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Greek, Ptolemy II Philadelphus AR Tetradrachm
Obverse: Diademed head of Ptolemy I Soter
Reverse: Eagle with folded wings standing on thunderbolts. PTOLEMAIOY SOTHROS; Regnal Year 31 (255/54 BC) of Ptolemy II (285-246 BC) Monograms and control marks of the Gaza mint in the fields

Many of the portraits of Ptolemy Soter (the Savior) are little more than caricatures on the tetradrachms that are commonly for sale. Perhaps after engraving the same features for centuries the man behind the image became lost. I think this coin portrait has great quality and I imagine it looks a lot like the original Ptolemy I although cut about thirty years after his death. Ptolemy I may have been regarded as the George Washington of his day and the the notion of "father of his country" is exemplified in this portrait.
It is ironic that his patron, Alexander, overthrew the Persian God-Kings and was a major factor in preserving the role of the individual in Western values. Ptolemy's dynasty generally followed the Egyptian model with family members succeeding family members for over two centuries rather than the highly competitive and dynamic model that shaped Western politics and history.

Gaza mint; Svoronos 828; wt 13.7 gm
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