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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ MacedoniaView Options:  |  |  |     

Ancient Greek Coins of Macedonia

Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Gordian III, 238 - 244 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.
SH65202. Bronze AE 26, AMNG III 724; cf BMC Macedonia p. 22, 102 (one neokorie); SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Bar -; SNG Saroglos -; Lindgren -, F, weight 10.822 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 180o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, head of Alexander the Great right, as Herakles, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN B NEΩ, Alexander galloping left on his horse Bucephalus, about to spear a lion leaping left below; rare; $180.00 (€160.20)


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Amphipolis was home to an imperial cult, worshiping the living emperor, and to a cult dedicated to Artemis Tauropolos. The obverse depicts Trajan as a military victor and probably copies an imperial statue. The reverse may depict a local statue of Artemis Tauropolos.
GB90406. Bronze AE 20, Lindgren II 978 (same dies), Varbanov 7179 (R7), AMNG III 79, Hunterian I 37, Moushmov 6068, SNG ANS -, SNG Cop -, SNG Tüb, BMC Macedonia -, gF, centered, some porosity, weight 5.099 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Amphipolis mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse KAICAP TPAIANOC, emperor on horseback galloping right, brandishing spear to strike a prostrate foe below; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITWN, Artemis Tauropolos standing left, kalathos on head, long torch before her in right hand, small branch in left hand downward at side, grounded shield behind; rare; $180.00 (€160.20)


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, 320 - 301 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Struck by Antigonus I Monophthalmus ("the One-eyed") as strategos of Asia (320 - 306 B.C.) or as king (306 - 301 B.C.). Antigonos I 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.
GS75260. Silver drachm, cf. Price 1789 ff., Müller Alexander 1603 ff., SNG Cop 917 f., SNG München 513 ff. (all with various symbols under throne), VF, nice style, well centered on a crowded flan, light marks and scratches, small areas of encrustation, weight 4.235 g, maximum diameter 16.4 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Colophon mint, c. 310 - 301 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left, nude to waist, himation around waist and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, SW monogram left, uncertain symbol under throne(?); $175.00 (€155.75)


Eion, Macedonia, c. 500 - 437 B.C.

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Eion was only about three miles from Amphipolis and from the late 5th century onwards served merely as a seaport of its much larger neighbor. The denomination is variously described as a diobol or trihemiobol. The significance of the obverse type is not clear, but presumably makes reference to the characteristic fauna of the region at that time.
GA77599. Silver trihemiobol, SNG ANS 280 - 283, SNG Cop 180 corr., SNG Berry 29, Klein 151, BMC Macedonia p. 75, 21, aVF, well centered, light toning, edge split, porous, weight 0.661 g, maximum diameter 11.5 mm, Eion mint, c. 500 - 437 B.C.; obverse goose standing right, looking back, lizard above; reverse quadripartite incuse square; $175.00 (€155.75)


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

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Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and the Chersonesos after Alexander's death. He became one of the diadochi (successors of Alexander) who were initially generals and governors, but who continuously allied and warred with each other and eventually divided the empire. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonesos with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. In 281, he was killed in battle against Seleucus, another successor of Alexander.
GS75247. Silver drachm, Price 1995, Müller Alexander 788, SNG Cop 999, Thompson-Bellinger Magnesia 27, SNG München 568, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered, toned, struck with a worn obverse die, porous, weight 3.968 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Magnesia ad Maeandrum mint, 305 - 297 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long lotus tipped scepter vertical behind in left hand, AN monogram over E in left field, AY monogram under throne; $170.00 (€151.30)


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

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Struck by Kleitos (Cleitus the White), satrap of Lydia, 321 - 318 B.C., under Perdiccas as regent for Philip III, Alexander's brother, and the infant king Alexander IV, Alexander's son with the Bactrian princess Roxana. 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. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C. Sardes also struck coins during this period in the name of Philip. Traditionally coins naming Alexander have been attributed to Alexander III the Great, but the Alexander named on this coin was more likely the infant son of Roxana, Alexander IV.
GS77132. Silver drachm, Price 2600; ADM I Series XIII, 191 ff.; SNG München 634; SNG Cop -; SNG Alpha Bank -; Müller Alexander -, VF, attractive style, toned, porous, weight 4.063 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, Sardes (Sart, Turkey) mint, c. 321 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus enthroned left, right leg forward, feet on footstool, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long lotus tipped scepter vertical behind in left hand, EYE monogram left, torch under throne; $170.00 (€151.30)


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonus I Monophthalmus, 323 - 301 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

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With the arrival of Alexander the Great, Teos gained its freedom from Persian rule. In 319 B.C., it came under the rule of the Strategos of Asia, Antigonus I Monophthalmos (the one-eyed). Antigonus declared himself King in 306. In 302 B.C., Troas fell to Lysimachus' general, Prepelaos. Lysimachus moved some of Troas' citizens to the newly built city of Ephesus.
GS77149. Silver drachm, Price 2282, SNG Oxford 2803, SNG Cop -, SNG München -, SNG Alpha Bank -, Müller Alexander -, VF, toned, well centered, light bumps and marks, porosity, weight 3.974 g, maximum diameter 17.7 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Teos mint, c. 310 - 302 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 forward, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, griffin seated left on left, ΛΩΠ monogram below throne strut; very rare; $170.00 (€151.30)


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

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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.
GB76151. Bronze AE 20, Price 2800f, SNG München 919, Müller Alexander -, SNG Alpha Bank -, SNG Cop -, VF, nice green patina, light marks, light corrosion, weight 5.612 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain Western Anatolia mint, c. 323 - 310 B.C., Possibly Struck by Antigonus I; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in lion-skin head-dress; reverse torch and club left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward in center, bow inside bow case right, A lower right, uncertain round countermark; $165.00 (€146.85)


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Amphipolis, Macedonia

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Amphipolis was on the Via Egnatia, the principal Roman road which crossed the southern Balkans. In 50, the apostle Paul visited Amphipolis on his way to Thessaloniki. Many Christian churches were built indicating prosperity, but the region grew increasingly dangerous. In the 6th century the population had declined considerably and the old perimeter was no longer defensible against Slavic invasions. The lower city was plundered for materials to fortify the Acropolis. In the 7th century, a new wall was built, right through the bath and basilica, dividing the Acropolis. The remaining artisans moved to houses and workshops built in the unused cisterns of the upper city. In the 8th century, the last inhabitants probably abandoned the city and moved to nearby Chrysopolis (formerly Eion, once the port of Amphipolis).
SH58235. Bronze AE 25, SNG Evelpidis 1186, Varbanov III 3250 var. (fish in ex., same obv. die), BMC 118 var. (same), SNG Cop 109 var. (legend), SNG ANS 194 var. (same, etc.), VF, weight 8.849 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 225o, Amphipolis mint, obverse AYTOK M AYP KOMMO∆OC ANTON, laureate head right; reverse AMΦIΠOΛEITΩN, City-goddess seated left on high-backed throne, polos on head, patera in extended right; rare; $160.00 (€142.40)


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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The god Kabeiros is similar in appearance to Dionysos and the rites of his cult were likely similar to those of the Dionysian mysteries. The attributes of Kabeiros are a rhyton and hammer.
RP59998. Bronze AE 25, Varbanov III 4709, BMC Macedonia p. 127, 133, SNG Cop -, VF, light scratches, weight 8.831 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse AYK K M IOY ΦIΛIΠΠOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKEΩN ΠYΘIA, Apollo standing left, small Kabeiros in right, laurel branch in left, at his feet, agonistic urn containing a palm branch rests on a table; scarce; $160.00 (€142.40)




    



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Macedonia Greek Coins