Virgin goddess of wisdom, crafts, and battle strategy. Symbols are the olive tree and the owl. Daughter of Zeus, according to some traditions by Metis.
Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus, 323 - 317 B.C.
Arrhidaeus was the half-brother of Alexander the Great. Alexander's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned him as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Incapable of actual rule, he was made king upon Alexander's death only to serve as a pawn for those who wished to grab power for themselves. Olympias had him imprisoned and executed.
SH90375. Gold stater, Price P143, Müller P119, NGC AU Strike 5/5, Surface 2/5, edge marks, 2411750-001, weight 8.55 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 45o, Arados mint, c. 323 - 316 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right in crested Corinthian helmet ornamented with coiled snake, hair in long curls down back of neck and before ear; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOY, Nike standing left, wreath in extended right hand, grounded stylis in left at her side, ∆H on left under wing, I on right under wing; ex Heritage Auctions, auction 3032, lot 23136; $3600.00 (€2700.00) ON RESERVE
Athens, Greece, Old StyleTetradrachm, c. 449 - 413 B.C.
The old-style tetradrachm of Athens is famous for its almond shaped eye, archaic smile and charming owl reverse. Around 480 B.C. a wreath of olive leaves and a decorative scroll were added to Athena's helmet. On the reverse a crescent moon was added.
During the period 449 - 413 B.C. huge quantities of tetradrachms were minted to finance grandiose building projects such as the Parthenon and to cover the costs of the Peloponnesian War.
SH90376. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Cop 31 ff., SGCV I 2526, NGC certified Choice VF, strike 4/5, Surface 2/5, graffito, 1983932-069, weight 17.13 g, maximum diameter 30 mm, die axis 45o, Athens mint, obverse head of Athena right, almond shaped eye, crested helmet with olive leaves and floral scroll, wire necklace, round earring, hair in parallel curves; reverse AΘE right, owl standing right, head facing, erect in posture, olive sprig and crescent left, all within incuse square; $1530.00 (€1147.50)
Aigeai, Cilicia, 31 - 30 B.C.
Aegeai (various spellings, including Aigeae) means place of goats in Greek and was the name of many cities of antiquity. Aigeai, on the north-western shore of the Gulf of Issos, was the third largest city in Cilicia. It had a very important temple of Asklepios, which was considered a great privilege and which brought many visitors to the city.
SH26663. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Levante 1655, Bloesch 111, gVF, weight 14.436 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 0o, Aigeai mint, 31 - 30 B.C.; obverse veiled and turreted head of Tyche right; reverse AIΓEAIΩN, Athena standing left holding Victory and spear, shield at feet, ∆I and club in left field, Iς below, monogram in lower right field; $1150.00 (€862.50)
Levant, Egypt or Arabia, Imitative Athenian Transitional StyleTetradrachm, c. 350 - 330 B.C.
This coin is from the hoard containing at least 76 Athenian-type owls, both Athenian issues and Egyptian and Levantine imitations, and two silver "dumps" cataloged and discussed by Peter G. van Alfen, in "A New Athenian "Owl" and Bullion Hoard from the Near East" in AJN 16-17 (2004-05), pp. 47-61, and pl. 6-13. The hoard is rumored to have come from the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
SH66406. Silver tetradrachm, Van Alfen New p. 58 and pl. 12, 67 (this coin), VF, test cut on reverse, weight 16.983 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 270o, Athens mint, c. 353 - 294 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right with eye seen in true profile, wearing crested helmet ornamented with three olive leaves and floral scroll; reverse owl standing right, head facing, to right AΘE in large lettering, to left olive sprig and crescent; Van Alfen plate coin; very rare; $900.00 (€675.00)
Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great
Lysimachos captured Ephesus c. 295 B.C. and renamed it Arsinoe in honor of his wife. Thompson noted, "Some staters and tetradrachms were struck but the mint's chief output was drachms."
SH70833. Silver drachm, Thompson 174, Müller 355, VF, light red-gold toning on obverse, weight 4.179 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 270o, Ephesos mint, c. 294 - 287 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in right, rests left arm on round shield behind, kithara inner left, A on throne; ex CNG Auctions 288 (Oct 2012), lot 106; $750.00 (€562.50)
Syracuse, Sicily, Agathokles, 317 - 289 B.C.
With an army of mercenaries, through deceit, and after banishing or murdering some 10,000 citizens, Agathocles made himself master of Syracuse and later most of Sicily. Machiavelli wrote of him, "It cannot be called prowess to kill fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless, and irreligious" and cited him as an example of "those who by their crimes come to be princes." According to the historian Justin, very early in life Agathocles parlayed his remarkable beauty into a career as a prostitute, first for men, and later, after puberty, for women, and then made a living by robbery before becoming a soldier and marrying a rich widow.
SH62327. Silver stater, Calciati II p. 611, 9; SNG ANS 554 - 557, VF, weight 8.206 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 270o, Syracuse mint, c. 317 - 305 B.C.; obverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet decorated with griffin, and necklace; reverse ΣYPAKOΣIΩN, Pegasos flying left, triskeles below; $490.00 (€367.50)
Leukas, Akarnania, Greece, c. 350 - 320 B.C.
There should be Λ behind the goddesses head but it is missing on this coin. Perhaps it was, in error, not engraved on the die, or perhaps it was unstruck because the letter on the die was filled with dirt. Although we have seen coins of this type struck from nearly a dozen different reverse dies, we have not found a die match to help determine why the Λ is missing.
SH63533. Silver stater, Pegasi II 413, 84 (same obverse die); BMC Corinth p. 129, 51 ff.; BCD Akarnania 221 var (types right); SNG Cop -, VF, toned, weight 8.163 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 180o, Leukas mint, c. 350 - 320 B.C.; obversePegasus flying left, Λ below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, Λ (unstruck) and kerykeion behind; $435.00 (€326.25)
Velia, Lucania, Italy, c. 334 - 300 B.C.
Signed! The KE obversemonogram is the signature of Kleudoros, the artist or mint master of Velia.
SH63418. Silver nomos, Williams Velia 339 (O176/R248); HN Italy 1296, F, nicely toned, weight 7.263 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 135o, Velia mint, c. 334 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Athena left, wearing crested Phrygian helmet decorated with centauress, KE monogram behind neck; reverselion left, devouring prey, A above, YEΛHTΩN in ex; ex Barry Murphy; $350.00 (€262.50)
Ambrakia, Epeiros, Greece, c. 360 - 338 B.C.
Ambracia (modern Arta) was founded as a Corinthian colony 650 - 625 B.C. Its economy was based on farmlands, fishing, timber for shipbuilding, and the exporting the produce of Epirus. In 433, Ambracia fought with Corinth at the Battle of Sybota, against the rebellious Corinthian colony of Corcyra (modern Corfu). Ambracia was besieged by Philip II and forced to accept a Macedonian garrison in 338. In 294, after 43 years of semi-autonomy, Ambracia was given by the son of Cassander to Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who made it his capital, and adorned it with palace, temples and theaters. In the wars of Philip V of Macedon and the Epirotes against the Aetolian league (220-205) it changed sides and ultimately joined the Aetolians. Against Rome, it stood a stubborn siege, including the first known use of poison gas, against Roman siege tunnels. It was captured and plundered by Marcus Fulvius Nobilior in 189 B.C., after which it gradually fell into insignificance.
GS66793. Silver stater, cf. SGCV I 1962, VF, edge marks, scratches, weight 8.292 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Ambrakia mint, c. 360 - 338 B.C.; obverse Pegasos with pointed wing flying right, A below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, uncertain control symbol behind (mostly off flan), all in round incuse; $270.00 (€202.50)
The site of ancient Argos Amphilochicum is near the modern town of Loutron on the Ambracian Gulf. According to varying traditions cited by Strabo, it was founded after the Trojan War by Alkmeion or his brother Amphilochos. No Mycenaean remains have been found, but Hekataios mentions the site at the end of the 6th centruy B.C. The rival of Ambrakia Arta in the 5th century B.C., it was allied with Athens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War.
SH67745. Silver stater, Pegasi 32; BMC Corinth p. 123, 14; cf. BCD Akarnania 139 (AMΦI); SNG Cop 314 (same), VF, weight 8.087 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 45.00o, Argos Amphilochicum mint, 340 - 300 B.C.; obverse Pegasos flying left, pointed wings, A below; reverse AMΦIΛ, head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in plain Corinthian helmet over a leather cap, ABP and spear behind; ex Erez Inc. (Berkely, CA); $270.00 (€202.50)