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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


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Lifetime Issue.
GB74619. Bronze AE 18, cf. Price 266, F, patina chipping, corrosion, encrustation, weight 5.569 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 0o, obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, club above, bow and quiver below; $17.00 (€14.79)


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The B A on the reverse abbreviates BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, King Alexander. It may actually refer to Alexander IV, Alexander the Great's son with the Bactrian princess Roxana. After Alexander's death, the Macedonian generals made his infant son and his mentally handicapped brother, Philip III, joint kings. They were both only pawns. The generals divided the empire among themselves. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia, and executed in 317 B.C. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed in 311 B.C.
GB74822. Bronze AE Unit, SNG Alpha Bank 782, Price 376, SNG Cop 1026, Weber II 2146, SNG München -, Müller Alexander -, F, weight 5.494 g, maximum diameter 17.0 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonia, Amphipolis(?) mint, c. 325 - 310 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse quiver within bow above B A, club left over thunderbolt below; Struck shortly after Alexander the Great's death during the joint reign of Philip III, Alexander's brother, and the infant king Alexander IV, Alexander's son with the Bactrian princess Roxana. The two were made joint kings by Alexander's generals who only intended to use them as pawns. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia, and in 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C.; $38.00 (€33.06)


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Lifetime Issue.
GB74824. Bronze unit, Price 311, SNG München 846, SNG Alpha Bank 727, SNG Cop -, Müller Alexander -, F, green patina, centered, corrosion and encrustation, weight 5.556 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonian (Pella?) mint, c. 328 - c. 323 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, bow and quiver above inscription, club over Π below; $38.00 (€33.06)


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GB74826. Bronze unit, Price 284, SNG Cop 1036, Drama Hoard 115, Müller Alexander -, SNG Alpha Bank -, F, porous, weight 6.754 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Macedonian mint, c. 328 - 323 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, inverted triangle over bow and quiver above inscription, club over a bunch of grapes below; $38.00 (€33.06)


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GB74832. Bronze unit, Price 275; Müller Alexander 22, SNG Alpha Bank 715, SNG Cop 1035, VF, perfect centering, scratches, pitting, corrosion, weight 6.139 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 270o, Macedonian mint, c. 336 - 323 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, thunderbolt above club, bow, and quiver, ∆ below; $46.79 (€40.71)


Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Gordian III, 238 - 244 A.D., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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For the Alexander commemorative series issued by the Koinon of Macedonia, AMNG is by far the best reference listing over 500 different varieties on 100 pages - an absolutely bewildering study. With few plate images and listing many minor variations, it is a challenge to use for anyone who does not speak German. Varbanov only lists coins of the Koinon with portraits of the emperor on the obverse.
RP75156. Bronze AE 26, cf. AMNG III 622; BMC Macedonia p. 24, 116; SNG Cop 1369, SNG Hunterian 742; SNG Bar 502; et al. (similar, but different rev leg arrangements, etc.), VF, very nice green patina, center dimples, weak legends, a few pits, weight 12.783 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 180o, Beroea(?) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN B NEΩ, Athena seated left, helmeted, Nike holding wreath in Athena's right hand, resting left hand on shield behind, rear leg of chair in the form of a lion's leg; unpublished variety(?); $125.00 (€108.75)


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonos I Monophthalmos, 320 - 306 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander the Great

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Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") was a nobleman and strategos (general and governor) under Alexander the Great. Upon Alexander's death in 323 B.C., he established himself as one of the successors and declared himself King in 306 B.C. The most powerful satraps of the empire, Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy and Lysimachus, answered by also proclaiming themselves kings. Antigonus found himself at war with all four, largely because his territory shared borders with all of them. He died in battle at Ipsus in 301 B.C. Antigonus' kingdom was divided up, with Seleucus I Nicator gaining the most. His son, Demetrius I Poliorcetes, took Macedon, which the family held, off and on, until it was conquered by Rome in 168 B.C.
SH71663. Silver drachm, Price 2682; ADM I Sardes Series XX 399 ff., SNG München 641 var (monograms), SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, bold high-relief, centered, toned, light corrosion and encrustation, weight 4.080 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 45o, Lydia, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, as strategos of Asia, c. 319 - 315 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around waist and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, K in a wreath left, monogram under throne; $165.00 (€143.55)


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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Lampsacus was known as center for worship of Priapus, who was said to have been born there.

Thompson notes that Lampsacus was Lysimachos' largest mint in Asia Minor, with approximately 150 known obverse dies. Output from Lampsacus declined when Amphipolis began its extensive coinage c. 288 B.C.
SH72207. Silver tetradrachm, Thompson 49, SNG BnF 2548 - 2549, SNG Delepierre 843, SNG Cop 1097 (Pergamum), Müller 399 (Sigeum), gVF, toned, some marks and porosity, weight 16.495 g, maximum diameter 13.4 mm, die axis 45o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, 297 - 281 B.C.; obverse diademed head of deified Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning name in extended right hand, left arm rests on grounded round shield decorated with Gorgoneion, transverse spear against right side, ∆/Ξ monogram inner left field, crescent horns left in exergue; ex Roma Numismatics auction 11, lot 34; $990.00 (€861.30)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C., Cyprus

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Cyprus became part of Alexander the Great's empire when he defeated Persia. After the succession struggles between Alexander's generals, Cyprus was ruled by the Ptolemies of Egypt.
GP90086. Bronze obol, Svoronos 363; BMC Ptolemies p. 14, 7; Mionnet VI 229, Weiser 8; Noeske 107; Cox Curium 69, Malter 55; SNG Milan 12; SNG Cop -; Hosking -, F, green patina with earthen encrustation, weight 10.040 g, maximum diameter 20.5 mm, die axis 0o, Salamis(?) mint, c. 285 - 274 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander the Great right, wearing elephant scalp headdress; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings closed, EY over XAP monogram left; ex Rusty Romans; $85.00 (€73.95)


Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II (Physcon), Second Reign, 145 - 116 B.C.

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Svoronos and Mørkholm attributed this type to Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II. Foucher, Lorber and Wolf attribute it to Ptolemy V - Ptolemy VI. Kreuzer attributes it to Ptolemy X.
GP72057. Bronze diobol, Svoronos 1495 (169 - 116 B.C.); SNG Cop 344; Faucher-Lorber Series 6C, 13 (Ptolemy V-VI); Weiser -; Noeske -; SNG Milan -; Hosking -; Malter -, VF, nice patina, weight 8.663 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 315o, Alexandria mint, 145 - 116 B.C.; obverse head of deified Alexander the Great right, wearing elephant-skin head-dress; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left; $85.00 (€73.95)










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 Sunday, August 02, 2015.
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Alexander the Great Greek Coins