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Seleukos I Nikator / Quadriga of Elephants
Seleukos I Nikator. 312-281 BC. AR Tetradrachm (27mm, 17.13 g, 4h). Seleukeia on the Tigris II mint. Struck circa 296/5-281 BC.
O: Laureate head of Zeus right
R: BAΣIΛEΩΣ (King) left, Athena, brandishing spear and shield, in quadriga of elephants right; anchor above,ΣEΛEYKOY (Seleukos), two monograms in exergue.
- SC 130.20c corr. (monogram); ESM Ė (but obv. die A42); HGC 9, 18a; NFA XXII, lot 339 (same dies); CNG 96 lot 530 (Same Dies).

For this variety, 130.20c, SC cites NFA XXII, lot 339, but the monogram is not clear in the photograph. The present coin, from the same dies as the NFA piece, clearly shows that the diagonal line in the lower left of the monogram is not present.

Seleucus I was the founder of the Seleucid dynasty. His kingdom at its highest point extended from Thrace and Asia Minor in the West to Bactria in the East and from the Black Sea in the north to the borders of Egypt in the South. Out of all of the Successors of Alexander the Great, he was the one who came closest to restoring the entirety of the Macedonian Empire. Although Seleucus had been appointed satrap of Babylonia by an assembly of Alexanderís former generals in 321 BC, Antigonos, who was made strategos of Asia at the same time sought to remove the satraps that he could not control and thereby become the new master of Alexanderís Empire. Realizing the danger, Seleucus escaped from Babylon to the Egyptian court of Ptolemy. With Ptolemyís assistance, Seleucus was able to return to Babylon and reclaim his satrapy in 312 BC. In 306/5 he embarked upon an eastern campaign to gain control of the Upper Satrapies.

This series of tetradrachms served as a reminder of the 500 war elephants Seleukos received in settlement with Chandragupta in the Peace of 303. The treaty is celebrated on the reverse which depicts a militant Athena being pulled by four elephants equipped with horned headdresses.

Elephants were the equivalent to the tank of the ancient Greek world. The elephants of Chandragupta had a pivotal role to play in Seleucusí reign. Thanks to their timely arrival at the Battle of Ipsos (301 BC), it was possible for Seleucus and his allies to defeat and kill Antigonos, thereby ending an ever-present threat to his security. With Antigonos gone, Seleucus could safely rule his eastern kingdom. In 281 BC Philetairos and other cities and rulers of western Asia Minor invited Seleucus to march west and destroy his sometime ally, Lysimachos, who had made himself very unpopular in the region. Seleucus acquiesced to this request, defeating and killing Lysimacus at the Battle of Korupedion. This victory gained for Seleucus all of Lysimacusí former territory in Asia Minor and Thrace, but he was not able to savour this triumph for long. Later in the year, as he marched through Thrace, Seleucus was murdered by a refugee from the Ptolemaic court.
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Album name:Nemonater / Greek
File Size:625 KB
Date added:Nov 07, 2019
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Jay GT4  [Nov 07, 2019 at 10:10 PM]