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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


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; $600.00 (€450.00)

Barbaric Imitative with Types and In the Name of Alexander the Great, c. 223 - 200 B.C.
Click for a larger photo This barbaric Alexandrine tetradrachm type, imitative of issues from the Amphipolis mint, is usually identified in sales catalog listings as Eastern Celtic. It is not, however, listed in the major Eastern Celtic coin references, so presumably it is not ordinarily found in Bulgaria or Romania. We know of one example that was found in the Middle East.
SH70987. Silver tetradrachm, Price B6, Müller Alexander 108 - 121, SNG München -, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Saroglos -; imitative of types struck at Amphipolis, VF, perfect centering, toned, weight 16.455 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 315o, uncertain tribal mint, struck c. 223 - 200 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in lion skin headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 220, part of lot 1985; scarce; $550.00 SALE PRICE $495.00 ON RESERVE

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 (€367.50)

Macedonian Kingdom, Kassander, Regent 317 - 305 B.C., King 305 - 298 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander III
Click for a larger photo Son of the regent Antipater, but not his heir, Kassander seized power from Polyperchon after his father's death. He had no intention of surrendering rule to Alexander's son, who was to be king when he came of age. In 311 B.C., Kassander had Alexander's 12-year old son and the boy's mother, Roxane, executed. In 305 B.C., he declared himself king of Macedonia. Kassander struck bronze coinage in his own name, but he struck silver coinage in the name and types of Alexander the Great.
SH90223. Silver tetradrachm, Price 468, Müller Alexander 60, SNG Cop 697, SNG Saroglos 306, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, weight 17.097 g, maximum diameter 24.6 mm, die axis 270o, Amphipolis mint, c. 315 - 294 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, L over race torch left, kantharos under throne; ex Savoca Coins (Munich); $490.00 (€367.50)

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.
SH70991. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Saroglos 371 (same dies), Price 850, Müller Alexander -, Meydancikkale -, SNG München -; SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, rev double struck, obv die wear, scratches and bumps, weight 16.842 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, die axis 45o, uncertain Macedonian or Greek mint, posthumous, c. 310 - c. 275 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in lion skin headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg drawn back, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, dolphin downward left, T - I divided by bucranium in exergue; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 220, part of lot 1985; rare; $500.00 SALE PRICE $450.00 ON RESERVE

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 (€300.00)

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C.
Click for a larger photo  
SH90206. Silver tetradrachm, Price -, Hersh -, Müller Alexander -, Meydancikkale -, SNG Cop -, SNG München -; et al.; cf. Price 574 ff. (grapes with other control symbols), F, burnished areas, weight 16.560 g, maximum diameter 29.8 mm, die axis 90o, Pella(?) mint, posthumous, c. 280 - 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, eagle and bunch of grapes in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, A below throne; ex CNG auction 324, part of lot 690; apparently unpublished; $400.00 (€300.00)

Corinth, Greece, c. 310 - 290 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo Although Greece was declared "free" in 311 B.C., it soon became a chaotic battleground of Alexander's successors. 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. This type and other similar types from Corinth share identical style and control letters with coins struck by nearby cities, suggesting all were struck under the reinstated league.
SH90205. Silver tetradrachm, Price 685, Müller Alexander 889, SNG München 379, SNG Cop 732 (Sicyon), SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Saroglos -, VF, small spots of dark toning, weight 16.902 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 90o, Corinth mint, posthumous, c. 310 - 290 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 right, long scepter vertical behind in left, apluster left, ∆E under throne; ex CNG auction 324, part of lot 690; $400.00 SALE PRICE $360.00 ON RESERVE

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III The Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Lifetime issue
Click for a larger photo Lifetime issue. This coin was issued during the lifetime and rule of Alexander the Great. Most Alexander coins were issued after his death.
SH60132. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3000, gF, weight 16.787 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 225o, Cilicia, Tarsos mint, c. 333 - 327 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, legs uncrossed, eagle in right, long scepter vertical in left, B under throne; $295.00 (€221.25)

Aspendus, Pamphylia, 195 - 194 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
Click for a larger photo After Alexander took Perga peacefully, Aspendos sent envoys to offer surrender if he would not take the taxes and horses formerly paid as tribute to the Persian king. Agreeing, Alexander went on to Side, leaving a garrison behind. When he learned they had failed to ratify the agreement their own evnvoys had proposed, Alexander marched to the city. The Aspendians retreated to their acropolis and again sent envoys to sue for peace. This time, however, they had to agree to harsh terms - they would host a Macedonian garrison and pay 100 gold talents and 4.000 horses annually.

When this coin was struck, Antiochos III the Great had recovered central Asia Minor for the Seleukid Kingdom. Aspendos accepted Seleukid authority in 197 B.C. The city surrendered to Rome in 190 B.C.
SH59525. Silver tetradrachm, Price 2897, SNG Cop 771, Cohen DCA 312, VF, weight 16.722 g, maximum diameter 31.3 mm, die axis 0o, Aspendos mint, 195 - 194 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; Seleukid countermark: anchor in roughly rectangular punch; reverse Zeus enthroned left, eagle in right, long scepter vertical behind in left, AΣ / IH (year 18 Era of Aspendos) left; $290.00 (€217.50)



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REFERENCES

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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).
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).
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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).
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Wartenberg, U. & J.H. Kagan, "Some Comments on a New Hoard from the Balkan Sea" in Travaux Le Rider.

Catalog current as of Friday, July 25, 2014.
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Alexander the Great Greek Coins