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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Hellenistic Monarchies| ▸ |Alexander the Great||View 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

Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Possible Lifetime Issue

|Alexander| |the| |Great|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Alexander| |the| |Great,| |336| |-| |323| |B.C.,| |Possible| |Lifetime| |Issue||tetradrachm|
Ancient Arados, surrounded by massive walls on an island about 800 m long by 500 m wide, about 50 km north of Tripolis, was an important trading city with an artificial harbor on the east side toward the mainland. Its powerful navy and ships are mentioned in the monuments of Egypt and Assyria. The Biblical "Arvad" is noted as the forefather of the "Arvadites," a Canaanite people. Arados directly ruled some nearby cities on the mainland, such as Marat (Amrit today) nearly opposite the island, and held hegemony over the northern Phoenician cities from the mouth of the Orontes to the northern limits of Lebanon (similar to Sidon in the south). Under the Persians, Arwad was allowed to unite in a confederation with Sidon and Tyre, with a common council at Tripolis. In 332 B.C., Arados submitted to Alexander the Great without a struggle under her king Strato, who sent his navy to aid Alexander in the reduction of Tyre. The city received the favor of the Seleucid kings of Syria and enjoyed the right of asylum for political refugees. It is mentioned in a rescript from Rome about 138 B.C. in connection with other cities and rulers of the East, to show favor to the Jews. This was after Rome had begun to interfere in the affairs of Judea and Syria and indicates that Arwad was still of considerable importance at that time.Arados
SL99295. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3309, SNG Cop 796, Mller Alexander 796, HGC 3.1 943k (S), NGC Ch XF, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, scratches (4285504-008), weight 17.26 g, maximum diameter 28.8 mm, die axis 75o, Arados (Arwad, Syria) mint, lifetime or early posthumous, c. 328 - c. 320 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Atophoros enthroned left, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), (Arados monogram) under throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue; from a private collector in New Jersey, NGC| Lookup; scarce; $2500.00 (2375.00)


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Philip| |III| |Arrhidaeus| |and| |Alexander| |IV,| |323| |-| |317| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||drachm|
Struck shortly after Alexander's death during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son with Roxana, Alexander IV. Kolophon also struck coins during this period in the name of Philip. Traditionally coins naming Alexander have been attributed to Alexander III the Great, but undoubtedly the Alexander named on this coin was the infant son of Roxana, Alexander IV. The two were made joint kings by Alexander's generals who only intended to use them as pawns. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia, and in 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias. Olympias was Alexander the Great's mother and Alexander IV's grandmother, but not Philip III's mother. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C. The ruins of Kolophon are south of the town Degirmendere Fev in the Menderes district of Izmir Province, Turkey.
GS98704. Silver drachm, Price 1750, Mller Alexander 313, HGC 3.1 944c, SNG Cop -, aVF, bumps and scratches, tight flan, weight 4.164 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Kolophon (near Degirmendere Fev, Turkey) mint, c. 323 - 319 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Atophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, barley grain kernel left, spear head upright right, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; ex Pars Coins; $225.00 (213.75)


Koinon of Macedonia, Reign of Severus Alexander, c. 231 - 235 A.D., Alexander and Bucephalus

|Macedonia|, |Koinon| |of| |Macedonia,| |Reign| |of| |Severus| |Alexander,| |c.| |231| |-| |235| |A.D.,| |Alexander| |and| |Bucephalus||AE| |27|
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.
GB99414. Bronze AE 27, cf. AMNG III 354; BMC Macedonia p. 24, 120; Macdonald Hunter 10; SNG Hunterian 735, aF, central dimple on obverse, weight 11.699 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 45o, Beroea (Verria, Greece) mint, late Severus Alexander, c. 231 - 235 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right; reverse KOINON MAKE∆ONΩN NEΩ, Alexander riding his horse Bucephalus right, wearing military garb, cloak flying behind, brandishing javelin in right hand, reins in left hand; $90.00 (85.50)


Kaunos, Caria, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or Later 2nd Century)

|Kaunos|, |Kaunos,| |Caria,| |c.| |197| |-| |191| |B.C.| |(or| |Later| |2nd| |Century)||AE| |16|
On the Rosetta Stone, "The Memphis Decree" announces Ptolemy V's rule and ascension to godhood, and describes him as "like Horus." In "A Statue of a Hellenistic King," Journal of Hellenistic Studies, 33 (1913), C. Edgar attributes a statue very similar to the reverse figure to Ptolemy V: "[The statue] stands with right foot drawn back, the toes alone resting on the ground...His head is held erect and his gaze is turned slightly to his right. His shoulders are drawn up a little...[the upper part] unnaturally short in proportion to the lower part of the trunk...[The missing right] forearm was clear of the body. The [missing] left hand was raised and probably rested on a spear." We believe this type is from the among the last issues of Kaunos under Ptolemaic rule, struck after the 13 year old Ptolemy V came of age in 197/6 B.C., perhaps to commemorate his accession, and before he sold the city to the Rhodians for 200 talents of silver in 191 B.C.
GB87087. Bronze AE 16, SNGvA 8103; Lindgren III 425; Imhoof-Blumer KM I, p. 138, 1; BMC Caria -; SNG Cop -; SNG Keckman -; SNG Munchen -, VF, green patina, well centered on a tight flan, a little porous/rough, tiny edge crack, weight 2.166 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Kaunos (Dalyan, Turkey) mint, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or later 2nd century); obverse diademed and horned head of Alexander the Great right; reverse youth (Ptolemy V as Horus?) advancing right, nude, long lotus-tipped scepter transverse in left hand, right arm and index finger extended, snake before him coiled around scepter, K-AY (Kaunos) divided high across field, ΣΩ-TAΣ (magistrate) divided across center; very rare; $70.00 (66.50)


Ein Goldstater Alexanders des Groben

|Numismatic| |Books|, |Ein| |Goldstater| |Alexanders| |des| |Groben|
The gold staters of Alexander the Great, with tables 7 and 8. Reprint from Zeischrif fur Numismtaik, Band XXXIII, Heft 3/4.
BL13187. Ein Goldstater Alexanders des Groben by Ph. Lederer, 1922, card cover booklet, in German, 24 pages, 2 plates; $10.00 (9.50)


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

|Kingdom| |of| |Thrace|, |Kingdom| |of| |Thrace,| |Lysimachos,| |305| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Portrait| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||stater|
In the years following his death Alexander the Great came to be the subject of cult worship throughout the Mediterranean basin. His corpse was appropriated by Ptolemy I who transported it to Egypt, initially interring it at Memphis, then to a mausoleum and center of worship in Alexandria. It survived until the 4th century A.D. when Theodosius banned paganism, only to disappear without trace.
SH48867. Gold stater, Mller 162; SNG Cop 1086 ff. var. (monogram), EF, weight 8.544 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 180o, Byzantion (Istanbul, Turkey) mint, posthumous, c. 250 - 150 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great right wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena seated left, Victory in extended right hand, resting left elbow on shield, monogram inner left, BY on throne, trident in exergue ornamented with two small dolphins; extraordinary mint luster, high relief, nice style, fantastic coin!; SOLD


Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos, 305 - 281 B.C., Portrait of Alexander the Great

|Kingdom| |of| |Thrace|, |Kingdom| |of| |Thrace,| |Lysimachos,| |305| |-| |281| |B.C.,| |Portrait| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||stater|
Lysimachus, one of Alexander the Great's personal bodyguards, was appointed strategos (general) in Thrace and 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.
SH68237. Gold stater, Thompson -, Mller -, SNG -; unpublished in major references but a few know to Forum from auctions, gVF, attractively centered, weight 8.509 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (probably Byzantion) mint, posthumous, 250 - 220 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great right wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena Nikephoros enthroned left, Nike crowning name in extended right hand, left arm rests on grounded round shield decorated with Gorgoneion, transverse spear against right side, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ΛYΣIMAXOY (Lysimachos) downward on left, lion head left to outer left, plain trident below; rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 2: Macedonia and Thrace. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
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