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Home>Catalog>GreekCoins>HellenisticMonarchies>AlexandertheGreat PAGE 1/6123»»»

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; $1250.00 (€937.50)

Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo According to myth, the cult image of Hermes Perpheraios was carved by Epeios before he made the Trojan Horse. After Achilles insulted him, the river-god Scamander sided with Troy. The swollen Scamander flooded the Greek camp at its mouth and washed their cult image out to sea. Scamander also was said to have attempted to kill Achilles three times. Later the statue was caught by fishermen from Ainos. They wore themselves out trying to cut it up for firewood, making only a little wound-like mark. They tried to burn it whole, but the flames just went around. Giving up, they threw it back in the sea. After they caught it in their nets a second time they realized it was sacred, received it into the city, and honored it like the gods.
SH71164. Silver tetradrachm, Unpublished variety; cf. Meydancikkale 2691 (no palm), Müller 114 (same), Thompson -, Black Sea Hoard -, Armenak -, Choice VF, weight 16.618 g, maximum diameter 29.9 mm, die axis 0o, Thrace, Ainos (Enez, Turkey) mint, c. 283 - 281 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena enthroned left, Nike crowning king's name in extended right, rests left arm on round shield behind, transverse spear against far side, palm frond (or apluster?) outer left, enthroned cult image of Hermes Perpheraios inner left; ex Dorotheum auction (May 2014), lot 71; possibly unique; $900.00 (€675.00)

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; $700.00 (€525.00)

Eastern Anatolia (Uncertain City), Mid 3rd Century B.C., Restoration of Lysimachos', Portrait of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo The mint is uncertain. The MYP monogram in the exergue might indicate Myrina, Aeolis, but probably not as most monograms on Lysimachos type tetradrachms do not indicate the mint city.
SH90220. Silver tetradrachm, Not in the many references examined and no other examples known to Forum; Thompson -, Müller -, Marinescu -, SNG Cop -, SNG Berry -, et al. -, gVF, porosity, light scratches, weight 16.994 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, mid-3rd century B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena Nikephoros enthroned left, Nike crowning name in right, left arm resting on shield at side behind, transverse spear against right side, Φ inner left, MYP monogram in exergue; ex CNG auction 324, lot 29; possibly unique; $700.00 (€525.00)

Byzantium, Thrace, c. 270 - 260 B.C., Restoration of Lysimachos' Type, Portrait of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo Byzantion was founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 B.C. The city was rebuilt as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine I in 330 A.D. and renamed Constantinople. It became the capital of the Ottoman Empire when it was conquered in 1453. Today it is Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, and the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart.

SH90221. Silver tetradrachm, Müller 524 (uncertain mint), Marinescu Issue 12, SNG Cop -, Black Sea Hoard -, Meydancikkale -, Mektepini -, VF, weight 16.957 g, maximum diameter 31.2 mm, die axis 0o, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, c. 270 - 260 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena Nikephoros seated left, Nike in right crowning king's name with wreath, left arm resting on shield behind, transverse spear against far side, AE monogram inner left; ex CNG auction 324, lot 21; $700.00 (€525.00)

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 (€525.00)

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 (€525.00)

Pamphylia (Uncertain City), 220 - 180 B.C., Civic Coinage in the Name and Types of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo Before the Battle of Magnesia, in 190 B.C., Pamphylia was under Seleukid rule; after it was added to the dominions of the kings of Pergamum. Under both kingdoms, the Greek cities of Pamphylia had considerable autonomy and issued their own coinage, including Alexandrine type tetradrachms. On the death of Attalus III in 133 B.C., Pamphylia, with the rest of his kingdom, passed to the Roman Republic.
SH90964. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2982, Maktepini Hoard 719 - 722, SNG Berry 305, SNG Ashmolean 3178, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG München -, SNG Saroglos -, VF, well centered on a broad flan, weight 16.686 g, maximum diameter 33.7 mm, die axis 315o, Pamphylia, uncertain mint, c. 220 - 180 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, throne with high back, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, no control symbols; $580.00 (€435.00)

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; $580.00 (€435.00)

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C.
Click for a larger photo Without control symbols, attribution is made by comparing the fabric and style to attributed examples. We did not find any examples in our references similar enough to confidently identify the mint or date of this coin.
SH90222. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Price 844, Müller Alexander -, Choice aEF, scratch behind Herakles ear, weight 16.884 g, maximum diameter 28.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, posthumous, c. 310 - 275 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, throne with high back, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, no control symbols; ex Savoca Coins (Munich); rare; $540.00 (€405.00)



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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 Sunday, November 23, 2014.
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Alexander the Great Greek Coins