The Age of Gallienus
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coin Prices 101
Ancient Coin Dates
Ancient Coin Lesson Plans
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Oil Lamps
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Class A Folles
Armenian Numismatics Page
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
A Case of Counterfeits
Byzantine Christian Themes
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Denarii of Otho
Die Alignment 101
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Edict on Prices
ERIC - Rarity Tables
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Greek Coin Denominations
Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Helvetica's ID Help Page
The Hexastyle Temple of Caligula
Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Important Collection Auctions
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
People in the Bible Who Issued Coins
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
List of Kings of Judea
Maps of the Ancient World
Museum Collections Available Online
The [Not] Cuirassed Elephant
Not in RIC
Numismatic Excellence Award
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Reading Judean Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Rome and China
Satyrs and Nymphs
The Sign that Changed the World
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Star of Bethlehem Coins
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Taras Drachms with Owl Left
The Temple Tax
The Temple Tax Hoard
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Uncleaned Ancient Coins 101
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Who was Trajan Decius
Ancient Coins of Lysimachos in the Forum Ancient Coins shop
Lysimachos (or 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.
During Alexander's Persian campaigns he was one of his personal bodyguards and distinguished himself in India.
A story popular in Roman times told that that Alexander punished Lysimachus, for trying to help Callisthenes, by locking him in a cage with a lion. Callisthenes, a historian who criticized Alexander's adoption of Persian customs (particularly that he be regarded as a god), had been accused of treason and imprisoned (where he later died, possibly from torture). Lysimachus killed the beast by tearing out its tongue (Justin 15.3). In Plutarch's Life of Demetrius, Lysimachus exposes his scars to ambassadors "and told them of the battle he had fought with the beast when Alexander had shut him up in a cage with it" (Plutarch Demetr. 27).
After Alexander's death Lysimachos was appointed strategos in Thrace and the Chersonese, where he was chiefly occupied with fighting against the Odrysian king Seuthes. In 315 he joined Cassander, Ptolemy and Seleucus against Antigonus. Antigonus diverted his attention by stirring up Thracian and Scythian tribes against him. In 309, he founded his capital Lysimachia in a commanding situation on the neck connecting the Chersonese with the mainland. In 306, he followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king.
Margaret Thompson notes that many of the Lysimachos dies from a large number of mints appear to have been the work of the same man. She concludes, "It is not impossible that an individual die-cutter traveled from place to place, but on the whole it seems more likely that there were central workshops for the production of dies and that the dies were then distributed to meet the needs of the various mints."
Lysimachia was built by Lysimachus in 309 B.C., when he was preparing for a struggle with his rivals; for the new city, located on the isthmus, commanded the road from Sestos to the north and the mainland of Thrace. To obtain inhabitants for his new city, Lysimachus destroyed the neighboring town of Cardia, the birthplace of the historian Hieronymus, and settled the inhabitants of it and other Chersonese cities here. Lysimachus no doubt made Lysimachia the capital of his kingdom and it must have rapidly risen to great splendor and prosperity.
In 306 B.D., Lysimachos followed the example of Antigonus in taking the title of king, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedonia. The fiction of an undivided empire had been destroyed long ago by the murder of Philip III in 317 and the imprisonment of Roxane and they young Alexander IV in the same year.
In 305 B.C., Anatolia was controlled by Antigonos I Monophthalmos, a Satrap of the Macedonian Kingdom, who had made himself king in 306 B.C. In 301, at the Battle of Ipsus in Phrygia, Antigonus and his son Demetrius Poliorcetes were defeated by Lysimachus and Seleucus. Antigonus was killed in the battle. Lysimachus added the greater part of Anatolia, including Ionia to his European possessions.
In 302, Lysimachos, reinforced by troops from Cassander, entered Asia Minor, where he met with little resistance. On the approach of Antigonus he retired into winter quarters near Heraclea, marrying its widowed queen Amastris, a Persian princess. Seleucus joined him in 301, and at the battle of Ipsus, Antigonus was slain. His dominions were divided among the victors, Lysimachos receiving the greater part of Asia Minor. Feeling that Seleucus was becoming dangerously great, he now allied himself with Ptolemy, marrying his daughter Arsinoe. Amastris, who had divorced herself from him, returned to Heraclea.
Antigonus controlled Kolophon until general Prepelaus sized the area for Lysimachus in 302 B.C.
The close and unwavering friendship between Kassander and Lysimachus was unusual among the successors of Alexander, who are otherwise infamous for their treachery and double-dealing. Before Kassander died in 297, Lysimachos likely received much of his coinage, especially tetradrachms, from his close friend. Throughout the Kassander's reign, Lysimachos followed Kassander's example by issuing Alexandrine types in gold and silver, and only issuing bronze in his own name. After Kassander died, Lysimachus' struck his own unique types and began substantial emissions of tetradrachms. Lysimachus' new coinage was, however, a somewhat conservative change; to the end he refrained from the propaganda of a personal portrait.
In 297, when Demetrius renewed hostilities, Lysimachos seized his towns in Asia Minor, but in 294 concluded a peace whereby Demetrius was recognized as ruler of Macedonia. Lysimachos tried to carry his power beyond the Danube, but was defeated and taken prisoner by the Getae, who, however, set him free on amicable terms. Demetrius subsequently threatened Thrace, but had to retire in consequence of a rising in Boeotia, and an attack from Pyrrhus of Epirus. In 288 Lysimachos and Pyrrhus in turn invaded Macedonia, and drove Demetrius out of the country. Pyrrhus was at first allowed to remain in possession of Macedonia with the title of king, but in 285 he was expelled by Lysimachos.
Lysimachos captured Ephesos c. 295 B.C. and renamed it Arsinoe in honor of his wife. Thompson noted, "Some staters and tetradrachms were struck but the mint's chief output was drachms."
Thompson notes that Lampsacus was Lysimachos largest mint in Asia Minor, with approximately 150 known obverse dies. Output from Lampsacus declined when Amphipolis began its extensive coinage c. 288 B.C. Lampsacus was known as center for worship of Priapus, who was said to have been born there.
In 287 Magnesia apparently rebelled in support of Demetrius, but Lysimachos recaptured the city in 286. In 282 the city fell to Seleucus.
Sardes was a treasury of Lysimachus and one of his most active mints. Demetrius Poliorcetes captured the city in 287. Lysimachus regained it in 286, but it appears he did not reopen the mint. All the coins are pre-286 style. Lysimachus permanently lost Sardes when it was captured by Seleukos in 282.
Thompson notes that Pyrrhus held Pella until 286 B.C. It was one of the last, if not the last, mint opened by Lysimachos. Twenty-six obverse dies are known for the tetradrachms.
Thompson notes, the style of all the Parium staters (five known obverse dies) belongs to the later years of Lysimachos reign.
In 301 B.C., Lysimachus made Philetaerus commander of Pergamon, where he kept a treasury of nine thousand talents of silver. In 282 Philetaerus revolted and called on Seleucus for aid. Lysimachus was defeated by Seleucus and killed at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 B.C.
Domestic troubles embittered the last years of Lysimachos' life. Amastris had been murdered by her two sons; Lysimachos put them to death. Arsinoe asked the gift of Heraclea, and he granted her request, though he had promised to free the city. In 284 Arsinoe, desirous of gaining the succession for her sons in preference to Agathocles (the eldest son of Lysimachos), intrigued against him with the help of her brother Ptolemy Ceraunus; they accused Agathocles of conspiring with Seleucus to seize the throne, and he was put to death. This atrocious deed of Lysimachos aroused great indignation. Many of the cities of Asia revolted, and his most trusted friends deserted him. The widow of Agathocles fled to Seleucus, who at once invaded the territory of Lysimachos in Asia. Lysimachos crossed the Hellespont, and in 281 a decisive battle took place at the plain of Corus (Corupedion) in Lydia. Lysimachos was killed; after some days his body, watched by a faithful dog, was found on the field, and given up to his son Alexander, by whom it was interred at Lysimachia.
After Lysimachus was killed in battle, his wife, Arsinoe II, married her half-brother Ptolemy Keraunos, but he immediately killed two of her sons. Arsinoe then fled to her full brother Ptolemy of Egypt. After Ptolemy's wife was banished, they married. The Greeks of Alexandria promptly nicknamed them Philadelphoi (brother-loving).
Arnold-Biucchi, C. "The Pergamene Mint under Lysimachos" in Studies Price.
Arslan, M. and C. Lightfoot. Greek Coin Hoards in Turkey. (Ankara, 1999).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Bloesch, H. Griechische Münzen In Winterthur, Volume 1: Spain, Gaul, Italy, Sicily, Moesia, Dacia, Sarmatia, Thrace, and Macedonia. (Winterthur, 1967).
Brett, A.B. Catalogue of Greek Coins, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1955).
Davesne, A. & G. Le Rider. Le trésor de Meydancikkale. (Paris, 1989).
de Callatay, F. L’histoire des guerres Mithridatiques vue par les monnaies. (Louvain-La-Neuve, 1997).
de Callatay, F. & R. Kan. "A new silver denomination of Lysimachus: a unique hemidrachm (from Mytilene?) with Athena Parthenos on the reverse" in Studies Touratsoglou.
Dimitrov, K. “The Coinage of the Thracian Ruler Skostokos according to the Coin Hoard from Plovdiv, 1907 (IGCH 869)” in Bulgarian Historical Review 12.4 (1984).
Draganov, D. The Coinage of Cabyle. (Sofia, 1993).
Fischer-Bossert, W. “Die Lysimachaeier des Skostokos” in RBN CLI (2005).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol. II: Macedon, Thrace, Thessaly, NW, central & S. Greece. (London, 1924).
Frolova, N. "Caucasian Imitations of Alexander and Lysimachus' Golden Stater" in Studies Touratsoglou.
Grose, S. W. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fizwilliam Museum. (Cambridge, 1923-29).
Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Ionia. (London, 1892).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of the Islands: Adriatic, Ionian, Thracian, Aegean, & Carpathian Seas, 6th to 1st Centuries BC. HGC 6. (Lancaster, PA, 2010).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. ed. Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands. (Berlin, 1898 - 1913).
Le Rider, G. "L'Atelier séleucide de Lysimachie" in Quaderni Ticinesi Numismatica e Antichità Classiche, Lugano, XCII (1988).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints from the Lindgren Collection. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coinage of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
MacDonald, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1899).
Marinescu, C. Making and Spending Money along the Bosporus: The Lysimachi Coinages Minted by Byzantium and Chalcedon and their Socio-Cultural Context. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Columbia University. (New York, 1996).
Marinescu, C. "Byzantium's Early Coinage in the Name of King Lysimachus: Problems and New Attributions" in First International Congress of the Anatolian Monetary History and Numismatics – Proceedings. (Antalya, 2014).
Marinescu, C. "The Lysimachi Coinage of Cius, Bithynia" in Studies Draganov.
Marinescu, C. and C. Lorber. “The “Black Sea” Tetradrachm Hoard” in Studies Prokopov.
Mionnet, T. E. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines. (Paris, 1807-1837).
Mørkholm, O. Early Hellenistic Coinage. From the Accession of Alexander to the Peace of Apamea (336-188 BC). (Cambridge, 1991).
Müller, L. Die Münzen Des Thracishen Konigs Lysimacus. (Copenhagen, 1858).
Müller, L. Numismatique d’Alexandre le Grand; Appendice les monnaies de Philippe II et III, et Lysimaque. (Copenhagen, 1855-58).
Münzer, F. & M. L. Strack. Die antiken Münzen von Thrakien, Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. II. (Berlin, 1912).
Olcay, N., and Seyrig, H. Trésors monétaires séleucides. I: Le trésor de Mektepini en Phrygie. (Paris, 1965).
Psoma, S. "Agathokles son of Lysimachos in Thrace and Asia Minor: The Numismatic Evidence" in Studies Bosch-Arslan-Baydur.
Petac, E. & A. Vilcu. "The Lysimachus Type Gold Mintage from Odessos" in Istros. Muzeul Brăilei 19 (Brăila, 2013).
Pick, B. & K. Regling. Die antiken Münzen von Dacien und Moesien. Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. I. (Berlin, 1898 - 1910).
Price, M. J. The Coinage of in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (London, 1991).
Poole, R. S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Seyrig, H. "Monnaies Hellénistiques de Byzance et de Calcédoine" in Essays Robinson.
Seyrig, H. “Parion au 3e siècle avant notre ère” in Centennial Publication of the American Numismatic Society. (New York, 1958).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 2: Macedonia and Thrace. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 2: Taurische Chersones-Korkyra. (Berlin, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Cabinet des Médailles, Bibliothéque Nationale. (Paris, 1993 - 2001).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection, Part 2: Sicily - Thrace (gold and silver). (London, 1939).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections, Part 2: Sicily-Thrace. (London, 1947).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain V, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. (London. 1951 - 2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VII, Manchester University Museum. (London, 1986).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Grèce, Collection Réna H. Evelpidis, Pt. 1: Italie. Sicile - Thrace. (Athens, 1970).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Italy, Milano VI, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, Part 3: Chersonesus Tauricus, Sarmatia, Thracia, Chersonesus Thraciae, Isole della Thracia. (Milan, 2000).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Österreich, Klagenfurt, Landesmuseum für Kärnten, Sammlung Dreer, Part 3: Thracien - Macedonien - Päonien. (Klagenfurt, 1990).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Sweden II, The Collection of the Royal Coin Cabinet, National Museum of Monetary History, Part 2: Thrace-Euboia. (Stockholm, 1980).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, United States, Burton Y. Berry Collection, Part 1: Macedonia to Attica. (New York, 1961).
Tekin, O. "More Coins of Agathocles, Son of Lysimachus" in Proceedings, First International Congress of the Anatolian Monetary History and Numismatics, 25-28 Feb 2013, Antalya (Antalya, 2014).
Thompson, M. “The Armenak Hoard (IGCH 1423)” in ANSMN 31 (1986).
Thompson, M. "The Mints of Lysimachus," in Essays Robinson.
Youroukova, Y. The Coins of the Ancient Thracians. (Oxford, 1976).
Zograph, A. Ancient Coinage, Part II: Ancient Coins of the Northern Black Sea Littoral. (Oxford, 1977).
Zograph, A. The Coinage of Tyra. (Moscow, 1957).
Zograph, A. "The Tooapse Hoard" in NC 1925.
Lysimachus, King of Thrace, etc., B.C. 323-281.
The money of this king is more plentiful than that of any other of the successors of Alexander. His reign may be divided into three periods. I. B.C. 323-311, from the death of Alexander to that of the young Alexander (the son of Roxana). In this period Lysimachus, as Regent in Thrace, struck money in the name of Alexander the Great and of Philip Aridaeus with Alexandrine types. II. B.C. 311-306, from the death of the son of Roxana to the date of the adoption by Lysimachus of the title Βασιλευς. The coins of this period still bear the name of Alexander, though the letters ΛΥ are frequently added. III. B.C. 306-281, coins inscribed ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΛΥΣΙΜΑΧΟΥ, at first with types of Alexander, and later with Lysimachus’ own types, as follows :—
|Head of the deified Alexander with horn of Ammon (Fig. 170).||Athena Nikephoros seated.
AV, AR Attic wt.[B. M. Guide, Pl. XXVIII. 18, 19; XXXI. 19, 20.]
|Young head (Ares ?) in close-fitting helmet.||Lion. Half lion, or lion’s head.
Æ Various sizes.
|Helmeted head.||Trophy. |
Æ Various sizes.
|Head of young Herakles.||Corn-wreath. |
Æ Various sizes.
The money of Lysimachus was issued from numerous mints, in Thrace B.C. 311-281, in Macedon B.C. 286-281, and in Asia Minor B.C. 302-281. After the death of Lysimachus his coins were imitated, indiscriminately with those of Alexander, by numerous autonomous cities, by no means exclusively in Thrace (see Müller, Münzen des Königs Lysimachos, and B. M. Guide, Pl. XLI. 1; LIII. 3, 4; LXIV. 3, 4).