Naxos and Catania are emptied of their inhabitants about 2490 years ago by the tyrants of Syracuse. The political dominance is reverted following some rebellions, and freedom is retrieved 2476 years ago, 460 years before the origin of our calendar.
A tetradrachm was issued in Naxos in Sicily at that time, certainly for celebrating the end of the exile. Its bold rendering of Greek gods is a masterpiece of ancient coinage without being an artistic renewal. It is assumed that the same artist had previously executed a tetradrachm for Aetna (Aitna) which was the name of Catania during the Syracusan occupation.
On one side the portrait of Dionysus in full surface is remarkably well balanced for its times with a thick beard and a smile that may be vicious. He wears a crown of ivy leaves. On the other side the invitation to debauchery is worse ! Silenus squats in full nude, vigorously muscular and ithyphallic. The bust unbalanced by intoxication, he inspects the cup that contains his beverage.
A coin remaining in extremely fine condition was sold for £ 320K before fees by Morton and Eden on April 23, 2012. It is estimated CHF 500K for sale by Numismatica Ars Classica in Zurich on October 6, lot 1019 in the catalog shared by the bidding platform Sixbid.
SOLD for CHF 600K before fees