home of the nymph Arethusa. She had been a chaste, faithful attendant of Artemis. It is said that she got the unwanted attentions from the river god, Alpheios, while bathing in his Peloponnesian stream. Artemis hid her in a cloud in an attempt to save her, however she sweated so profusely out of fear that she was transformed into a stream. Artemis broke apart the ground to allow her to escape. She found her way to the island of Ortygia where she became the fountain on that island. You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity. The hippocamp or hippocampus (plural: hippocamps or hippocampi; Greek : ἱππόκαμπος, from ἵππος, "horse" and κάμπος, "monster"), often called a sea-horse in English , is a mythological creature shared by Phoenician and Greek mythology , though the name by which it is recognised is purely Greek; it became part of Etruscan mythology . It has typically been depicted as a horse in its forepart with a coiling, scaly, fishlike hindquarter . Mythology Hippocamp in Roman mosaic in the thermae at Aquae Sulis (Bath) A sea-lion mosaic in the Baths of Neptune, Ostia Antica Homer describes Poseidon , who was god of horses (Poseidon Hippios), earthquakes, and the sea, drawn by "brazen-hoofed" horses over the sea's surface, and Apollonius of Rhodes , being consciously archaic in Argonautica (iv.1353ff), describes the horse of Poseidon emerging from the sea and galloping away across the Libyan sands. In Hellenistic and Roman imagery, however, Poseidon (or Roman Neptune ) often drives a sea-chariot drawn by hippocampi. Thus hippocamps sport with this god in both ancient depictions and much more modern ones, such as in the waters of the 18th-century Trevi Fountain in Rome surveyed by Neptune from his niche above. (illustration, right) The appearance of hippocamps in both freshwater and saltwater is counter-intuitive to a modern audience, though not to an ancient one. The Greek picture of the natural hydrological cycle did not take account of the condensation of atmospheric water as rain to replenish the water table , but imagined the refreshening of the waters of the sea oozing back landwards through vast underground caverns and aquifers , rising replenished and freshened in springs. Thus it was natural for a temple at Helike in the coastal plain of Achaea to be dedicated to Poseidon Helikonios, (the Poseidon of Helicon), the sacred spring of Boeotian Helikon . When an earthquake suddenly submerged the city, the temple's bronze Poseidon accompanied by hippocamps continued to snag fishermens' nets. Likewise, the hippocamp was considered an appropriate decoration for mosaics in Roman thermae or public baths, as at Aquae Sulis modern day Bath in Britannia (illustration, below). Poseidon's horses, which were included in the elaborate sculptural program of gilt-bronze and ivory , added by a Roman client to the temple of Poseidon at Corinth , are likely to have been hippocamps; the Romanised Greek Pausanias described the rich ensemble in the later 2nd century CE (Geography of Greece ii.1.7-.8): Within the sanctuary of the god stand on the one side portrait statues of athletes who have won victories at the Isthmian games , on the other side pine trees growing in a row, the greater number of them rising up straight. On the temple, which is not very large, stand bronze Tritons . In the fore-temple are images, two of Poseidon, a third of Amphitrite , and a Sea, which also is of bronze. The offerings inside were dedicated in our time by Herodes Atticus , four horses, gilded except for the hoofs, which are of ivory, and two gold Tritons beside the horses, with the parts below the waist of ivory. On the car stand Amphitrite and Poseidon, and there is the boy Palaemon upright upon a dolphin . These too are made of ivory and gold. On the middle of the base on which the car is has been wrought a Sea holding up the young Aphrodite , and on either side are the nymphs called Nereids . Hippocamp Art Deco fountain, Kansas City, Missouri , (1937) Hippocamps appear with the first Orientalising phase of Etruscan civilization : they remain a theme in Etruscan tomb wall-paintings and reliefs, where they are sometimes provided with wings, as they are in the Trevi fountain. Katharine Shepard found in the theme an Etruscan belief in a sea-voyage to the other world. Aside from aigikampoi, the fish-tailed goats representing Capricorn or Aegeus ("goat-man") other fish-tailed animals rarely appearing in Greek art but more characteristic of the Etruscans included leokampoi (fish-tailed lions), taurokampoi (fish-tailed bulls) or pardalokampoi (fish-tailed leopards ). The mythic hippocamp has been used as a heraldic charge , particularly since the Renaissance, most often in the armorial bearings of people and places with maritime associations. However, in a blazon , the terms hippocamp and hippocampus now refer to the real animal called a seahorse, and the terms seahorse and sea-horse refer to the mythological creature. The above-mentioned fish hybrids are seen less frequently. Athena or Athene (Latin: Minerva ), also referred to as Pallas Athena, is the goddess of war, civilization, wisdom, strength, strategy, crafts, justice and skill in Greek mythology . Minerva , Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patron of Athens . The Athenians built the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens, in her honour (Athena Parthenos). Athena's cult as the patron of Athens seems to have existed from the earliest times and was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. In her role as a protector of the city (polis), many people throughout the Greek world worshiped Athena as Athena Polias ("Athena of the city"). Athens and Athena bear etymologically connected names. Dionysius I or Dionysius the Elder (Greek: Διονύσιος ὁ Πρεσβύτερος; c. 432 – 367 BC) was a Greek tyrant of Syracuse , in what is now Sicily , southern Italy. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage 's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies. He was regarded by the ancients as an example of the worst kind of despot—cruel, suspicious and vindictive. Early life Dionysius began his working life as a clerk in a public office. Because of his achievements in the war against Carthage that had begun in 409 BC, he was elected supreme military commander in 406 BC; in the following year he seized total power and became tyrant. In subsequent years he consolidated his position ruthlessly. Mercenaries and autocracy Dionysius the Elder’s victory over the democratic Syracuse represents both the very worst and the very best of the mercenary -leader. Dionysius’ career as a despot occurred after he was given six hundred personal mercenaries to guard his person after faking an attack on his own life. He was able to increase this guard to one thousand and gradually consolidated his power and established himself as a tyrant. He imposed his mercenaries on all parts of the polis community. Such an act would have truly wiped out any suggestion that democracy was still in force. His rule was “unconstitutional and illegitimate and could not fail to provoke rebellions among the partisans of democratic government”. Dionysius’ position at home would be threatened even as early as 403 by those philosophically opposed to tyranny. Interestingly, Sparta , which had in the past deposed tyrants from Corinth to Athens , did not damn Dionysius and his autocracy . In fact relations between the two were very positive: When the Lacedaemonians [Spartans] had settled the affairs of Greece to their own taste, they dispatched Aristus, one of their distinguished men, to Syracuse, ostensibly pretending that they would overthrow the government, but in truth with intent to increase the power of the tyranny; for they hoped that by helping to establish the rule of Dionysius they would obtain his ready service because of their benefactions to him. Dionysius would even have the privilege of being allowed to conscript mercenaries from lands under Spartan authority. The demise of a prominent democratic polis in the classical world and the subsequent tenure of Dionysius represented what would become a recurring norm in fourth century Greece, thanks to the prevalence of mercenaries. The mercenary and the tyrant went hand-in-hand; Polybius for example noted how “the security of despots rests entirely on the loyalty and power of mercenaries”. Aristotle wrote how some form of ‘guard’ (viz. a personal army) is needed for absolute kingship, and for an elected tyrant a very particular number of professional soldiers should be employed; too few undermines the tyrants power and too many threatens the polis itself. The philosopher notes how based on this observation, the people of Syracuse were warned to not let Dionysius conscript too many ‘guards’ during his reign. Conquests He fought a war with Carthage from 397 BC to 392 BC with mixed success; his attempts to drive the Carthaginians entirely out of the island of Sicily failed, and at his death they were masters of at least a third of it. He also carried on an expedition against Rhegium , capturing it and attacking its allied cities in Magna Graecia . In one campaign, in which he was joined by the Lucanians, he devastated the territories of Thurii and Croton in an attempt to defend Locri . Dionysius of Syracuse's military attempts to place Alcetas in the throne of the Molossians After a protracted siege, he took Rhegium in 386 and sold the inhabitants as slaves. Also he pillaged the temple of Caere (then allied with Rome) on the Etruscan coast. In the Adriatic , to facilitate trade, Dionysius founded Ancona , Adria and Issa . After him, the Adriatic became a sea of Syracuse. In the Peloponnesian War , he joined the side of the Spartans and assisted them with mercenaries . In 385 BC, Alcetas of Epirus was a refugee in Dionysius' court. Dionysius wanted a friendly monarch in Epirus , so he sent 2,000 Greek hoplites and 500 suits of Greek armour to help the Illyrians under Bardyllis in attacking the Molossians of Epirus. They ravaged the region and killed 15,000 Molossians, and Alcetas regained his throne. He joined the Illyrians in an attempt to plunder the temple of Delphi . Sparta intervened under Agesilaus , however, and with aid from Thessaly, Macedonia, and the Molossians themselves, the Spartans expelled the Illyrians. Death According to others, he was poisoned by his physicians at the instigation of his son, Dionysius the Younger who succeeded him as ruler of Syracuse. His life was written by Philistus , but the work is not extant. Additionally, it is said that upon hearing news of his play, The Ransom of Hector, winning the competition at the Lanaean festival at Athens, he celebrated so fiercely that he drank himself to death. Others report that he died of natural causes shortly after learning of his play's victory in 367 BC. The third theory suggests that the company, of which he was a member, had taken revenge on his earlier purges and taxation imposed upon them, in an attempt to raise money for the war with Carthage. Intellectual tastes Like Pisistratus , tyrant of Athens , Dionysius was fond of having literary men about him, such as the historian Philistus , the poet Philoxenus , and the philosopher Plato , but treated them in a most arbitrary manner. Diodorus Siculus relates in his Bibliotheca historica that Dionysius once had Philoxenus arrested and sent to the quarries for voicing a bad opinion about his poetry. The next day, he released Philoxenus because of his friends' requests, and brought the poet before him for another poetry reading. Dionysius read his own work and the audience applauded. When he asked Philoxenus how he liked it, the poet turned to the guards and said "take me back to the quarries." Plutarch relates a version of this story in his On the Fortune of Alexander. He also posed as an author and patron of literature; his poems, severely criticized by Philoxenus , were hissed at the Olympic games; but having gained a prize for a tragedy on the Ransom of Hector at the Lenaea at Athens , he was so elated that he engaged in a debauch which proved fatal. His name is also known for the legend of Damon and Pythias , and he features indirectly (via his son) in the legend of the Sword of Damocles . The Ear of Dionysius in Syracuse is an artificial limestone cave named after Dionysius. Walls of Syracuse In 402 BC Dionysius I began building the Circuit Walls of Syracuse. They were completed in 397 BC and had the following characteristics: Length: 27 kilometers Width at base: 3.3 m to 5.35 m Number of known towers on circuit: 14 (including Euryalos) Largest tower: 8.5 m x 8.5 m Deepest ditch (at Euryalos fortress): 9 m Building so big a fortress would have involved installing well over 300 tons of stone every day for 5 years. Fictional references Dionysius I is mentioned in Dante 's Inferno (of the Divine Comedy ) (1308–21) as a tyrant who indulged in blood and rapine and suffers in a river of boiling blood. A fictional version of Dionysius is a character in Mary Renault 's historical novel The Mask of Apollo (1966). He also features prominently in L. Sprague de Camp 's historical novel The Arrows of Hercules (1965) as a patron of inventors on the island of Ortygia near Syracuse. He is the main character in Valerio Massimo Manfredi 's novel Tyrant (2003). He is also featured in the 1962 film Damon and Pythias . Dionysius the Younger or Dionysius II (c. 397 BC – 343 BC) ruled Syracuse , Sicily from 367 BC to 357 BC and again from 346 BC to 344 BC. He was the son of Dionysius the Elder . When his father died in 367 BC, Dionysius began ruling under the supervision of his uncle, the philosopher Dion . Dion's disapproval of the young Dionysius's lavishly dissolute lifestyle compelled him to invite his teacher Plato to visit Syracuse. Together they attempted to restructure the government to be more moderate, with Dionysius as the archetypal philosopher-king (see the Seventh Letter of Plato ). However, under the influence of opponents of Dion's reforms, Dionysius conspired with the historian Philistus and banished his uncle, taking complete power in 366 BC. Without Dion, Dionysius's rule became increasingly unpopular, as he was mostly incompetent in governing men and commanding soldiers. When Plato appealed for Dion's return, the irritated Dionysius interfered with Dion's property and finances and gave his wife to another man. Before this, Dion's Syracusan estates had financed his peaceful and comfortable life overseas in Athens , but Dionysius's last offence spurred him into action. Dion formed a small army at Zacynthus and returned to Sicily in 357 BC, much to the delight of the Syracusans. As Dionysius was in Caulonia , Italy at the time, Dion easily took all but Syracuse's island citadel. Dionysius sailed back to Syracuse immediately, and upon his return he attempted attacks from the citadel and tried to negotiate peace treaties. When he was unsuccessful in all attempts, he sailed away to Locri , Italy and left the citadel in the hands of his son Apollocrates . In exile, Dionysius took advantage of the friendly citizens of Locri and became the city's tyrant, treating the locals with great cruelty. He did not return to Syracuse until 346 BC, eight years after Dion's assassination by his officers. Soon after he left Locri, the locals drove out the remaining troops and took their revenge on Dionysius's wife and daughters. Dionysius was able to regain power in Syracuse only because of its great political instability, as he was still very unpopular among the Syracusans. In the preceding several years, many other cities on Sicily had split from Syracuse and were ruled by local tyrants. Several of these cities joined the Syracusans in an attack against Dionysius which proved to be quite successful, and Dionysius was forced back into the citadel. At this time, 344 BC, Timoleon arrived and began his invasion of Sicily. Dionysius, out of respect for Timoleon and quite aware he no longer had a chance of victory, arranged the surrender of the citadel and was given safe passage to Corinth , Greece . For the next year until his death, Dionysius lived privately in Corinth in an increasingly miserable state. In popular culture and literature Dionysius is one of the central characters in the legend of the Sword of Damocles . Dionysius also appears in Dante's Inferno , in which he is referred to as "Dionysius of Sicily" in Canto 12. He is among the many souls named by Chiron that boil in blood for violence against others. Michael Maier the renaissance alchemist relates a legend about Dionysius II in his book, the Atalanta Fugiens (1617), that he actually got shipwrecked at the Gulf of Corinth , and without his swimming skills he could have never reached the shore. At Corinth, although he lived poorly, he became a teacher. Maier uses this legend as an allegory to explain a certain point in the Magnum opus , when the "philosophical subject" (the stone) must ascend to the surface of the "philosophical water". Notes Maier, Michael (1617). Atalanta Fugiens. trans. Peter Branwin. Johann Theodor de Bry. chapter 31. References This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Wood, James, ed. (1907). "article name needed". The Nuttall Encyclopædia . London and New York: Frederick Warne. Preceded by: Dionysius the Elder Tyrant of Syracuse 367 BC – 356 BC Succeeded by: Dion Preceded by: Nysaeos Tyrant of Syracuse 347 BC – 344 BC Succeeded by: Timoleon Syracuse pronounced, Sicilian : Sarausa, is a historic city in southern Italy , the capital of the province of Syracuse . The city is famous for its rich Greek history, culture , amphitheatres , architecture and association to Archimedes , playing an important role in ancient times as one of the top powers of the Mediterranean world; it is over 2,700 years old. Syracuse is located in the south-east corner of the island of Sicily , right by the Gulf of Syracuse next to the Ionian Sea . The city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and became a very powerful city-state . Syracuse was allied with Sparta and Corinth , exerting influence over the entire Magna Grecia area of which it was the most important city. Once described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", it later became part of the Roman Republic and Byzantine Empire . After this Palermo overtook it in importance, as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily . Eventually the kingdom would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860. In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica . In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Siracusans, and the local language spoken by its inhabitants is the Sicilian language . Syracuse is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles book at 28:12 as Paul stayed there. The patron saint of the city is Saint Lucy ; she was born in Syracuse and her feast day, Saint Lucy's Day , is celebrated on 13 December. Greek period Syracuse and its surrounding area have been inhabited since ancient times, as shown by the findings in the villages of Stentinello, Ognina, Plemmirio, Matrensa, Cozzo Pantano and Thapsos, which already had a relationship with Mycenaean Greece . Syracuse was founded in 734 or 733 BC by Greek settlers from Corinth and Tenea , led by the oecist (colonizer) Archias , who called it Sirako, referring to a nearby salt marsh. The nucleus of the ancient city was the small island of Ortygia. The settlers found the land fertile and the native tribes to be reasonably well-disposed to their presence. The city grew and prospered, and for some time stood as the most powerful Greek city anywhere in the Mediterranean . Colonies were founded at Akrai (664 BC), Kasmenai (643 BC), Akrillai (VII century BC), Helorus (VII century BC) and Kamarina (598 BC). The descendants of the first colonist, called Gamoroi, held the power until they were expelled by the Killichiroi, the lower class of the city. The former, however, returned to power in 485 BC, thanks to the help of Gelo, ruler of Gela. Gelo himself became the despot of the city, and moved many inhabitants of Gela, Kamarina and Megera to Syracuse, building the new quarters of Tyche and Neapolis outside the walls. His program of new constructions included a new theater, designed by Damocopos , which gave the city a flourishing cultural life: this in turn attracted personalities as Aeschylus , Ario of Metimma , Eumelos of Corinth and Sappho , who had been exiled here from Mytilene . The enlarged power of Syracuse made unavoidable the clash against the Carthaginians , who ruled western Sicily. In the Battle of Himera , Gelo, who had allied with Theron of Agrigento , decisively defeated the African force led by Hamilcar . A temple , entitled to Athena (on the site of the today's Cathedral), was erected in the city to commemorate the event Gelon was succedeed by his brother Hiero , who fought against the Etruscans at Cumae in 474 BC. His rule was eulogized by poets like Simonides of Ceos , Bacchylides and Pindar , who visited his court. A democratic regime was introduced by Thrasybulos (467 BC). The city continued to expand in Sicily , fighting against the rebellious Siculi , and on the Tyrrhenian Sea , making expeditions up to Corsica and Elba. In the late 5th century BC, Syracuse found itself at war with Athens , which sought more resources to fight the Peloponnesian War . The Syracusans enlisted the aid of a general from Sparta , Athens' foe in the war, to defeat the Athenians, destroy their ships, and leave them to starve on the island (see Sicilian Expedition ). In 401 BC, Syracuse contributed a force of 3,000 hoplites and a general to Cyrus the Younger 's Army of the Ten Thousand . Then in the early 4th century BC, the tyrant Dionysius the Elder was again at war against Carthage and, although losing Gela and Camarina, kept that power from capturing the whole of Sicily. After the end of the conflict Dionysius built a massive fortress on the Ortygia island of the city and 22 km-long walls around all of Syracuse. Another period of expansion saw the destruction of Naxos , Catania and Lentini , then Syracuse entered again in war against Carthage (397 BC). After various changes of fortune, the Carthaginians managed to besiege Syracuse itself, but were eventually pushed back by a pestilence. A treaty in 392 BC allowed Syracuse to enlarge further its possessions, founding the cities of Adrano, Ancona , Adria , Tindari and Tauromenos, and conquering Reggio Calabria on the continent. Apart from his battle deeds, Dionysius was famous as a patron of art, and Plato himself visited Syracuse several times. His successor was Dionysius the Younger , who was however expelled by Dion in 356 BC. But the latter's despotic rule led in turn to his expulsion, and Dionysius reclaimed his throne in 347 BC. A democratic government was installed by Timoleon in 345 BC. The long series of internal struggles had weakened Syracuse's power on the island, and Timoleon tried to remedy this, defeating the Carthaginians in 339 BC near the Krimisos river. But the struggle among the city's parties restarted after his death and ended with the rise of another tyrant, Agathocles , who seized power with a coup in 317 BC. He resumed the war against Carthage, with alternate fortunes. He however scored a moral success, bringing the war to the Carthaginians' native African soil, inflicting heavy losses to the enemy. The war ended with another treaty of peace which did not prevent the Carthaginians interfering in the politics of Syracuse after the death of Agathocles (289 BC). The citizens called Pyrrhus of Epirus for help. After a brief period under the rule of Epirus, Hiero II seized power in 275 BC. Hiero inaugurated a period of 50 years of peace and prosperity, in which Syracause became one of the most renowned capitals of Antiquity. He issued the so-called Lex Hieronica, which was later adopted by the Romans for their administration of Sicily; he also had the theater enlarged and a new immense altar , the "Hiero's Ara", built. Under his rule lived the most famous Syracusan, the natural philosopher Archimedes . Among his many inventions were various military engines including the claw of Archimedes , later used to resist the Roman siege of 214 BC–212 BC. Literary figures included Theocritus and others. Hiero's successor, the young Hieronymus (ruled from 215 BC), broke the alliance with the Romans after their defeat at the Battle of Cannae and accepted Carthage 's support. The Romans, led by consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus , besieged the city in 214 BC. The city held out for three years, but fell in 212 BC. It is believed to have fallen due to a peace party opening a small door in the wall to negotiate a peace, but the Romans charged through the door and took the city, killing Archimedes in the process. From Roman domination to the Middle Ages Though declining slowly by the years, Syracuse maintained the status of capital of the Roman government of Sicily and seat of the praetor . It remained an important port for the trades between the Eastern and the Western parts of the Empire. Christianity spread in the city through the efforts of Paul of Tarsus and Saint Marziano, the first bishop of the city, who made it one of the main centres of proselytism in the West. In the age of the persecutions massive catacombs were carved, whose size is second only to those of Rome. After a period of Vandal rule, Syracuse and the island was recovered by Belisarius for the Byzantine Empire (31 December 535). From 663 to 668 Syracuse was the seat of Emperor Constans II , as well as metropolis of the whole Sicilian Church. Another siege in 878, resulted in the city coming under two centuries of Muslim rule. The capital was moved from Syracuse to Palermo . The Cathedral was converted into a mosque and the quarter on the Ortygia island was gradually rebuilt along Islamic styles. The city, nevertheless, maintained important trade relationships, and housed a relatively flourishing cultural and artistic life: several Arab poets, including Ibn Hamdis , the most important Sicilian poet of the 12th century, flourished in the city. In 1038, the Byzantine general George Maniaces reconquered the city, sending the relics of St. Lucy to Constantinople . The eponymous castle on the cape of Ortygia bears his name, although it was built under the Hohenstaufen rule. In 1085 the Normans entered Syracuse, one of the last Arab strongholds, after a summer-long siege by Roger I of Sicily and his son Jordan of Hauteville , who was given the city as count. New quarters were built, and the cathedral was restored, as well as other churches. In 1194 Henry VI of Swabia occupied Syracuse. After a short period of Genoese rule (1205–1220), which favoured a rise of trades, Syracuse was conquered back by emperor Frederick II . He began the construction of the Castello Maniace , the Bishops' Palace and the Bellomo Palace. Frederick's death brought a period of unrest and feudal anarchy. In the struggle between the Anjou and Aragonese monarchies, Syracuse sided with the Aragonese and defeated the Anjou in 1298, receiving from the Spanish sovereigns great privileges in reward. The pre-eminence of baronal families is also shown by the construction of the palaces of Abela , Chiaramonte , Nava , Montalto . 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