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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.
Mesembria, Thrace, c. 275 - 225 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland Thrace. Thrace was invaded by the Galatians in 279 B.C. Only the wealthy coastal cities, including Mesembria, withstood their attacks. Following that chaos, rule of Thrace was divided between many tribes. Philip V, 221 - 179 B.C., tried to regain control of the area for the Macedonian Kingdom, but his success was limited and short lived. Mesembria was taken by Mithradates VI in the First Mithradatic War and surrendered to Rome in 71 B.C. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms as early as 275 B.C., more than 50 years after Alexander's death, and probably issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms struck anywhere, possibly under Roman rule as late as 65 B.C. SH85286. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov p. 84 and pl. VII, 41 (O7/R18); Price 992; Müller Alexander 436, gVF, attractive style, light marks and scratches, weight 17.000 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 180o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 275 - 225 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Corinthian helmet right over (ΠA monogram) in inner left field under arm; ex FORVM (2013); $500.00 (€425.00)
Arados, Phoenicia, 200 - 190 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
In 259 B.C., Arados increased her autonomy and dominated a federation of nearby cities including Gabala, Karne, Marathos and Simyra. Thus began the era of Aradus, to which the subsequent coins of the city are dated. Arados was not completely independent, however, the Seleukids retained overlordship.
Arados struck Alexandrine tetradrachms with a palm tree left and Phoenician dates from 243 to 205 B.C. and then with Greek dates from 202 to 167 B.C. They were not struck every year.GS85703. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3390 ff., Mektepini 614 ff.; Duyrat 1270 ff., Cohen Dated 771, gVF, attractive style, reverse double struck, earthen encrustations, weight 17.039 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 0o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, c. 200 - 190 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, palm tree with two bunches of dates in left field under arm, AP monogram under throne, uncertain Greek additive date (60 - 69?) below; $430.00 (€365.50)
Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander IV, c. 323 - 311 B.C.
Struck after Alexander's death, under either Perdikkas or Antipater, regents during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule. Both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Olympias had Philip murdered to ensure the succession of her grandson. But Alexander IV would never rule. In 311 B.C., he and his mother Roxana were executed by the regent Kassander.GS87631. Silver tetradrachm, Price 133; Müller Alexander 542; SNG Alpha Bank 514; SNG Saroglos 253; SNG Cop 688; SNG München 293; Ehrhardt Amphipolis 15, VF, excellent centering, light rose toning, light bumps and marks, weight 16.960 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, c. 316 - c. 311 A.D.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, dolphinhead down left, Πo under throne; $340.00 (€289.00)
Rhodos, Carian Islands, c. 205 - 190 B.C., Civic Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and the principal town of the island is also named Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered it. Historically, Rhodes is famous for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a giant bronze statue once standing at the harbor. It was completed in 280 B.C. and destroyed in an earthquake in 224 B.C. No trace of the statue remains today. Historical sites on the island of Rhodes include the Acropolis of Lindos, the Acropolis of Rhodes with the Temple of Pythian Apollo and an ancient theater and stadium, ancient Ialysos, ancient Kamiros, the Governor's Palace, Rhodes Old Town (walled medieval city), the Palace of the Grand Masters, Kahal Shalom Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter, the Archeological Museum, the ruins of the castle of Monolithos, the castle of Kritinia, St. Catherine Hospice and Rhodes Footbridge.GS87644. Silver tetradrachm, HGC 6 1455 (S); cf. Price 2520 ff. (various magistrates), Muller Alexander 1162 ff. (same), VF/F, well centered, choiceobverse, reverse rough with burnished area, scratches and marks, slight double strike, weight 15.795 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 205 - c. 190 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus seated left on throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, magistrate's name under arm and over rose left, PO (Rhodos) under throne; scarce; $340.00 (€289.00)
Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great
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.GS87610. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Saroglos 648 (same dies), Houghton-Lorber I 82(4)b, Price 3752, Müller 735, SNG Mün 794 var. (no pellet), SNG Cop 833 var. (same), HGC 9 10f, VF, high relief dies, uneven toning, compact flan, bumps and marks, reverse slightly double struck, weight 16.584 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 45o, Babylon mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, MI left, MYPT monogram (pellet in P) in wreath below throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue; $310.00 (€263.50)
Macedonian Kingdom, Kassander, Regent 317 - 305 B.C., King 305 - 298 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander III
When Antipater transferred the regency of Macedon to Polyperchon, Kassander rejected his father's decision, obtained support from Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus, defeated Polyperchon, and in 317 B.C. declared himself Regent. After Olympias had Philip III assassinated later that year, Kassander besieged her in Pydna. The city fell two years later, Olympias was killed, and Alexander IV and Roxanne were imprisoned. To associate himself with the Argead dynasty Kassander married Alexander's half-sister, Thessalonica. About 310 B.C. he had Alexander IV and Roxanne poisoned. Kassander proclaimed himself King in 305 B.C. After Antigonus was killed at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C., Kassander held undisputed rule of Macedonia. He had little time to savor the fact, dying of dropsy in 297 B.C.GS87601. Silver tetradrachm, Price 447, SNG Saroglos 292, Müller Alexander 37, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, attractive style, well centered on a tight flan, bumps and marks, weight 16.993 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 90o, Amphipolis mint, 307 - 297 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, Λ over torch left, MHΓ monogram under throne; $290.00 (€246.50)
Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonos I Monophthalmos, Strategos of Asia, 320 - 306/5 B.C., or King, 306/5 - 301 B.C.
Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") (382 B.C. - 301 B.C.) was a nobleman, 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. -- Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaGS87629. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3575, Müller Alexander 900, SNG München 755, SNG Saroglos 598, SNG Alpha Bank 678, SNG Oxford 3169, Meydancikkale 2204, VF, well centered, toned, light earthen deposits, bumps, marks, scratches, weight 16.992 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Phoenician or Syrian mint, c. 317 - c. 300 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse 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, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, right leg drawn back, boar's head left (control) in left field; $290.00 (€246.50)
Macedonia, Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 95 - 70 B.C.
This type was apparently intended to encourage Macedonian pride by portraying the legendary national hero of the Macedonians, and at the same time clearly communicate Roman authority with name and symbols of the Roman quaestor.RS77035. Silver tetradrachm, Bauslaugh Group VI (O76), SNG Lockett 1543, SNG Cop 1330, SNG Ashmolean 3305, AMNG III 223, SGCV I 1439, VF, toned, porous, light deposits of copper salts, weight 11.862 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 95 - 70 B.C.; obversehead of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon and flowing hair, Θ behind, MAKE∆ONΩN below; reverse AESILLAS above money-chest (cista), club, and Q over quaestor's chair (sella curulis), all within laurel wreath, pellet below sella, pellet at end of Q; $230.00 (€195.50)
Uncertain Eastern, c. 3rd - 2nd Century B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander III
Many Greek cities across what was once Alexander's empire struck Alexander tetradrachms as civic coinage, even centuries after the death of the great conqueror. Similarly, peoples on the fringes of the Greek world also struck Alexander tetradrachms; sometimes with unusual or bizarre style, and often with illiterate blundered inscriptions. These coins are often described as "barbaric." We can attribute some of these imitative types to specific places or tribes. Other coins, such as this one, are a mystery.GS82716. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Price B36 ff. (barbarous, uncertain prototypes), VF, very high relief, toned, tight flan, porous, weight 15.001 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (tribal?) mint, c. 3rd - 2nd Century B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin headdress; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, monogram lower left(?); rare; $225.00 (€191.25)
Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C.
Ptolemy II requested copies of Jewish texts for the Library at Alexandria. There they were translated and transcribed by 70 Jewish scholars, creating the Septuagint, the oldest Greek version of the Hebrew Bible. Many of the oldest Biblical verses among the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly those in Aramaic, correspond more closely with the Septuagint than with the Hebrew text. GP88279. Bronze obol, Lorber CPE B226a, Svoronos 450 (16 spec.), Malter 70, SNG Milan -, Weiser -, Noeske -, Hosking -, SNG Cop -, Choice gVF, well centered and struck, light marks and scratches, mottled brown tone, beveled obverse edge, central cavities, weight 12.145 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 0o, Alexandria mint, c. 264 - 246 B.C.; obversehead of Alexander right, wearing elephant scalp headdress; reverse ΠTOΛEMAIOY BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King Ptolemy), eagle standing left on thunderbolt, head left, wings open, E between legs; ex Ora Eads Collection; ex CNG Sale 41 (19 Mar 1997), lot 1035 (part of); $200.00 (€170.00)
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