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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 a 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


Koinon of Macedonia, c. 244 - 245 A.D., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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The two temples and legend on the reverse indicate "Two Neokorie," advertising the Koinon of Macedonia held the highly prized designation "double temple guardian" of the imperial cult. The first Nekoros was awarded by Nerva. The second Neokoros, indicated by B (the Greek number two) or rarely ∆IC (double in Greek) on coins, was first received under Elagabalus. The title was rescinded but then later restored by Severus Alexander, probably in 231 A.D.
RP79978. Bronze AE 28, AMNG III 833; Mionnet supp. 3, p. 229, 446; BMC Macedonia -; SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Bar -; SNG Saroglos -; Lindgren -, gF, obverse rough, smoothing on reverse, weight 11.370 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, c. 244 -245 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right; reverse two hexastyle temple fronts, KOINON / M-AKE∆-O in two lines above, B NEΩKOPΩN / EOC (Era of Actium year 275) below;
very rare; $220.00 (€195.80)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV - Kassander, c. 323 - 310 B.C.

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Struck after Alexander's death during or after the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son with Roxana, Alexander IV. 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. Olympias was Alexander the Great's mother and Alexander IV's grandmother, but not Philip III's mother. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C.
GB76283. Bronze AE 20, Price 2800f, SNG München 919, Müller Alexander -, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Cop -, VF, well centered, green patina, scratches, pitting, weight 5.631 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 90o, uncertain Western Anatolia mint, c. 323 - 310 B.C., possibly struck by Antigonus I; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in lion-skin headdress; reverse torch and club left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward in center, bow inside bow case right, A lower right, uncertain round countermark; $135.00 (€120.15)
 


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

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The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and was responsible for issuing coinage. The individual cities, as members of the Koinon, sent representatives to participate in popular assembly several times each year.

The high point of the year was celebrations and matches in honor of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor held in Beroea (modern Verria) located about 75 km. west of Thessaloniki. This was the provincial center of the emperor cult, with the appropriate temple and privileges, first granted to the Koinon by Nerva. The title Neokoros, or "temple guardians" was highly prized and thus advertised on coins. Under Elagabalus, the Koinon received a second neokorie, indicated by B (the Greek number two) or rarely DIC (double in Greek). The title was rescinded but later restored by Severus Alexander, probably in 231 A.D.
BB75636. Bronze AE 26, AMNG III 837, BMC Macedonia -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian I -, SNG Bar -, SNG Saroglos -, aVF/aF, a little off center, rough, corrosion, weight 14.074 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 345o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, c. 244 - 245 A.D.; obverse ALE-ΞAN∆POY (OY ligate), diademed and cuirassed bust of Alexander the Great right, facing head of Medusa (gorgoneion) on cuirass, shield on left arm; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN B NEΩ, helmeted Athena seated left, Nike offering wreath in her right hand, spear in her left hand, grounded shield behind leaning on seat, EOC (year 275 of the Actium Era) in exergue; very rare; $50.00 (€44.50)
 


Kaunos, Caria, c. 191 - 166 B.C.

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In 189 B.C. the Roman senate put Kaunos under Rhodes. In 167, Kaunos and other cities revolted against Rhodes. As a result, Rome removed Rhodes' authority. In 129, Rome established the Province of Asia, covering a large part of western Anatolia. Kaunos was assigned to Lycia. When Mithridates invaded in 88 B.C., the Kaunians joined him and killed all the Romans in the city. After the peace of 85 B.C. as part of their punishment, Kaunos was again put under Rhodian administration.
GI60426. Bronze AE 11, SNG Keckman 75; SNGvA 8100; SNG Cop 184; BMC Caria p. 75, 12, F, rough, both sides slightly off-center, weight 1.339 g, maximum diameter 10.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kaunos mint, 191 - 166 B.C.; obverse diademed head Alexander the Great right; reverse filleted double cornucopia, overflowing with bunches of grapes, K left, AY (ligate) right; rare; $30.00 (€26.70)
 


Koinon of Macedonia, Portrait of Alexander the Great, c. 222 - 244 A.D.

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The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and responsible for issuing coinage. Member cities sent representatives to participate in the popular assembly. The Koinon held celebrations and games annually at Beroea (modern Verria) in honor of Alexander and the Roman emperor.
RP90940. Bronze AE 24, BMC Macedonia p. 25, 126 var. (B NE); Macdonald Hunter 13 var. (same); SNG Cop -; SNG Saroglos -, F, well centered, encrustations, centration dimples, weight 7.817 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 180o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, time of Elagabalus - Gordian III; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN, Alexander standing facing, head right, wearing military attire, resting on spear in right hand, parazonium in left hand; rare; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


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.
RP90945. Bronze AE 28, BMC Macedonia p. 24, 113; AMNG III 622; Macdonald Hunter 5; SNG Cop 1369; SNG Hunterian 742 var. (B NE); Lindgren II 1382 var. (...B N), gF, green patina, well centered, earthen deposits, weight 12.345 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 225o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN B NEΩ, Athena Nikephoros seated left, Nike in right hand presenting wreath, spear in left hand, shield behind; $80.00 (€71.20)
 


Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Severus Alexander, c. 231 - 235 A.D., Alexander and Bucephalus

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Plutarch tells the story of how, in 344 B.C. Philonicus the Thessalian, a horse dealer, offered a massive wild stallion to Alexander's father, King Philip II. Since no one could tame the animal, Philip was not interested. Alexander, however, seeing that the horse was afraid of his own shadow, promised to pay for the horse himself should he fail to tame it. He was given a chance and surprised all by subduing it. Alexander spoke soothingly to the horse and turned it towards the sun so that it could no longer see its shadow. Eventually Bucephalus allowed Alexander to ride him. Embarrassed, Philip commented "O my son, look thee out a kingdom equal to and worthy of thyself, for Macedonia is too little for thee." Alexander named the horse Bucephalus because the horse's head seemed "as broad as a bull's." Bucephalus died of battle wounds in 326 B.C., in Alexander's last battle. Alexander founded the city of Bucephala (thought to be the modern town of Jhelum, Pakistan) in memory of his wonderful horse.
SH90947. Bronze AE 26, AMNG III 423; BMC Macedonia p. 23, 104; Lindgren 1379; SNG Hunterian 735 var. (no star); cf. SNG Cop 1372 (2 neokorie); SNG Bar -, gVF, reverse pitted, weight 13.804 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 225o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, c. 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, head of Alexander the Great right, as Herakles, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN NEΩ, Alexander riding his horse Bucephalus right, wearing military garb, cloak flying behind, couched spear in right hand, reins in left, star below; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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

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The Macedonian Koinon (community) was the political organization governing the autonomous Roman province of Macedonia and was responsible for issuing coinage. The individual cities, as members of the Koinon, sent representatives to participate in popular assembly several times each year.

The high point of the year was celebrations and matches in honor of Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor held in Beroea (modern Verria) located about 75 km. west of Thessaloniki. This was the provincial center of the emperor cult, with the appropriate temple and privileges, first granted to the Koinon by Nerva. The title Neokoros, or "temple guardians" was highly prized and thus advertised on coins. Under Elagabalus, the Koinon received a second neokorie, indicated by B (the Greek number two) or rarely DIC (double in Greek). The title was rescinded but later restored by Severus Alexander, probably in 231 A.D.
RP76989. Bronze AE 26, AMNG III 617, SNG Cop 1369 var. (B NEΩ), SNG Saroglos 984 (same), Macdonald Hunter 8, Lindgren I 1381 var. (B N), BMC Macedonia -, aVF, well centered, glossy dark green patina, weight 27.9 g, maximum diameter 12.400 mm, die axis 225o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, reign of Gordian III, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN B NE, Athena seated left, Nike holding wreath in right hand, spear in left hand, shield behind; scarce; $140.00 (€124.60)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Alexander

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Struck after Alexander's death, by Leonnatos, Arrhidaios, or Antigonos I Monophthalmos, during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son with Roxana, Alexander IV. Lampsakos also struck coins during this period in the name of Philip. Traditionally coins naming Alexander have been attributed to Alexander III the Great, but undoubtedly the Alexander named on this coin was the infant son of Roxana, Alexander IV. 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. Olympias was Alexander the Great's mother and Alexander IV's grandmother, but not Philip III's mother. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C.
RS76291. Silver drachm, Price 1375; ADM II series IX, 247 ff.; Müller Alexander 623; SNG Cop 939; SNG München 440 ff.; SNG Alpha Bank -, F, lightly toned, grainy and porous, reverse a bit off-center, weight 3.781 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 315o, Mysia, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, c. 319 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, buckle left, Λ over Ω under throne; $75.00 (€66.75) ON RESERVE


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Struck in the Name of Alexander the Great

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Colophon struck this commemorative in the name of Alexander the Great under the rule of Lysimachus. The city also issued the same type with the same symbols in the name of King Lysimachus (examples are listed in Forum's catalog). Colophon was about 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Ephesus.
GS76133. Silver drachm, Price 1843, Müller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, SNG München -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered, toned, scratches, struck with a worn reverse die, weight 4.163 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 301 - 297 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne without back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, crescent horns right over lion-forepart left in left field, pentagram under throne; $155.00 (€137.95)
 










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).
Noe, S. The Alexander coinage of Sicyon. ANSNS 6. (New York, 1950).
Pick, B. and K. Regling. Die antiken Münzen von Dacien und Möesien, Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. I/II. (Berlin, 1910).
Prieur, M. & 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, Great Britain V, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Part 3: Macedonia. (London, 1976).
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., & 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 NZ1 (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 Friday, December 09, 2016.
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Alexander the Great Greek Coins