The wealth brought to the city by customs duties and by an agricultural production boasted by improved cultivation practices enabled Hiero II to design an ambitious public and religious building programme to celebrate his own magnificence. Its climax is represented by the monumental Neapolis complex (theatre and huge altar dedicated to Zeus Eleutherios), by the agora (temple of Zeus, today disappeared) and by the further development of the urban plan, which at that time reached its maximum extension before the Roman conquest. The representation and exaltation of the dynastic ideology as tools of power and self-legitimation also influenced the coinage, characterized by the portraits of the royal families: Hiero II, his wife Philistides - whose portrayal with veiled head was inspired by portraits of the Ptolemaic queens - and his son Gelo, co-ruler with his father since 240 BC.
3rd century BC
1st century AD