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Greek, Mithridates VI (The Great) as Herakles
Pontic Kingdom, Thrace, Odessos, Mithridates VI Megas, 120-63 BC, AR Tetradrachm in the name of Alexander the Great, struck ca. 88-86 BC.
Head of Mithridates VI (the Great) as Herakles, wearing lion's skin headdress / ΒΑΣIΛΕΩΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡOΥ.
(Reverse is of Zeus seated left, legs draped, confronting eagle held on outstretched right arm and grasping lotus-tipped sceptre, ΛAK before, OΔΗ (Odessos ethnic) in exergue.)
Callata Group 3; Price 1192. Odessos ca. 88-86 BC
(30 mm, 16.04 gm, 1h)

This is amongst the last of the coinages in the style of Alexander the Great to be minted. In this final incarnation the portrait of Herakles was adapted to the features of Mithridates VI the Great, to the extent that the image of Herakles is in fact a portrait of Mithridates. Comparison with his portrait on tetradrachms minted in Pontus proves this point.
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labienus  [Jan 14, 2012 at 01:51 PM]
Sharp portrait for a sharp character. Lovely coin.
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