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Helenistic Monarchies

Samothrace, Islands off Thrace, c. 280 - 200 B.C.

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Samothrace was subjugated by Philip II, and was under Macedonian suzerainty when this coin was struck. In 168 B.C., after the battle of Pydna, Samothrace became independent. Vespasian absorbed the island into the Roman Empire in 70 A.D. The Book of Acts in the Christian Bible records that the Apostle Paul, on his second missionary journey outside of Palestine, sailed from Troas to Samothrace and spent one night.

This is the first coin of Samothrace ever handled by Forum.
GB86531. Bronze AE 16, CNT_ 7355, SNG Cop 1000, BMC Thrace p. 215, 2 - 10 var. (different magistrates); HGC 6 321, gVF, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 4.538 g, maximum diameter 16.5 mm, die axis 0o, Samothrace mint, magistrate Teisikas, c. 280 - 200 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet; reverse Cybele seated left on throne without back, kalathos on head, phiale in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, ΣA-MO downward on left, TEIΣIK (magistrate) downward on right; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; $160.00 (€136.00)


Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace, Kotys IV, c. 171 - 167 B.C.

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Cotys IV was a king of the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace from c. 170 - 160 B.C., succeeding his father, Seuthes IV. He married Semestra and had a son, Dyegilos, who married Apama, daughter of Prusias II of Bithynia and wife Apama III. Their son Sothimus married Athenais, daughter of Attalus III, King of Pergamon and wife Berenice, and their son was Cotys I (Sapaean).
GB85630. Bronze AE 14, Peykov C6200, Topalov II 9, SNG Stancomb 299, HGC 3.2 1737 (Kotys II, 57-50/48 B.C., R2), gF, dark near black patina, porous, weight 2.520 g, maximum diameter 13.8 mm, die axis 0o, Odessos or Bizye mint, c. 171 - 167 B.C.; obverse diademed and draped bust right; reverse eagle standing on thunderbolt left, head left, wings closed, BAΣIΛEΩΣ above, KOTYOΣ in exergue; rare; $125.00 (€106.25)


Macedonian Kingdom, Seleucus I as Satrap, 328 - 311 B.C., Babylon, Babylonia

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After the Persian satrap Mazaios surrendered Babylon to Alexander without a fight, Alexander retained him as governor. Alexander made Babylon his royal seat and established a mint to strike "Alexandrine" coinage, including massive quantities of his tetradrachms with a bust of Herakles on the obverse and Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned on the reverse. Alexandrine coinage was struck at many mints and circulated across Alexander's empire. At the same time, Babylon also struck local civic coinage, some in the name of Mazaeus. After Mazaeus death in 328 B.C., the satrap Seleukos I continued to strike local types in several denominations, all with Baal enthroned on the obverse and a standing lion on the reverse. This variety with a spear head control symbol is attributed to Seleukos.
GS86798. Silver double shekel, Nicolet-Pierre p. 289, 2; BMC Arabia p. 181, 4, pl. XX, 17; Mitchiner IGIS 7b; SNG Cop -; Traité -; Babelon Perses -, aVF, nearly as struck but high points unstruck and flat (common for the type), flan flaw on obv., obv. off center, weight 16.743 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 135o, Babylon mint, c. 328 - 311 B.C.; obverse Baaltarz enthroned left on seat without back, himation over left shoulder and around hips and legs, lotus tipped scepter vertical before him in right hand, left hand rests on his hip; reverse lion standing left, spear head left (control symbol) above; rare; $300.00 (€255.00)


Thracians, Odrysian Kingdom, Kotys I 384 - 359 B.C.

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Soon after he became king, Kotys allied with Athens and married his daughter to the Athenian general Iphicrates, who became his second in command. With the help of Iphicrates, Kotys expanded his kingdom, but his success led to increasing tensions with Athens. The Second Athenian Confederacy was founded as a safeguard against Kotys. In 365 B.C., Kotys went to war with the Athenians for the Thracian Chersonese. Around this time, Kotys' treasurer Miltokythes rebelled. Iphicrates and Kotys' mercenary commander Charidemus bribed the Athenian commanders to help suppress the rebellion. In 361 B.C., Charidemus returned to Athens with a treaty from Kotys, proclaiming him an ally. By 360 B.C., Kotys controlled the whole Chersonese peninsula. Late Sep. 360 B.C., Kotys was murdered by two of Plato’s students, Python and Heraclides. Advisers to the King, they murdered him under the pretext that he had wronged their father. In Athens, they were proclaimed honorary citizens and rewarded with gold wreaths.

Kypsela, Thrace, was located in the region between the river Nestos to the river Hebros.
GS86792. Silver diobol, Winzer 31.3; SNG Ashmolean 3719; Topalov 96; Peter p. 114 var. (KO/T-Y and no ivy leaf), gVF, toned, light marks, slightly grainy/porous, weight .0793 g, maximum diameter 11.3 mm, die axis 0o, Kypsela mint, 384 - 359 B.C.; obverse bare head left, with beard and moustache; reverse two-handled vessel (Odrysian dynastic symbol?), KO above, ivy leaf right; very rare; $300.00 (€255.00)


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Byzantion Countermark

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This BY over prow countermark, along with a nearly identical countermark using an archaic form of B resembling Π, was used at Byzantium. David Sear notes, "at this time [when the counter mark was applied after c. 280 B.C.], the Byzantines were subject to continual threats by Gaulish invaders, who were bought off by the payment of huge annual tributes. The impoverished city had to resort to countermarking foreign coins in place of a proper currency."
CM85916. Silver drachm, c/m: Propontis Hoard 144, SGCV 1585 (Byzantion, 280 - 225 B.C.), coin: aF, flattened opposite countermark, marks, scratches, porosity; countermark VF, weight 3.808 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Western Ionian(?) mint, c. 323 - 297 B.C.; obverse Herakles head right wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; countermark: BY over prow left with dolphin finial within circular punch; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, control symbols left and below throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; rare countermark; $230.00 (€195.50)


Macedonian Kingdom, Peithon, Satrap of Babylon, c. 315 - Autumn 312 B.C.; In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Struck by Peithon, son of Agenor, the Macedonian satrap in Babylon, 315 - 312 B.C. Peithon was a successful officer under Alexander, first mentioned as the commander of a phalanx battalion in January 325 in the battles against the Mallians in the southern Punjab. Alexander made him satrap of the Indus in 325 B.C. In 315 B.C., Antigonos Monophthalmos forced Seleukos to flee Babylon and replaced him with Peithon. Peithon fought alongside Antigonus Monophthalmus against Cassander and Ptolemy, in 314 B.C. He was killed in autumn 312 B.C., at the Battle of Gaza where the forces of Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, were defeated by Ptolemy.
GS86195. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3733, Müller Alexander 719, SNG Cop 842, SNG Alpha Bank 688 var. (slight var. in monogram under throne), SNG München -, VF, rough, burnished, obverse a little off center, weight 15.496 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 180o, Babylon mint, 315 - 312 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, MYHP monogram in wreath left, ΠAP monogram in circle under throne; $200.00 (€170.00)


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

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After Alexander's death, many cities cleverly continued to strike coins in the name of Alexander, maintaining neutrality, rather than favoring any one of the Diadochi (Alexander's successors). Although Greece was declared "free" in 311 B.C., it soon became a chaotic battleground. Old men, once comrades in Alexander's army, along with their children, fought each other to death to expand their kingdoms. Ptolemy I of Egypt took Corinth from Antigonus in 308. Demetrius Poliorcetes defeated Ptolemy and returned to Greece in 302 B.C. Claiming to be a liberator, he reinstated the Corinthian League.
GS86197. Silver tetradrachm, Price 671; Troxell Peloponnesian, pl. xix, 6; SNG München -; SNG Cop -; SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, high relief, toned, bumps, marks and scratches, areas of porosity, weight 16.454 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 165o, Greece, Corinth mint, posthumous, c. 310 - 290 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right foot drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, dove flying left surrounded by wreath in left field, H under throne; extremely rare - only a few examples known to Forum; $300.00 (€255.00)


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Struck shortly after Alexander's death during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son with Roxana, Alexander IV. Kolophon 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. The ruins of Kolophon are south of the town Degirmendere Fev in the Menderes district of Izmir Province, Turkey.
GS85756. Silver drachm, Price 1759, Müller Alexander 317, SNG Cop 950, SNG Alpha Bank 606, SNG Saroglos 731, SNG Munchen 506, Thompson-Bellinger Colophon 6, aVF, toned, tight flan, marks and scratches, some porosity, weight 3.937 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 335o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, Menander or Kleitos, c. 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, star with eight rays left, spearhead upward outer right; $160.00 (€136.00)


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleucus I Nikator, 312 - 280 B.C.

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Seleukos (Seleucus) founded the Seleukid Empire and the Seleukid dynasty which ruled Syria until Pompey made it a Roman province in 63 B.C. Seleukos was never one of Alexander the Great's principal generals but he commanded the royal bodyguard during the Indian campaign. In the division of the empire after Alexander's death Seleukos did not receive a satrapy. Instead, he served under the regent Perdikkas until the latter's murder in 321 or 320. Seleukos was then appointed satrap of Babylonia. Five years later Antigonus Monophthalmus (the One-eyed) forced him to flee, but he returned with support from Ptolemy. He later added Persia and Media to his territory and defeated both Antigonus and Lysimachus. He was succeeded by his son Antiochus I.
SH85790. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 13(1)c, Newell WSM 909, Meydancikkale 2745, HGC 3 16c (R1), VF, struck with fine style high-relief dies, light golden toning, bumps and marks, tight flan, obverse slightly off center, test punch on obverse, weight 17.040 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 300 - 281 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse ΣEΛEYKOΣ BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus Nikephoros on throne, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, Nike offering wreath in his right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, monogram in left field before knees, ΘE under throne below strut, ΣEΛEYKOΣ downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue; rare; $350.00 (€297.50)


Seleukid Kingdom, Antiochus VII Euergetes Sidetes, 138 - 129 B.C.

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After his brother Demetrius was captured by the Parthians, Antiochus VII was made king. He married Demetrius' wife Cleopatra Thea. He defeated the usurper Tryphon at Dora and laid siege to Jerusalem in 134. According to Josephus, the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus opened King David's sepulcher and removed three thousand talents, which he then paid Antiochus to spare the city.
GY85814. Bronze AE 15, Houghton CSE 281, Babelon Rois 1108 (no aphlaston), BMC Seleukid 68 var. (star vice aphlaston), Houghton-Lorber II 2068.4b, HGC 9 1096 (S), VF, attractive desert patina with highlighting red earthen fill, off center on a tight flan, weight 2.965 g, maximum diameter 15.3 mm, die axis 90o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 136 - 135 B.C.; obverse lion head right; reverse vertical club, ∆I monogram over aphlaston (control marks) left; retrograde ZOP (year 177 of the Seleukid Era) below, BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ANTIOXOY / EYEPΓETOY in three downward lines, first two lines on right, last line on left; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; $125.00 (€106.25)











Catalog current as of Monday, May 21, 2018.
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Helenistic