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Home>Catalog>GreekCoins>HellenisticMonarchies>AlexandertheGreat PAGE 1/5123»»»

Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C.

Alexander the Great is arguably the most famous man of antiquity. Born a leader, his genius and charisma led the Macedonian Army across the world creating an empire that covered most of the then-known world, from Greece to India. He was regarded as god and his fame grew even greater after his premature death at thirty-three. His reign marks the beginning of the Hellenistic Age, a time when almost every aspect of human civilization flourished. His coinage is highly complex, struck in cities all over the ancient map and spanning over two hundred years. The representative types are the silver tetradrachms and drachms depicting an idealized portrait of Alexander in the guise of the mythical hero Heracles, and his gold staters depicting Athena.Map of Alexander's Empire


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo Sardes was a treasury of Lysimachus and one of his most active mints. Demetrius Poliorcetes captured the city in 287. Lysimachus regained it in 286, but it appears he did not reopen the mint. All the coins are pre-286 style. Lysimachus permanently lost Sardes when it was captured by Seleukos in 282.
SL90460. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson 86, Müller 407 (Pergamon), Armenak Hoard 806 - 810, NGC Choice VF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5 (2416724-006); fantastic high relief portrait of Alexander, weight 17.02 g, maximum diameter 25.5 mm, die axis 330o, Lydia, Sardes mint, lifetime issue, c. 297 - 287 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, left arm on shield decorated with Gorgoneion, transverse spear against right side, Nike crowning name in right, ΠPE monogram within circle left, ∆K monogram in exergue; $1120.00 (€974.40)

Odessos, Thrace, c. 240 - 180 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo Herakles is most often depicted on coinage wearing the scalp of the Nemean lion over his head. The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. Herakles discovered arrows and his club were useless against it because its golden fur was impervious to mortal weapons. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.
SH71037. Silver tetradrachm, Price 1174 , Topalov Odesos 59, Prokesch-Osten (1) 266, AMNG I.2 2140, Müller Alexander -, Choice gVF, superb style, toned, obverse double struck, weight 16.650 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Odessos (Varna, Bulgaria) mint, magistrate Eupro..., c. 240 - 180 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, right leg drawn back, monogram under throne, EYΠPO in exergue; $700.00 (€609.00)

Mesembria, Thrace, c. 275 - 225 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland Thrace. Today it is a seaside resort and a man-made isthmus connects it to the coast. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms possibly as early as 275 B.C. It is likely Mesembria issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms, possibly even under Roman rule, as late as 65 B.C.
SH71566. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov p. 83 and pl. VI, 24 (O7/R11); Price 992; Müller 436, EF, superb style, nick on reverse right side edge, weight 16.858 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 275 - 225 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus seated left, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, Corinthian helmet right over ΠA monogram in inner left field under arm; $700.00 (€609.00)

Kios, Bithynia, c. 280 - 250 B.C., Restoration of Lysimachos
Click for a larger photo According to myth, Kios (Bursa, Turkey) was founded on the Propontis (Sea of Marmara) by Herakles when he accompanied the Argonauts. According to Greek historians, it was founded in 626 - 625 B.C. by colonists from Miletos. The city joined the Aetolian League and was destroyed by Philip V of Macedon. Prusias I of Bithynia rebuilt the site, naming it for himself. An important chain in the ancient Silk Road, it became a wealthy town. Under Rome the name Kios was revived.
SH90219. Silver tetradrachm, Müller 418 (Erythrai), Meydancikkale 2668 var (monogram in ex not reversed), SNG Cop 1123 var (same), SNG Berry 451 var (same), Thompson -, VF, lightly toned, scattered marks, weight 16.966 g, maximum diameter 31.7 mm, die axis 0o, Kios mint, c. 280 - 250 B.C.; obverse diademed head of the deified Alexander right, with horn of Ammon; reverse Athena Nikephoros seated left, Nike in right crowning king's name with wreath, left arm resting on shield behind, transverse spear against far side, club outer left, monogram inner left, bow in case and reversed AΓ monogram in exergue; ex CNG, auction 324 lot 85; rare variety; $630.00 (€548.10)

Seleucid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo Price dates this type 311 - 305 B.C. Houghton dates it 311 - 300 B.C. Houghton notes that Kritt down-dated the chronology due to the complexity of the emissions and that two hoards independently support the revised dating.
SH71155. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber 82.5b, Price 3747, Müller Alexander 734, VF, high relief, fine style, toned, edge bump, weight 16.680 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 90o, Babylon mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, right leg drawn back, MYPT monogram (variant with pellet in P) in wreath left, MI under throne; $520.00 (€452.40)

Click for a larger photo Lifetime style and possibly a lifetime issue!
SH70990. Silver tetradrachm, Price 236, Müller Alexander 1397, Meydancikkale 487- 488, VF, weight 17.170 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonia, Pella mint, c. 325 - 315 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in lion skin headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg forward, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, ΣI in left field; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 220, part of lot 1985; $490.00 (€426.30)

Phaselis, Lycia, 213 - 212 B.C., Civic Issue in the Name of Alexander the Great, with Seleukid Countermark
Click for a larger photo Phaselis was under Ptolemaic control from 209 to 197 B.C. Antiochus III took control in 197 and formally took possession of the Egyptian territories in Anatolia through the Peace of Lysimachia in 195. Despite the vicissitudes of the area, Phaselis seems to have retained significant autonomy and struck Alexander type tetradrachms with remarkable continuity from 218 - 185 B.C. The series ended shortly after the conclusion of the Apamea treaty, when Phaselis and the other cities of Lycia were handed over to the Kingdom of Rhodes. From 190 to 160 B.C. it remained under Rhodeian hegemony. After 160 B.C. Phaselis was absorbed into the Lycian confederacy under Roman rule. In the 1st century B.C., the city was taken over by the pirate Zekenites for a period until his defeat by the Romans.
SH71158. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2840, Mektepini Hoard 495, Cohen DCA 315, Müller Alexander -, VF, broad flan, attractive dark toning worn from high-points, slight double strike, weight 16.651 g, maximum diameter 32.4 mm, die axis 0o, Lycia, Phaselis mint, 213 - 212 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; Seleukid countermark: anchor in an oval punch; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle extended in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, C (year 6) over Φ left; countermark: Seleukid anchor in rounded rectangular incuse; scarce; $460.00 (€400.20)

Click for a larger photo Acre, one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world, is at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay in northern Israel. The city occupies an important location on the coast of the Mediterranean, linking to waterways and the commercial activity of the Levant.
SH69932. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3283, Newell Dated 35, Müller Alexander -, aVF, sculptural high relief, die break at eye, graffiti upper left on reverse, weight 17.019 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ake mint, posthumous, c. 315 - 314 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, Phoenician numeral date (year 32) left below arm; $400.00 (€348.00)

Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I, as Satrap in Egypt, 323 - 305 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Ptolemy Lagides was a Macedonian general who, after Alexander's death, became the Satrap of Egypt under the nominal kings Philip III Arrhidaeus and the infant Alexander IV. By custom, kings in Macedonia asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Probably because he wanted to preempt Perdiccas, the imperial regent, from staking his claim in this way, Ptolemy took stole the body of Alexander. Ptolemy then openly joined the coalition against Perdiccas. Thus began the long series of wars between the Diadochi, Alexander's successors. In 305, Ptolemy took the titles king and pharaoh, founding the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Ptolemaic Dynasty.
GP72061. Bronze hemiobol, Svoronos 172 (as king); BMC Ptolemies p. 8, 62 (295 - 284, Cyprus); SNG Cop 36; SNG Milan 5; Malter 21; Weiser -; Noeske -, VF, crowded flan, red and brown patina, weight 4.503 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 310 - 305 B.C.; obverse diademed and horned head of deified Alexander the Great right; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY (no title, upward on left), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings open, apluster above helmet on left; ex Harlan Berk; scarce; $370.00 (€321.90)

Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus II Gonatas, 277 - 239 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo There are a number of coins in the articles of Prokesh-Osten that Price could not verify. These coins, including this type, were omitted from Price's catalog, but were listed in his concordance on pp. 535 - 540.
SH90206. Silver tetradrachm, Prokesh-Osten p. 47, 210; Price - (but see p. 537), Hersh -, Müller Alexander -, Meydancikkale -, SNG Cop -, SNG München -, et al. -, F, burnished areas, weight 16.560 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 90o, Pella mint, posthumous, c. 276 - 274 B.C.(?); obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, bunch of grapes with tendril right, A below throne; ex CNG auction 324, part of lot 690; very rare; $360.00 (€313.20)



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REFERENCES

Arena, V. "New Acquisitions at the British Museum: additions to Price, Alexander, and the 1870 Larnaca Hoard" in NC 2003.
Cohen, E. Dated Coins of Antiquity: A comprehensive catalogue of the coins and how their numbers came about. (CNG, Lancaster, PA, 2011).
Davesne, A. & G. Le Rider. Le trésor de Meydancikkale. (Paris, 1989).
Duyrat, F. Arados Hellénistique: Étude historique et monétaire. (Beirut, 2005).
Gaebler, H. Die antiken Münzen von Makedonia und Paionia, Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. III. (Berlin, 1935).
Head, B. V. British Museum Catalogue of Greek Coins, Macedonia, etc. (London, 1879).
Hersh, C. "Additions and Corrections to Martin J. Price's 'The Coinage in the name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus'" in Studies Price.
Houghton, A.; C. Lorber & O. Hoover. Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalog. (Lancaster, 2002 - 2008).
Le Rider, G. Alexander the Great: Coinage, Finances, and Policy. (Philadelphia, 2007).
Liampi, K. "A Hoard of Bronze Coins of Alexander the Great" in Studies Price.
Liampi. K. "Zur Chronologie der sogenannten 'anonymen' mekedonischen Münzen des späten 4. Jhs. v. Chr." in JNG XXXVI. (1986).
Lindgren, H & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coinage of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Mildenberg, L. and S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Müller, L. Die Münzen Des Thracishen Konigs Lysimacus. (Copenhagen, 1858).
Müller, L. Numismatique d'Alexandre le Grand; Appendice les monnaies de Philippe II et III, et Lysimaque. (Copenhagen, 1855-58).
Pick, B. and K. Regling. Die antiken Münzen von Dacien und Möesien, Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. I/II. (Berlin, 1910).
Polk, R.S. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, the Ptolemies, Kings of Egypt. (London, 1882).
Prieur, M. and K. Prieur. The Syro-Phoenician Tetradrachms and their fractions from 57 BC to AD 258. (Lancaster, PA, 2000).
Price, M. J. The Coinage of in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (London, 1991).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Svoronos, J. Ta Nomismata tou Kratous ton Ptolemaion. (Athens, 1904-08).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Austria, Klagenfurt, Landesmuseum für Kärnten, Sammlung Dreer. Part 3: Thracien-Macedonien-Päonien. (Klagenfurt, 1984).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Volume 2: Macedonia and Thrace. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Makedonien - Könige, 10/11 Heft. (Berlin, 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece II, The Alpha Bank Collection, Macedonia I: Alexander I - Perseus. (Athens, 2000).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece IV, Numismatic Museum, Athens, The Petros Z. Saroglos Collection, Part 1: Macedonia. (Athens, 2005).
Thompson, M., and A.R. Bellinger. Greek Coins in the Yale Collection, IV: A Hoard of Alexander Drachms. (New Haven, CT, 1955).
von Prokesch-Osten, A. "Liste des Alexandres de ma collection qui ne se trouvent pas dans le catalogue de Mr. L. Müller" in NZ 1 (Constantinople, 1869). pp. 31 - 64.
von Prokesch-Osten, A. "Suite des monnaies inédites d'or et d'argent d'Alexandre le Grand" in NZ 3 (Constantinople, 1873). pp. 51 - 72.
Wartenberg, U. & J.H. Kagan, "Some Comments on a New Hoard from the Balkan Sea" in Travaux Le Rider.

Catalog current as of Monday, March 02, 2015.
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Alexander the Great Greek Coins