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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Hellenistic Monarchies ▸ Alexander the GreatView Options:  |  |  |   

Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C.

Alexander the Great is arguably the most famous man of antiquity. Born a leader, his genius and charisma led the Macedonian Army across the world creating an empire that covered most of the then-known world, from Greece to India. He was regarded as a god and his fame grew even greater after his premature death at thirty-three. His reign marks the beginning of the Hellenistic Age, a time when almost every aspect of human civilization flourished. His coinage is highly complex, struck in cities all over the ancient map and spanning over two hundred years. The representative types are the silver tetradrachms and drachms depicting an idealized portrait of Alexander in the guise of the mythical hero Heracles, and his gold staters depicting Athena.Map of Alexander's Empire


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Lysimachos Type

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Mithradates VI Eupator "the Great"expanded his Pontic Kingdom through conquest, which inevitably brought him into conflict with Rome. Mithradates regarded himself as the champion of the Greeks against Rome, however, after three years of war, he was defeated by Pompey the Great. The design of this coin is taken from a coin of Lysimachos, bodyguard of Alexander the Great, and King of Thrace 323 - 281 B.C. The Lysimachos coin depicted Alexander the Great on the obverse. The features of the obverse portrait on this type are those of Mithradates VI.
SH88831. Gold stater, Callataÿ p. 140, pl. XXXVII (D3/R1); AMNG I 263; HGC 3.2 1824; SNG Cop 1089 var. (control), VF, struck with worn dies, weight 8.206 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Kallatis mint, First Mithradatic War, c. 88 - 86 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great right wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena seated left, Victory crowning name with wreath held in Athena's extended right hand, resting left elbow on round shield leaning on back of seat, A∆ monogram (control) inner left, KAΛ below seat, trident in exergue ornamented with two small dolphins, ΛYΣIMAXOY downward on left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right; Kirk Davis, catalog 70, lot 11; $1980.00 (€1742.40)
 


Arados, Phoenicia, 200 - 190 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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In 259 B.C., Arados increased her autonomy and dominated a federation of nearby cities including Gabala, Karne, Marathos and Simyra. Thus began the era of Aradus, to which the subsequent coins of the city are dated. Arados was not completely independent, however, the Seleukids retained overlordship.

Arados struck Alexandrine tetradrachms with a palm tree left and Phoenician dates from 243 to 205 B.C. and then with Greek dates from 202 to 167 B.C. They were not struck every year.
GS85703. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3390 ff., Mektepini 614 ff.; Duyrat 1270 ff., Cohen Dated 771, gVF, attractive style, reverse double struck, earthen encrustations, weight 17.039 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 0o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, c. 200 - 190 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, palm tree with two bunches of dates in left field under arm, AP monogram under throne, uncertain Greek additive date (60 - 69?) below; $380.00 (€334.40)
 


Rhodos, Carian Islands, c. 205 - 190 B.C., Civic Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great

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Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece and the principal town of the island is also named Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered it. Historically, Rhodes is famous for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a giant bronze statue once standing at the harbor. It was completed in 280 B.C. and destroyed in an earthquake in 224 B.C. No trace of the statue remains today. Historical sites on the island of Rhodes include the Acropolis of Lindos, the Acropolis of Rhodes with the Temple of Pythian Apollo and an ancient theater and stadium, ancient Ialysos, ancient Kamiros, the Governor's Palace, Rhodes Old Town (walled medieval city), the Palace of the Grand Masters, Kahal Shalom Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter, the Archeological Museum, the ruins of the castle of Monolithos, the castle of Kritinia, St. Catherine Hospice and Rhodes Footbridge.
GS87644. Silver tetradrachm, HGC 6 1455 (S); cf. Price 2520 ff. (various magistrates), Muller Alexander 1162 ff. (same), VF/F, well centered, choice obverse, reverse rough with burnished area, scratches and marks, slight double strike, weight 15.795 g, maximum diameter 29.5 mm, die axis 0o, Rhodos (Rhodes, Greece) mint, c. 205 - c. 190 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus seated left on throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, magistrate's name under arm and over rose left, PO (Rhodos) under throne; scarce; $340.00 (€299.20)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great

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Price dates this type 311 - 305 B.C. Houghton dates it 311 - 300 B.C. Houghton notes that Kritt down-dated the chronology due to the complexity of the emissions and that two hoards independently support the revised dating.
GS87610. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Saroglos 648 (same dies), Houghton-Lorber I 82(4)b, Price 3752, Müller 735, SNG Mün 794 var. (no pellet), SNG Cop 833 var. (same), HGC 9 10f, VF, high relief dies, uneven toning, compact flan, bumps and marks, reverse slightly double struck, weight 16.584 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 45o, Babylon mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, MI left, MYPT monogram (pellet in P) in wreath below throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue; $310.00 (€272.80)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander IV, c. 323 - 311 B.C.

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Struck after Alexander's death, under either Perdikkas or Antipater, regents during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule. Both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Olympias had Philip murdered to ensure the succession of her grandson. But Alexander IV would never rule. In 311 B.C., he and his mother Roxana were executed by the regent Kassander.
GS87631. Silver tetradrachm, Price 133; Müller Alexander 542; SNG Alpha Bank 514; SNG Saroglos 253; SNG Cop 688; SNG München 293; Ehrhardt Amphipolis 15, VF, excellent centering, light rose toning, light bumps and marks, weight 16.960 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, c. 316 - c. 311 A.D.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, dolphin head down left, Πo under throne; $300.00 (€264.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Kassander, Regent 317 - 305 B.C., King 305 - 298 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander III

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When Antipater transferred the regency of Macedon to Polyperchon, Kassander rejected his father's decision, obtained support from Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus, defeated Polyperchon, and in 317 B.C. declared himself Regent. After Olympias had Philip III assassinated later that year, Kassander besieged her in Pydna. The city fell two years later, Olympias was killed, and Alexander IV and Roxanne were imprisoned. To associate himself with the Argead dynasty Kassander married Alexander's half-sister, Thessalonica. About 310 B.C. he had Alexander IV and Roxanne poisoned. Kassander proclaimed himself King in 305 B.C. After Antigonus was killed at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C., Kassander held undisputed rule of Macedonia. He had little time to savor the fact, dying of dropsy in 297 B.C.
GS87601. Silver tetradrachm, Price 447, SNG Saroglos 292, Müller Alexander 37, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, attractive style, well centered on a tight flan, bumps and marks, weight 16.993 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 90o, Amphipolis mint, 307 - 297 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, Λ over torch left, MHΓ monogram under throne; $270.00 (€237.60)
 


Uncertain Eastern, c. 3rd - 2nd Century B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander III

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Many Greek cities across what was once Alexander's empire struck Alexander tetradrachms as civic coinage, even centuries after the death of the great conqueror. Similarly, peoples on the fringes of the Greek world also struck Alexander tetradrachms; sometimes with unusual or bizarre style, and often with illiterate blundered inscriptions. These coins are often described as "barbaric." We can attribute some of these imitative types to specific places or tribes. Other coins, such as this one, are a mystery.
GS82716. Silver tetradrachm, cf. Price B36 ff. (barbarous, uncertain prototypes), VF, very high relief, toned, tight flan, porous, weight 15.001 g, maximum diameter 25.0 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (tribal?) mint, c. 3rd - 2nd Century B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin headdress; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, monogram lower left(?); rare; $200.00 (€176.00)
 


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

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Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") (382 B.C. - 301 B.C.) 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. -- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
GS88925. Silver drachm, Price 1389, Müller Alexander 912, SNG Saroglos 708, SNG Alpha Bank 583, SNG Cop -, SNG München -, gVF, well centered, light scratches, porosity, earthen encrustations, weight 4.125 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 90o, Lampsakos (Lapseki, Turkey) mint, 310 - 301 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, lotus tipped long scepter vertical in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, Pegasos forepart (control) left, MAΛ monogram (control) under throne; $190.00 (€167.20)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I, as Satrap, 323 - 305 B.C.

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Aradus minted coinage in the name of Alexander during his lifetime and shortly after. When Aradus gained autonomy in 259 B.C., the city again minted coinage in the name of Alexander. After the Ptolemaic victory over the Seleukid Kingdom at Raphia in 217 B.C. Aradus fell under the control of Egypt. In 214, Aradus ceased to issue Alexander coinage and struck regal Ptolemaic issues. In 202 B.C., as Ptolemaic power waned, Aradus returned to issuing coinage of Alexander. The last Alexander coinage of Aradus was struck in 166/165 B.C.
GS89324. Silver obol, unpublished in references but several known from auctions, CNG e-auction 201, lot 34 (same dies), VF, toned, earthen encrustation, porosity, weight 0.649 g, maximum diameter 9.0 mm, die axis 13.5o, Phoenicia, Aradus mint, c. 323 - 315 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style) eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, A/P monogram (control) left; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Severus Alexander, c. 231 - 235 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.
GB89343. Bronze AE 26, AMNG III 423; BMC Macedonia p. 23, 104; Lindgren 1379; SNG Hunterian 735 var. (no star); cf. SNG Cop 1372 (2 neokorie); SNG Bar -, aVF, green patina, bumps, marks, porosity, earthen encrustations, a little off center, weight 15.396 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 30o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, c. 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, head of Alexander the Great right, as Herakles, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN NEΩ, Alexander riding his horse Bucephalus right, cloak flying behind, couched spear in right hand, reins in left, large star below; $175.00 (€154.00)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Hersh, C. "Additions and Corrections to Martin J. Price's 'The Coinage in the name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus'" in Studies Price.
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Catalog current as of Tuesday, June 18, 2019.
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Alexander the Great