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Search results - "Gaza"
984P_Hadrian_RPC4021.JPG
4021 JUDAEA, Gaza. Hadrian AE 19 130-31 AD Heracles standing10 viewsReference.
RPC III, 4021;

Issue Year 2 = 191

Obv. Α ΚΑ ΤΡ ΑΔΡΙΑΝ СƐ
Laureate head right, drapery on left shoulder

Rev. ΓΑΖΑ Β ΕΠΙ
Heracles standing r., with club and lion-skin; to l., מ

6.15 gr
19 mm
12h
okidoki
150_P_Hadrian__BMC_31.jpg
4025 JUDAEA, Gaza Hadrian 132 AD Tyche of Gaza27 viewsReference.
RPC III, 4025; Rosenberger 60; SNG ANS 916; BMC Palestine 31

Obv. AVT KAI TPA AΔPIANOC CE
laureate and draped bust right.

Rev. ΓAZA Γ EΠ I, BYP
Tyche of Gaza standing left, holding scepter and cornucopia; heifer (Cow) standing to left; date in upper left field; Marnas symbol in right.

10.41 gr
26 mm
12 h
okidoki
273_P_Hadrian_BMC.jpg
4026 JUDAEA, Gaza. Hadrian AE 18 131-32 AD Heracles24 viewsReference.
RPC III, 4026; BMC Palestine, 46; Rosenberger 53; SNG ANS 921

Issue Year 3 = 192

Obv: AK ATΡA AΔΡIAN CE
laureate head right.

Rev: ΓΑΖΑ Γ (GAZA G) EΠI BYΡ
Heracles standing facing, head left, leaning on club, holding lion skin; Marnas symbol to left.

5.97 gr
18 mm
12h
okidoki
567_P_Hadrian_RPC.jpg
4029 JUDAEA, Gaza Hadrian 132-33 AD Io and Tyche standing20 viewsReference.
RPC III, 4029; De Saulcy 5; BMC 25; Cop. - Lindgren- - ANS.920

http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/4029/12/

Issue Year 4 = 193

Obv. ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС С
Laureate and draped bust of Hadrian, right seen from rear.

Rev. ΕΙW ΓΑΖΑ in ex. Δ ΕΠI Γ P
Io, in long dress, standing r., and City-goddess, in long dress, turreted and holding cornucopia in her l. hand, clasping hands

12.88 gr
26 mm
12h

Note.
Hadrian visited Gaza more than once, and it was upon such a visit in AD 128 that an additional reckoning date, that of the επιδημία (imperial visit), was added. During one of his trips the great temple of Zeus-Marnas may have been founded, as it first appears on the coins of Hadrian.
1 commentsokidoki
938_P_Hadrian_RPC4030.jpg
4030 JUDAEA, Gaza Hadrian AE 21 132-33 AD Tyche standing16 viewsReference.
RPC III, 4030; Sofaer 69; De Saulcy 6-7, BMC 36

Issue Year 4 = 193

Obv. ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ ΤΡΑΙ ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС С
Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right

Rev. ΓΑΖΑ Δ (Ε)ΕΠΙ ΓЧΡ
Tyche standing left, holding scepter and cornucopia; heifer to lower left, symbol of Marnas to lower right.

8.58 gr
21 mm
12h

Note.
From the François Righetti Collection, purchased from Shraga Quedar.
1 commentsokidoki
939_P_Hadrian_RPC4031.jpg
4031 JUDAEA, Gaza Hadrian AE 21 132-33 AD Heracles standing13 viewsReference.
RPC III, 4031; Sofaer 73

Issue Year 4 = 193

Obv. Α ΚΑ ΤΡ ΑΔΡΙΑΝ СƐ
Laureate head of Hadrian, right with slight drapery

Rev. ΓΑΖΑ Δ ΕΠΙ ΓЧΡ
Heracles standing r., with club and lion-skin; to l., מ

4.16 gr
17 mm
12h

Note.
From the François Righetti Collection.

Hadrian visited Gaza more than once, and it was upon such a visit in AD 128 that an additional reckoning date, that of the επιδημία (imperial visit), was added. During one of his trips the great temple of Zeus-Marnas may have been founded, as it first appears on the coins of Hadrian.
okidoki
ascalon.jpg
Ascalon; AE 14; Hendin 824; Tyche/ galley15 viewsAscalon, Judaea, c. 2nd Century A.D. Bronze AE 14, cf. Hendin 824; SGCV II 6079 var; BMC Palestine p. 112, 46 ff. var (various years), aF, Ascalon mint, 3.290g, 13.4mm, 0o, obverse turreted head of Tyche right, ACKA“L” before; reverse , war galley, uncertain date above. Askalon lies on the shore of the Mediterranean, ten miles north of Gaza and about 40 miles south of Joppa. Herod the Great ruled all of Palestine, except Askalon, which remained a free city. Ex FORVMPodiceps
dagon.jpg
Ashdod; Lion/ Dagon27 viewsPhilistia; Gaza, Ashdod (in modern Israel), late 5th - early 4th century BC, Stater, 10,0 g, 21 mm, Lion walking right on ground / Fish god Dagon left with trident and wreath (Traité 1028, pl.CXXIII, 7, Phoenicia; BMC Phoenicia (uncertain), pl.XLV, 1; SNG Paris 421, Myriandros).2 commentsPodiceps
_commodus_gaza_.jpg
BCC rgp1223 viewsRoman Provincial
Gaza - Judaea
Commodus 177-192CE
Obv:[AYT]K[M AYPH KOM
MO]ΔOC laur. bust rt.
Rev:EIω [ΓAZA] Io and Tyche
of Gaza std, facing, with clasped hands.
AE 22x24mm. 9.92gm. Axis:0
v-drome
hadrian_gaza_rgp47.jpg
BCC rgp4731 viewsRoman Greek Provincial
Gaza - Judaea
Hadrian 117-138 CE
Obv:[ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ?] ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟC
Laureate, draped bust right.
Rev:ΓΑΖΑ Ε ΕΠΙ (commemorates the 5th anniversary of
Hadrian’s visit to Gaza). Herakles nude to front,
looks right, leaning on club, lion skin in left hand
Date: Δ[ΟΡ?] = CY194 (133-134CE)
AE 16x14.5mm. 3.72gm. Axis:0
Hendin GBC III 864 Var. (retrograde Z, date)
also possible: Rosenberger 55, and SNG 921 var.
This coin is a die match to CNG 210, Lot 198.
It is interesting that there is a "4th anniversary
epidemia" type, which also bears a retrograde Z.
v-drome
1483_Caracalla_Gaza.jpg
Caracalla - Gaza7 viewsAR Tetradrachm
215-217 AD
Laureate head right
Eagle standing facing, head left, with wreath in beak and wings spread; between legs, sign of Marnas in pelleted circle; star to upper right.
Prieur 1686 var. (no star)
ex Savoca
Johny SYSEL
EB0080c_scaled.JPG
EB0080 Athena / Owl8 viewsGaza, PHOENICIA, AR hemiobol or obol, Circa 350 BC.
Obverse: Athena head?
Reverse: Owl standing right, head facing, two olive leaves behind.
References: Cf. SNGANS 18,20.
Diameter: 7mm, Weight: 0.382g.
EB
2569.jpg
Faustina Junior, Judaea70 viewsJUDAEA, Gaza.
Æ 16mm; 3.95 g

CEBACTH,
Draped bust right

GAZA
Herakles standing right, leaning on club, lion’s skin over arm; Marnas symbol to left.
date HKC at top left - Dated 228 (AD 167/168)

Mionnet V, 159 corr.; Rosenberger 105 var; SNG ANS 936 var (reverse legend).

From the J.S. Wagner Collection /Ex-CNG
wildwinds example (this coin)
arizonarobin
Gaza Hadrien.jpg
Gaza - Hadrian30 viewsRev.: ΓAZA / B EΠI : Year 2 of the "epidemia" (imperial visit to the city) = 131 AD ; Tyche standing left holding sceptre and cornucopia, a cow at her feet. To the right : Mim (the phoenician letter one can see on all Gaza coins).Ginolerhino
micro 7.jpg
Gaza - hemiobol (IVth C. BC)36 viewsObv.: head of helmeted Athena right
Rev.: AΘ[E] , owl and olive-branch
7-9 mm
Ginolerhino
Gaza owl.jpg
Gaza mint, imitative owl28 views1/2 obol, 7mm, 0.29g.

Obverse: Head of Athena R.

Reverse: Owl standing R, olive sprig L, traces of inscription to R, in incuse square.

Gaza
Robert_Brenchley
ptolemy2~0.jpg
Greek, Ptolemy II Philadelphus AR Tetradrachm126 viewsObverse: 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
daverino
Ptolemy_II,_Joppa.jpg
Greek: Ptolemy II, tet148 viewsPtolemy II, Philadelphos. 285-246 B.C. AR Tetradrachm. Joppa mint, 249/8 B.C. (14.21 g, 26.8 mm, 10h). Obv: Diademed head of Ptolemy I, right wearing aegis. Rev: IOΠ (Joppa), ΓΑ (Gaza), left filed, ΛΙ (date), Θ, right field, Eagle standing left on thunderbolt. Svoronos 814. Ex Amphora, catalog 98, 122.

Ptolemy II, Philadelphos, is the Egyptian ruler that translated the Torah into Greek, known to history as the Septuagint. A less common coin from the Joppa mint with a curious monogram typically associated with the Gaza mint below.
1 commentsLucas H
1304_Hadrian_Gaza~0.jpg
Hadrian - Gaza4 views132-133 AD
laureate head right
A KA TR__AΔPIAN CE
Herakles facing, head left, holding club and lion skin
ΓAZA__Δ EΠI Γ_YP
Mem
Yashin 323; Rosenberger 54, BMC 49, Volume III, № 4031
ex Savoca
Johny SYSEL
Gaza-Hadrian.jpg
Hadrian, (117-138 CE), Æ17 Gaza, Judaea40 viewsObverse: AKATP AΔPIANOC; Laureate, Draped bust r.;
Reverse: ΓAZAE; Herakles, nude, standing facing, looking l., holding club and lion-skin, to l., Marnas symbol, to r., sEΠI (134/135 CE).

Reference: SNG ANS 921, Hendin 864, BMC 52, Rosenberger 55.

Added to collection: October 1, 2006
Daniel Friedman
gaza_julia_domna_BMC128.jpg
Judaea, Gaza, Julia Domna, BMC 12823 viewsJulia Domna, AD 193-211
AE 22, 6.18g
struck AD 206/7 (year 267)
obv. IOVL[I]A - DOMNA
Bust, draped, r.
rev. [G]AZA - EI[W] (from upper r.)
IO, in long garment, stg. l., clasping hands with City-goddess (Tyche), in long garment and
wearing mural-crown, stg. r., holding cornucopiae in l. arm; between them the Phoinikean MEM,
symbol of Marnas, City-god of Gaza.
in ex. Zeta XC (year 267)
BMC 128
about VF, flan damage´ at 10 o'clock

For more information please look at the thread 'Mythological interesting coins'.
Jochen
Comb21112018181140.jpg
JUDAEA, Gaza. Antoninus Pius. AD 138-161. 40 viewsObv.Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust of Antoninus Pius right, seen from behind.
Rev. Turreted, veiled, and draped bust of Tyche right; Marnas symbol before. Rosenberger 70 var. (dated EC); SNG ANS 927 var. BMC 58. Near VF, brown patina with some earthen deposits.
Unlisted date.
31mm, 22.2 grams.
2 commentsCanaan
gazaHadrian.jpg
Judaea, Gaza. Hadrian AE2266 viewsObv: laureate & draped bust right.
Rev: Tyche standing left, holding sceptre & cornucopiae; lowing heifer standing at feet left; Marnas symbol in right field.
Year Z :V2:P (136/137 AD).
22mm.
BMC 150, 43. SNG ANS 919. Yashin 334.
ancientone
5880LG.jpg
Macedon, Alexander III, 336-323 BC212 viewsAlexander the Great (Greek:Μέγας Αλέξανδρος[1], Megas Alexandros; July 356 BC — June 11, 323 BC), also known as Alexander III, king of Macedon (336–323 BC), is considered one of the most successful military commanders in history, conquering most of his known world before his death; he is frequently included in a list along with Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, and Ghengis Khan, as the greatest military strategists and tacticians who ever lived. Alexander is also known in the Zoroastrian Middle Persian work Arda Wiraz Nāmag as "the accursed Alexander" due to his conquest of the Persian Empire and the destruction of its capital Persepolis. He is known as Eskandar in Persian and even acclaimed during the construction of the Great Wall Sadd-e Eskandar by the Parthian Dynasty[citation needed]. He is often identified as Dhul-Qarnayn in Middle Eastern traditions and is called al-Iskandar al-Kabeer in Arabic, Sikandar-e-azam in Urdu, Skandar in Pashto, Dul-Qarnayim in Hebrew, and Tre-Qarnayia in Aramaic (the two-horned one), apparently due to an image on coins minted during his rule that seemingly depicted him with the two ram's horns of the Egyptian god Ammon. He is known as Sikandar in Urdu and Hindi, a term also used as a synonym for "expert" or "extremely skilled".

Following the unification of the multiple city-states of ancient Greece under the rule of his father, Philip II of Macedon, (a labour Alexander had to repeat twice because the southern Greeks rebelled after Philip's death), Alexander would conquer the Persian Empire, including Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Gaza, Egypt, Bactria and Mesopotamia and extend the boundaries of his own empire as far as the Punjab. Alexander integrated foreigners (non-Macedonians, non-Greeks known as the Successors[2]) into his army and administration, leading some scholars to credit him with a "policy of fusion." He encouraged marriage between his army and foreigners, and practised it himself. After twelve years of constant military campaigning, Alexander died, possibly of malaria, typhoid, or viral encephalitis. His conquests ushered in centuries of Greek settlement and rule over distant areas, a period known as the Hellenistic Age. Alexander himself lived on in the history and myth of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. Already during his lifetime, and especially after his death, his exploits inspired a literary tradition in which he appears as a legendary hero in the tradition of Achilles.

Alexander III, 336-323 BC, Bronze AE18, Price-275, struck 336-323BC at Macedonia, 7.09 grams, 17.3 mm. Choice VF

Obv: Head of Herakles with a lion scalp headdress
Rev: Club above legend with bow and quiver below, thunderbolt above club, 'Delta' below quiver

A wonderful bronze issue from the lifetime of Alexander III 'the Great.' Perfectly centered and struck with minimal, if any, actual wear. Highly attractive.
Ex-Glenn Woods g28
ecoli
IMG_0999.JPG
Menander I Drachm47 viewsAR Drachm
Size: 17mm, Weight: 2.45 grams, Die Axis: 9h

Bactria, Menander I
Circa 155 – 130 BCE

Obverse: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΣΩTHPOΣ MENAN∆POY (of saviour king Menander)
Diademed and draped bust of Menander I to right.

Reverse: The Kharoshthi script 𐨣𐨚𐨯 𐨚𐨟𐨪𐨯 𐨨𐨱𐨪𐨗𐨯ꅐ (maharajasa tratarasa menadrasa - translation as obverse)
Athena Alkidemos advancing left, brandishing thunderbolt and shield held horizontally decorated with head of Gorgon. Monogram to right.

Notes:
-Menander was one of the most successful Baktrian kings, and according to Strabo conquered more tribes than Alexander the Great. He was said to have raided as far east as modern day Patna, India.
-He is also reported to have converted to Buddhism, but that is according to the Buddhist text the Milinda Panha (The questions of king Milinda). However it is recorded by Plutarch that upon his death his remains were shared amongst cities and 'monuments' were erected to honour these. This may be a reference to Buddhist stupas. There is no doubt, like Alexander before him, he respected the various religions of his kingdom, and used them to gain advantage wherever possible.
-The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, thought to have been written in the mid first century CE, records the following:
"To the present day ancient drachmae are current in Barygaza (modern day Bharuch in Gujarat, India), coming from this country, bearing inscriptions in Greek letters, and the devices of those who reigned after Alexander, Apollodorus and Menander."
-Kharosthi (also known as Gandharan) was a script used in the region of modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan from about the 3rd century BCE to about the 3rd century CE. There is evidence of the script surviving as late as the 7th century CE in some outposts along the Silk Road. Interestingly, some early Chinese translations of Buddhist works indicate a Kharosthi source.
-Kharosthi is read from right to left, like for example modern Arabic. In the case of Menander, his epithets all end in 𐨯 (sa), so it is quite east to make out each word on the coin. The first letter of Menadrasa ꅐ (me) is made up of 𐨨 (m) combined with the diacritic vowel mark ' (e). This letter 'me', is quite distinctive and clearly visible directly below the monogram on my coin. Thus reading (by English convention) backwards the word me . na . dra . sa is clear. Note I was not able to find the Unicode script for Kharosthi 'me', so the symbol I have used is from 'Yi' script which was the closest approximation of The Kharosthi symbol I could find.

Ex Frank S Robinson Auction 97 lot 13, 2016
1 commentsPharsalos
protosel.jpg
Nabataean Kingdom, Anonymous11 viewsProto-Nabataean Overstrike
AE17, 3.79g, 12h; Unknown mint (Gaza?)
Obv.: Head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet.
Rev.: Nike standing left, holding wreath, Λ to left, crescent above.
Note: Unpublished, overstruck on Seleucid host, possibly a bronze of Antiochus IV.
John Anthony
proto1.jpg
Nabataean Kingdom, Anonymous9 viewsProto-Nabataean Overstrike
AE17, 3.81g, 12h; Unknown mint (Gaza?)
Obv.: Head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet.
Rev.: Nike standing left, holding wreath. Λ to left.
Reference: cf. Schmitt-Korte 6
Note: These coins were overstruck on Ptolemaic hosts. The undertype in this example may be Svoronos 417, 969, or 970. Ex-Zurquieh, electronic sale, 3/27/13, 56.
John Anthony
gaza.jpg
Nero, Caesarea, Samaria10 views54 - 68 AD, dated year 14 = 68 AD
AE21 (20.4 - 21.2 mm), 9.97 g
Laureate head right /
male figure standing left.
RPC I - 4862
Pekka K
nrpc4891OR.jpg
Nero, RPC I 489119 viewsAscalon, Gaza mint, Nero, 54-68 A.D. AE, 23mm 11.59g, RPC I 4891, BMC 93
O: ΣEBAΣTOΣ, laureate head, r.
R: AΣKAΛΩ, Tyche-Astarte standing, l., on prow holding sceptre and aplustre; to l. altar; to r., dove, to r., AOP
casata137ec
philistoOR.jpg
Palestine, Gaza mint, Attic standard Municipal coinage, Mildenberg, Gaza 7 or Athens, Attica mint, Svor. Pl.21.4053 viewsPalestine, Gaza mint, Attic standard Municipal coinage, Late 5th-mid 4th century B.C. AR, 15x11mm 3.72g, Mildenberg, Gaza 7
O: Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl, Aramaic mem on cheek
R: AQE, owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent behind; all within incuse square.

OR

Athens, Attica mint, Drachm Ca.350 B.C. AR, 15x11mm 3.72g, Svor. Pl.21.40
O: Head of Athena r., eye in profile, wearing helmet decorated with olive leaves and palmette
R: Owl standing r., head facing, AQE to r., olive spray and crescent to l.
1 commentscasata137ec
persian_imitative_obol.jpg
Persian Empire, Imitative obol35 viewsPersian Empire, Gaza, Samaria, or Judaea. c. 375-333 B.C. Imitative of Athens AR obol. 8/7mm, .59 g. Hendin 1011. Obverse: helmeted head of Athena right, olive leaves on helmeted, eye in profile. Reverse: AOE, owl standing right, head facing, olive sprig and crescent behind. Ex Forvm.1 commentsLucas H
gaza_hadrian_SNG6-921.jpg
Phoenicia, Gaza, Hadrian, SNG 92120 viewsHadrian, AD 117-138
AE 18, 5.39g, 17.72mm, 0°
struck AD 132/133 (year 193)
obv. A KA TRA - [ADRIANOC]
Head, laureate, r.
rev. [GAZA] - D EPI G[YR]
Herakles, nude, stg. r., head l., holding lion's skin over l. arm and resting with r.
hand on his club
in l. field Phoenician Mem (for Marnas)
ref. SNG 6, 921
F+/about VF, dark green with sand patina, excentric strike
Jochen
gaza_HooverHGC10_585.jpg
Phoenicia, Gaza, Hoover HGC: 10, 5859 viewsAE 18, 3.79g, 17.91mm, 0°
obv. Bearded head of Zeus, laureate, r.
rev. [DHMOY - GAZAIWN]
Double cornucopiae
ref. Hoover HGC: 10, 585
very rare, F+/F, dark brown Patina
pedigree:
ex Ira Ettinger coll.

Thanks to Pekka for the legend!
Jochen
gaza_minos_ANS913var.jpg
Phoenicia, Gaza, pseudo-autonomous, Yashin 31219 viewsPhoenicia, Gaza, pseudo-autonomous, time of Hadrian
AE 13, 3.01g, 12.86mm, 0°
struck AD 131/132
obv. King Minos in short chiton, stg. frontal, head l., holding in l. arm spear and and in
raised r. hand long branch
r. MEINW
rev. Sacred tree
l. [GAZA G]. r. E.BYR
in lower r. field Phoenician Mem (symbol for Marnas, city-god of Gaza)
ref. Yashin no. 312; SNG ANS Palestine 913 var.
(Thanks to all members who have helped me, especially Snegovik!)
pedigree:
ex Coin Galleries NYC Mail Bid Feb 22. 1992, lot 244
rare, still S

The sacred tree was the sacred Sycamore in Gortyna where Zeus met Europa. For more information please look at the thread 'Mythological interesting coins'
Jochen
ptolemy_II_s838~0.jpg
Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 16.1mm, Zeus, Gaza, Svoronos 83824 viewsPtolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C. Bronze AE 16, Svoronos 838, aVF, off-center, Gaza mint, 5.234g, 16.1mm, 45o, obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse “PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS”, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, double cornucopia across shoulder, club left. Ex FORVMPodiceps
svoronos_838.jpg
Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 17.0mm, Zeus, Gaza, Svoronos 83820 viewsPtolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphos, 285 - 246 B.C. Bronze AE 16, Svoronos 838, VF, Gaza mint, 6.745g, 17.0mm, 30o, obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse “PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS”, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, double cornucopia across shoulder, club left. The club mintmark usually indicates Tyre. The absence of central depressions may indicate this type was struck c. 280 - 265 B.C. Ex FORVMPodiceps
ptolemy2.jpg
Ptolemy II Philadelphus AR Tetradrachm96 viewsObverse: 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
1 commentsdaverino
ArcadiusManusDei.jpg
[1601b] Arcadius, 19 January 383 - 1 May 408 A.D.63 viewsARCADIUS AE2. Struck at Constantinople, 378-383 AD. Obverse: D N ARCADIVS P F AVG, diademed, draped & cuirassed bust right, holding spear and shield, Hand of God above holding wreath; Reverse - GLORIA ROMANORVM, emperor standing facing, head left, holding standard & resting shield at side, bound captive seated on ground to left, head right, CONG in exergue. RIC 53b. Scarce. Extremely Fine, some roughness and corrosion.


De Imperatoribus Romanis, An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Emperors and their Families


Arcadius (395-408 A.D.)

Geoffrey S. Nathan
University of California at Los Angeles

Introduction and Early Life
The ineffectual life and reign of Flavius Arcadius are of considerably less importance than the quite significant developments that occurred during his reign. Born either in 377 or 378 to then general Theodosius and Aelia Flavia Flacilla, he and his younger brother, Honorius, ruled the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire respectively from 395.

Shortly after his birth, his father was raised to the imperial purple in 379. Events in Illyricum with the massive influx of Ostrogothic and Visigothic peoples had resulted in the defeat of the Roman army and the death of the emperor, Valens. Theodosius' first task was to confront the Visigoths who had been ravaging the Balkans. Perhaps in the wake of this difficult and almost insurmountable task, the emperor wanted to insure that his infant son would bear some legitimacy should he die on campaign. Whatever the reason, Arcadius was proclaimed Augustus in January of 383 at the age of five or six. In the following year, his younger brother was born and it seems as if Theodosius initially had been interested in preserving the theoretical position of his elder son. While Arcadius enjoyed the status of Augustus, Honorius only achieved the office of consul posterior in 386. Perhaps the eastern emperor had wanted to avoid the possible conflicts that arose earlier in the century with the family of Constantine. Recent events in the west with the assassination of Gratian by Magnus Maximus may have also played a part: Theodosius initially had to leave the murder of his imperial colleague unavenged and leave the boy- emperor, Valentinian II, largely undefended. The profusion of emperors may well have been seen by Theodosius as kindling for civil war. His own autocratic tendencies may have also meant that he saw only one possible successor for himself.

Nevertheless, Theodosius gave Arcadius very little independence in early life. When he went to campaign against Magnus in the late 380's, he placed his son under the Praetorian Prefect of the East, Tatian, who was the de facto emperor in Theodosius' absence. This began a long series of regencies for Arcadius. The strength of Tatian's position with the eastern governing class made the office of Praetorian Prefect all the more powerful in Constantinople, which in turn made it easier to dominate future emperors. When Theodosius replaced Tatian with the more malleable and more ambitious Rufinus in 392, he had appointed a minister who would centralize even greater authority under the prefecture.

By 393, the emperor's situation had changed radically. When events in the west demanded his attention again, Theodosius was in a much stronger position. The ascendancy of the general, Arbogast, and his own puppet emperor, Eugenius, in the west provided Theodosius an opportunity and, indeed, the obligation to take full control of the Empire. The chance for having his own two sons ruling both halves of Rome not only seemed practical and feasible, but such an arrangement would establish himself as the head of a new dynasty. With thoughts in that direction, Honorius was made Augustus in 393 and accompanied his father west in the summer of 394. Arcadius, although near his majority, was nevertheless placed again under the guardianship (epitropos) of the Prefect of the East. In January of 395, Theodosius the Great died and his two sons took theoretical control of the two halves of the Roman Empire.

Early Reign and the Dominance of Rufinus and Eutropius (395-399)
Arcadius was eighteen when he assumed the throne in the east. We do not know whether or not he was ready for the responsibilities. During the mid-380's, the young emperor had been educated in part by Themistius, a famous pagan statesman, philosopher, and speaker. In what way he affected Arcadius is impossible to say, but surely his teachings must have included statecraft. Perhaps because of this influence, the new emperor's attempt to establish himself as an independent force can be seen in a series of laws passed at his accession. In contrast to trying to create a military image for himself, which would not be allowed either by Rufinus or by the eastern court, he attempted to portray himself as a pious Christian emperor. He enacted several comprehensive laws against heresy and paganism.

This was not necessarily an ineffectual strategy. By celebrating his religious piety, he expressed his power in the only way available to an emperor largely controlled by his ministers. He also perhaps sought to gain support and power from the local governing and religious hierarchies in Constantinople. Arcadius also perhaps thought that he was carrying on in the tradition of his father and so, by extension, might share in some of his glory. Rufinus in contrast wanted to tie himself to the emperor through a marriage connection to his daughter. But in April of 395, Arcadius had taken advantage of the Prefect's temporary absence to marry Aelia Eudoxia, whose guardian, the general, Promotus, had been a bitter enemy of Rufinus. Arcadius had been aided in this move by his own grand chamberlain (praepositus sacri cubiculi), Eutropius, and it perhaps indicated the degree to which he wanted to be free of any regent.

But in reality, Arcadius gained little if any power. Rufinus assumed full control of the east, and the Vandal Stilicho, Theodosius' closest advisor and general, took control of Honorius in the west. The tension between east and west quickly grew when Stilicho, in command of all the eastern and western armies, tried to press his guardianship over Arcadius as well. Moreover, there was considerable resentment against Rufinus in the east for using his office to greatly enrich himself and perhaps, too, because he was a westerner. Rufinus, understanding the perils around him, acted quickly. He had Arcadius demand the return of the eastern armies at once. Stilicho acquiesced, perhaps because the general was basing his claim of guardianship on his own legitimacy: to have taken control of the east and Arcadius by force would have undermined his position there and perhaps in the west. The soldiers returned under the command of the Gothic general, Gainas. With the control of the field army, it seemed as if Rufinus was going to be more thoroughly in control of the east and over Arcadius.

He did not long enjoy his victory. When Arcadius and Rufinus came to greet the armies at Hebdoman near Constantinople in November of 395, the soldiers turned on the Praetorian Prefect and cut him down in front of the emperor. Whether Stilicho instigated the assassination is a matter of some debate, but if he did, he received no benefit from it. The armies remained and Arcadius soon fell under the sway of other ministers. Nevertheless, despite the shock and fear Arcadius may have felt at witnessing such a brutal murder, he probably missed Rufinus' presence not at all and even thought it might provide an opportunity to assert his own authority. For the bureaucracy, the death meant that maintaining civilian control over the army was paramount to their own survival.

Soon thereafter, Eutropius assumed Rufinus' place in dominating Arcadius. Since the grand chamberlain could control access to the emperor and commanded the powerful palace bureaucracy, he was well-placed to dictate what and whom the emperor saw and heard. Military officers--frequently Germanic--who dominated the western government, were held suspect by fearful and jealous civil administrators in Constantinople. Eutropius used that fear to his advantage and froze out any access they may have had to the circles of power. His decision to effectively eliminate the military's input in decision-making would eventually lead to his demise.

It is difficult to determine how popular Eutropius was either with Arcadius or with the wider population. As a eunuch and a former slave, the sources generally portray him very negatively. He nevertheless seems to have enjoyed some support from the emperor, likely aided by Eudoxia with whom the grand chamberlain had close ties. The emperor happily took annual vacations in Galatia, apparently upon the Eutropius' suggestion. Moreover, the chamberlain showed great personal courage and talent in leading a campaign against invading Huns in 397/8, for which he won the consulship and the rank of patrician in the following year of 399. He also seems to have gained considerable support from the local clergy by procuring the patriarchate of Constantinople in 398 for John Chrysostom.

Despite Eutropius' rise to power, however, eastern policy changed little. The religious policies of Theodosius and Arcadius continued, including the forced closure of pagan temples in Gaza. More significantly, tension between the two halves of the empire persisted as Stilicho continued to press for his position as guardian. Although Stilicho led periodic raids into Greece and Thrace to attack the new Visigothic king, Alaric, his victories were incomplete and were more likely meant to keep the Germanic people out of western territory. This meant, among other things, that the Visigoths were an enduring problem for the east. Eutropius in turn supported the revolt of the Count Gildo in Africa, which was under western control, in an attempt to destabilize Stilicho's control and further eastern domains.

The failure of the revolt in 398 was the first step in Eutropius' downfall. The decision to exclude the military men of the period, particularly among the growing importance of Germanic officers, created a dangerous situation. By 399, the dissatisfaction with east-west affairs and the Gildo fiasco resulted in a revolt by the Gothic count, Tribigild. He was apparently in collusion with Gainas, who had taken advantage of the crisis to be named chief general in the east (magister utriusque militiae). Gainas quickly reached an agreement with the rebel and part of the settlement was the dismissal of Eutropius, to which Arcadius--at Eudoxia's urging--agreed. The chamberlain took refuge in the Hagia Sophia, and was exiled to Cyprus. But shortly thereafter, in the autumn of 399, Eutropius was recalled, tried and executed in Chalcedon.

The Age of Eudoxia (400-404)
The death of Eutropius precipitated a serious crisis. Gainas, who had wanted high office for years, now tried to force the hand of Arcadius. Having come to a quick resolution with Tribigild, he moved from Thrace towards Constantinople in 400. With the Germanic troops supporting him, Gainas tried for six months to initiate his own primacy-- including seizing the imperial palace--but which failed. He was forced to withdraw personally from the city to regroup and planned to use his troops remaining there to seize the entire city. But they were slaughtered by the inhabitiants and he fled first to Thrace and then to Asia. Eventually Gainas was killed by the Huns later in that year. His attempted coup ensured that Germanic officers would never again be trusted by the eastern government and would forever be kept out of any important decision-making roles.

The likely successor to Eutropius had been the anti-Germanic leader, Aurelianus, who had succeeded to the Prefecture of the East in 399. But Gainas had exiled him, having forced Arcadius to hand him over, and although Aurelianus returned triumphantly after Gainas' departure, he appears to have lost his hold over the emperor. In the meantime, Aelia Eudoxia had done much to forward her own place in the government. In January of 400, she had been named Augusta, a singular distinction offered to only three other women in the previous century. Her position thus gained a semi-official legitimacy afforded to very few Roman empresses. It has been assumed that because of her beauty, her intelligence, and her fecundity (she bore Arcadius five children), she was able to assert her influence to a point where she was the new power behind the throne.

That assessment, while held by many scholars, is not entirely accurate. While there were several events in which she played a crucial part, they were not terribly important moments during Arcadius' reign. But because Eudoxia was enormously wealthy, because she delivered a male heir in 401, and because she was involved in a highly publicized and drawn out political fight with John Chrysostom, this belief that there was an assumption of power is based more on the notoriety of her acts than on actual control. The fact that there was no one clearly dominating the government nor the emperor during this time implies perhaps that Arcadius had more power during these five years of his reign than at any other time.

There are several indications that he did try to improve and assert his own position. The emperor and his court immediately came to some understanding with the west. The east at the very least gave Honorius and Stilicho moral support in their increasing problems with Alaric. In 402, the feeling of goodwill was sealed by a joint consulship between Arcadius and his brother. The emperor also sought to establish his own military prowess and Christian piety with the erection of a column set up in the Hippodrome of Constantinople in 402/3. The column depicted his military victory over Gainas, crowned with a capital emblazoned with the Greek letters chi-rho, symbolizing his devotion to Christ. Arcadius' son, Theodosius II, was born in 401, and was quickly made Augustus at the age of eight months. The eastern ruler was thus interested in assuring his own dynasty.

In all these things, the emperor was largely successful, but they were largely overshadowed by the feud between his empress and the bishop of Constantinople. Eudoxia had already shown herself able in pushing her interests during the baptism of her son. The Bishop of Constantinople, however, was a much tougher opponent than her husband. John Chrysostom, a strong believer in social justice, had boorishly attacked Eudoxia and many of her friends for the conspicuous luxury in which they lived and displayed themselves. At the height of these attacks, John compared the empress to Jezebel. Eudoxia in turn used her considerable influence to inflame hostility among the clergy against the bishop. Working through Bishop Theophilus of Alexandria, in 403 Chrysostom was deposed and forced into exile at a Church council convened by the emperor (the Synod of the Oak at Chalcedon). However, there was soon such turmoil and uproar in the imperial city that the bishop was recalled a few days later. But the public feuding between Eudoxia and Chrysostom continued until at last she had him banished again in 404, this time permanently. Among other things, it caused a breach between Arcadius and his brother, who had, with Pope Innocent I, tried to support Chrysostom.

Eudoxia's victory was short-lived, however. In October of 404, the Augusta died of a miscarriage. Her death was seen by some as retribution for dismissing John. Whatever the reason, her end also signaled a complete retreat into the background by the emperor and no further initiatives seem to have been pushed by the 27-year-old Augustus.

The Final Years: Anthemius and Death (404-408)
The last years of Arcadius' reign were completely dominated by his Praetorian Prefect of the East, Anthemius. It was perhaps fitting that when the emperor seems to have been most retiring, the most able and energetic of his high ministers came to power. Anthemius worked hard to solve a series of governmental abuses, continue to push for Christianization, and secure the east from attack.

Anthemius first seems to have tried to reconcile with the west, so much so that there was a joint consulship between Anthemius and Stilicho in 405. This might have also been meant to symbolize the Prefect's new dominance, however. Additionally, a number of new laws were passed, curtailing paganism, Judaism and heresy. He tried to make use of the continuing problem of incoming Germanic peoples to combat the Isaurian tribes which had been plaguing Asia Minor since 403. While it failed to halt either group's incursions, it was nevertheless a practical and intelligent strategy. As a means of protecting the imperial capital, Anthemius also strengthened the walls around Constantinople. Our records for the last years of Arcadius' rule are quite spotty, but the emperor himself seems to have completely vanished, even symbolically, from the political scene.

In May of 408, Flavius Arcadius died at the age of 31 of unknown causes. Our only physical description of Arcadius is heavily influenced by the generally low regard in which he was held. The emperor was supposedly short, thin and dark-complected. A more kindly correspondent described him as good-natured and temperate. His son succeeded him without any controversy and the government remained unchanged. Arcadius thus left the world much as he entered it: without much significance and overshadowed by more powerful forces.

Assessment
Despite the ineffectual nature of Arcadius and his rule, a number of significant changes occurred during his stewardship of the eastern empire. His inability to forcefully or at least effectively govern meant that there were few consistent or long-range goals of his administration. With the exception of trying to emphasize the emperor's piety, an important development in the history of the Byzantine monarchy, Arcadius and his ministers were for the most part simply reacting to events.

The emperor became an even more remote figure to the general public. Even in the capital city itself, he was rarely seen: we read in one account that people came running to see the emperor for the first time when he happened to be praying in a local church. A series of "orientalizing" court practices no doubt continued in order to emphasize the symbolic separation of the emperor from the rest of society. The hieratic, almost semi- divine nature of the imperial person, also became a feature of the eastern ruler.

Perhaps of greatest importance was the political and cultural split between east and west. With the death of Theodosius, the two halves of the Roman Empire increasingly went their separate ways. For the most part, the west was thrown back upon its own resources, unable to deal with the problems of the fifth century. The east proved more compact and more resilient: it largely weathered the political storms from without and within.

Moreover, Constantinople fully became the imperial capital of the east, a Roma nova. The emperor rarely left the city and the palace officials became more influential than many of the more theoretically important ministers outside the city. Constantinople was also made an archepiscopate and Chrysostom and others started to push strongly for its primacy in the east. Both public and private building projects beautified and enlarged the city. Under Arcadius' reign, it truly became the second city of the Roman Empire.
Finally, the hard stance against Germanic officers in Roman government became a central feature in the east. While the reasons for this development were inspired largely out of fear and perhaps racism, the eastern Roman Empire did manage to avoid the largely detrimental succession of Germanic generalissimos who controlled the west in the fifth century. It also encouraged the eastern rulers in the following century to take hard lines against other peoples, including the Isaurians, the Huns and the Persians. Taken in all, the era of Arcadius was far more important than Arcadius himself. He perhaps had his father's pretensions, but none of the skills or powers necessary to leave his mark on the Empire.

By Geoffrey S. Nathan, University of California at Los Angeles
Published: De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and their Families http://www.roman-emperors.org/startup.htm. Used by permission.

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
ptolemy1soterLG.jpg
[301a] Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 283 B.C.188 viewsPTOLEMY I SOTER AR silver tetradrachm. Alexandria, 290-289 BC. Eagle standing on thunderbolt.

PTOLEMY I SOTER AR silver tetradrachm. 27mm, 13.9g. Struck at Alexandria, 290-289 BC. VF. Obverse: Diademed head of Ptolemy I right; Reverse; PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, P and PTY monogram to left. Svoronos 259, SNG Cop 72. Banker's mark and some graffito in the reverse fields. Ex Incitatus.

Ptolemy I Soter (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, Ptolemaios Soter, i.e. Ptolemy the Savior, 367 BC—283 BC) was a Macedonian general who became the ruler of Egypt (323 BC—283 BC) and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty. In 305 BC he took the title of king.
He was the son of Arsinoe of Macedonia - either by her husband Lagus, a Macedonian nobleman, or by her lover, Philip II of Macedon (which would make him the half-brother of Alexander the Great if true). Ptolemy was one of Alexander the Great's most trusted generals, and among the seven "body-guards" attached to his person. He was a few years older than Alexander, and his intimate friend since childhood. He may even have been in the group of noble teenagers tutored by Aristotle. He was with Alexander from his first campaigns, and played a principal part in the later campaigns in Afghanistan and India. At the Susa marriage festival in 324, Alexander had him marry the Persian princess Atacama. Ptolemy also had a consort queen in Thaïs, the famous Athenian hetaera and one of Alexander's companions in his conquest of the ancient world. Thaïs became his queen in Egypt, and even after he divorced her, she reportedly remained his friend, and kept the title of queen while in Memphis.

When Alexander died in 323, Ptolemy is said to have instigated the resettlement of the empire made at Babylon. Through the Partition of Babylon, he was now appointed satrap of Egypt, under the nominal kings Philip Arrhidaeus and the infant Alexander IV; the former satrap, the Greek Cleomenes, stayed on as his deputy. Ptolemy quickly moved, without authorization, to subjugate Cyrenaica.

By custom, kings in Macedonia asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Probably because he wanted to pre-empt Perdiccas, the imperial regent, from staking his claim in this way, Ptolemy took great pains in getting his hands on the body of Alexander the Great, placing it temporarily in Memphis (a major element for The First War of The Diodochi) . Ptolemy then openly joined the coalition against Perdiccas. Perdiccas appears to have suspected Ptolemy of aiming for the throne himself, and maybe decided that Ptolemy was his most dangerous rival. Ptolemy executed Cleomenes for spying on behalf of Perdiccas — this removed the chief check on his authority, and allowed Ptolemy to obtain the huge sum that Cleomenes had accumulated.
In 321, Perdiccas invaded Egypt. Ptolemy decided to defend the Nile, and Perdiccas's attempt to force it ended in fiasco, with the loss of 2000 men. This was a fatal blow to Perdiccas' reputation, and he was murdered in his tent by two of his subordinates. Ptolemy immediately crossed the Nile, to provide supplies to what had the day before been an enemy army. Ptolemy was offered the regency in place of Perdiccas; but he declined. Ptolemy was consistent in his policy of securing a power base, while never succumbing to the temptation of risking all to succeed Alexander.

In the long wars that followed between the different Diadochi, Ptolemy's first goal was to hold Egypt securely, and his second was to secure control in the outlying areas: Cyrenaica and Cyprus, as well as Syria, including the province of Judea. His first occupation of Syria was in 318, and he established at the same time a protectorate over the petty kings of Cyprus. When Antigonus One-Eye, master of Asia in 315, showed dangerous ambitions, Ptolemy joined the coalition against him, and on the outbreak of war, evacuated Syria. In Cyprus, he fought the partisans of Antigonus, and re-conquered the island (313). A revolt in Cyrene was crushed the same year.

In 312, Ptolemy and Seleucus, the fugitive satrap of Babylonia, both invaded Syria, and defeated Demetrius Poliorcetes ("sieger of cities"), the son of Antigonus, in the Battle of Gaza. Again he occupied Syria, and again—after only a few months, when Demetrius had won a battle over his general, and Antigonus entered Syria in force—he evacuated it. In 311, a peace was concluded between the combatants. Soon after this, the surviving 13-year-old king, Alexander IV, was murdered in Macedonia, leaving the satrap of Egypt absolutely his own master. The peace did not last long, and in 309 Ptolemy personally commanded a fleet that detached the coastal towns of Lycia and Caria from Antigonus, then crossed into Greece, where he took possession of Corinth, Sicyon and Megara (308 BC). In 306, a great fleet under Demetrius attacked Cyprus, and Ptolemy's brother Menelaus was defeated and captured in another decisive Battle of Salamis. Ptolemy's complete loss of Cyprus followed.
The satraps Antigonus and Demetrius now each assumed the title of king; Ptolemy, as well as Cassander, Lysimachus and Seleucus I Nicator, responded by doing the same. In the winter of 306 BC, Antigonus tried to follow up his victory in Cyprus by invading Egypt; but Ptolemy was strongest there, and successfully held the frontier against him. Ptolemy led no further overseas expeditions against Antigonus. However, he did send great assistance to Rhodes when it was besieged by Demetrius (305/304),. Once rescued, the Rhodians instituted a festival to worship Ptolemy as Soter ("saviour").

It is widely accepted by modern scholars that as a result of lifting the siege of Rhodes, Ptolemy I had the name Soter ("saviour") bestowed upon him by the grateful people but this account is found only in the writings of Pausanius who has proven to be inaccurate on other points related to the Ptolomies. Rhodian inscriptions related to the cult of king Ptolemy do not mention it until the first century BC and Diodorus' writings, which are favourable to Ptolemy, do not either. The first mention of the title Soter is by Ptolemy II in 256 BC when he issued coins calling himself “King Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy Soter”. Prior to this date coins had read “King Ptolemy son of Ptolemy”. It is speculated that he used the title Soter as propaganda after a series of defeats prior to its first use.

When the coalition against Antigonus was renewed in 302, Ptolemy joined it, and invaded Syria a third time, while Antigonus was engaged with Lysimachus in Asia Minor. On hearing a report that Antigonus had won a decisive victory there, he once again evacuated Syria. But when the news came that Antigonus had been defeated and slain by Lysimachus and Seleucus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301, he occupied Syria a fourth time.

The other members of the coalition had assigned all Syria to Seleucus, after what they regarded as Ptolemy's desertion, and for the next hundred years, the question of the ownership of southern Syria (ie, Judea) produced recurring warfare between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties. Henceforth, Ptolemy seems to have mingled as little as possible in the rivalries between Asia Minor and Greece; he lost what he held in Greece, but reconquered Cyprus in 295/294. Cyrene, after a series of rebellions, was finally subjugated about 300 and placed under his stepson Magas.

In 285, Ptolemy abdicated in favour of one of his younger sons by Berenice - Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who had been co-regent for three years. His eldest (legitimate) son, Ptolemy Ceraunus, whose mother, Eurydice, the daughter of Antipater, had been repudiated, fled to the court of Lysimachus. Ptolemy I Soter died in 283 at the age of 84. Shrewd and cautious, he had a compact and well-ordered realm to show at the end of forty years of war. His reputation for bonhomie and liberality attached the floating soldier-class of Macedonians and Greeks to his service, and was not insignificant; nor did he wholly neglect conciliation of the natives. Ptolemy also founded the cult of Serapis, an Egyptian god who was "recreated" in such a fashion that he was acceptable to the Greeks and Macedonians. Ptolemy initiated the building of the lighthouse off the coast of Alexandria on the island of Pharos. This was to become one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

He was a ready patron of letters, founding the Great Library of Alexandria. He himself wrote a history of Alexander's campaigns that has not survived. This used to be considered an objective work, distinguished by its straightforward honesty and sobriety. However, Ptolemy may have exaggerated his own role, and had propagandist aims in writing his History. Although now lost, it was a principal source for the surviving account by Arrian of Nicomedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy_I_Soter

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
2 commentsCleisthenes
Ptolemy_I_Soter.jpg
[301b] Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 283 B.C.109 viewsBronze AE 30, cf. Svoronos 271, et al., VF/F, Alexandria mint, weight 12.946g, maximum diameter 30.3mm, die axis 0o, obverse laureate head of Zeus right; reverse [PTOLEMAIOU BASILEWS], eagle standing left on thunderbolt, wings open, head left, unidentifiable monogram(s) in left field; nice style Zeus. Ex FORVM.

Ptolemy I Soter (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, Ptolemaios Soter, i.e. Ptolemy the Savior, 367 BC—283 BC) was a Macedonian general who became the ruler of Egypt (323 BC—283 BC) and founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty. In 305 BC he took the title of king.
He was the son of Arsinoe of Macedonia - either by her husband Lagus, a Macedonian nobleman, or by her lover, Philip II of Macedon (which would make him the half-brother of Alexander the Great if true). Ptolemy was one of Alexander the Great's most trusted generals, and among the seven "body-guards" attached to his person. He was a few years older than Alexander, and his intimate friend since childhood. He may even have been in the group of noble teenagers tutored by Aristotle. He was with Alexander from his first campaigns, and played a principal part in the later campaigns in Afghanistan and India. At the Susa marriage festival in 324, Alexander had him marry the Persian princess Atacama. Ptolemy also had a consort queen in Thaïs, the famous Athenian hetaera and one of Alexander's companions in his conquest of the ancient world. Thaïs became his queen in Egypt, and even after he divorced her, she reportedly remained his friend, and kept the title of queen while in Memphis.

When Alexander died in 323, Ptolemy is said to have instigated the resettlement of the empire made at Babylon. Through the Partition of Babylon, he was now appointed satrap of Egypt, under the nominal kings Philip Arrhidaeus and the infant Alexander IV; the former satrap, the Greek Cleomenes, stayed on as his deputy. Ptolemy quickly moved, without authorization, to subjugate Cyrenaica.

By custom, kings in Macedonia asserted their right to the throne by burying their predecessor. Probably because he wanted to pre-empt Perdiccas, the imperial regent, from staking his claim in this way, Ptolemy took great pains in getting his hands on the body of Alexander the Great, placing it temporarily in Memphis (a major element for The First War of The Diodochi) . Ptolemy then openly joined the coalition against Perdiccas. Perdiccas appears to have suspected Ptolemy of aiming for the throne himself, and maybe decided that Ptolemy was his most dangerous rival. Ptolemy executed Cleomenes for spying on behalf of Perdiccas — this removed the chief check on his authority, and allowed Ptolemy to obtain the huge sum that Cleomenes had accumulated.
In 321, Perdiccas invaded Egypt. Ptolemy decided to defend the Nile, and Perdiccas's attempt to force it ended in fiasco, with the loss of 2000 men. This was a fatal blow to Perdiccas' reputation, and he was murdered in his tent by two of his subordinates. Ptolemy immediately crossed the Nile, to provide supplies to what had the day before been an enemy army. Ptolemy was offered the regency in place of Perdiccas; but he declined. Ptolemy was consistent in his policy of securing a power base, while never succumbing to the temptation of risking all to succeed Alexander.

In the long wars that followed between the different Diadochi, Ptolemy's first goal was to hold Egypt securely, and his second was to secure control in the outlying areas: Cyrenaica and Cyprus, as well as Syria, including the province of Judea. His first occupation of Syria was in 318, and he established at the same time a protectorate over the petty kings of Cyprus. When Antigonus One-Eye, master of Asia in 315, showed dangerous ambitions, Ptolemy joined the coalition against him, and on the outbreak of war, evacuated Syria. In Cyprus, he fought the partisans of Antigonus, and re-conquered the island (313). A revolt in Cyrene was crushed the same year.

In 312, Ptolemy and Seleucus, the fugitive satrap of Babylonia, both invaded Syria, and defeated Demetrius Poliorcetes ("sieger of cities"), the son of Antigonus, in the Battle of Gaza. Again he occupied Syria, and again—after only a few months, when Demetrius had won a battle over his general, and Antigonus entered Syria in force—he evacuated it. In 311, a peace was concluded between the combatants. Soon after this, the surviving 13-year-old king, Alexander IV, was murdered in Macedonia, leaving the satrap of Egypt absolutely his own master. The peace did not last long, and in 309 Ptolemy personally commanded a fleet that detached the coastal towns of Lycia and Caria from Antigonus, then crossed into Greece, where he took possession of Corinth, Sicyon and Megara (308 BC). In 306, a great fleet under Demetrius attacked Cyprus, and Ptolemy's brother Menelaus was defeated and captured in another decisive Battle of Salamis. Ptolemy's complete loss of Cyprus followed.
The satraps Antigonus and Demetrius now each assumed the title of king; Ptolemy, as well as Cassander, Lysimachus and Seleucus I Nicator, responded by doing the same. In the winter of 306 BC, Antigonus tried to follow up his victory in Cyprus by invading Egypt; but Ptolemy was strongest there, and successfully held the frontier against him. Ptolemy led no further overseas expeditions against Antigonus. However, he did send great assistance to Rhodes when it was besieged by Demetrius (305/304),. Once rescued, the Rhodians instituted a festival to worship Ptolemy as Soter ("saviour").

It is widely accepted by modern scholars that as a result of lifting the siege of Rhodes, Ptolemy I had the name Soter ("saviour") bestowed upon him by the grateful people but this account is found only in the writings of Pausanius who has proven to be inaccurate on other points related to the Ptolomies. Rhodian inscriptions related to the cult of king Ptolemy do not mention it until the first century BC and Diodorus' writings, which are favourable to Ptolemy, do not either. The first mention of the title Soter is by Ptolemy II in 256 BC when he issued coins calling himself “King Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy Soter”. Prior to this date coins had read “King Ptolemy son of Ptolemy”. It is speculated that he used the title Soter as propaganda after a series of defeats prior to its first use.

When the coalition against Antigonus was renewed in 302, Ptolemy joined it, and invaded Syria a third time, while Antigonus was engaged with Lysimachus in Asia Minor. On hearing a report that Antigonus had won a decisive victory there, he once again evacuated Syria. But when the news came that Antigonus had been defeated and slain by Lysimachus and Seleucus at the Battle of Ipsus in 301, he occupied Syria a fourth time.

The other members of the coalition had assigned all Syria to Seleucus, after what they regarded as Ptolemy's desertion, and for the next hundred years, the question of the ownership of southern Syria (ie, Judea) produced recurring warfare between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties. Henceforth, Ptolemy seems to have mingled as little as possible in the rivalries between Asia Minor and Greece; he lost what he held in Greece, but reconquered Cyprus in 295/294. Cyrene, after a series of rebellions, was finally subjugated about 300 and placed under his stepson Magas.

In 285, Ptolemy abdicated in favour of one of his younger sons by Berenice - Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who had been co-regent for three years. His eldest (legitimate) son, Ptolemy Ceraunus, whose mother, Eurydice, the daughter of Antipater, had been repudiated, fled to the court of Lysimachus. Ptolemy I Soter died in 283 at the age of 84. Shrewd and cautious, he had a compact and well-ordered realm to show at the end of forty years of war. His reputation for bonhomie and liberality attached the floating soldier-class of Macedonians and Greeks to his service, and was not insignificant; nor did he wholly neglect conciliation of the natives. Ptolemy also founded the cult of Serapis, an Egyptian god who was "recreated" in such a fashion that he was acceptable to the Greeks and Macedonians. Ptolemy initiated the building of the lighthouse off the coast of Alexandria on the island of Pharos. This was to become one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

He was a ready patron of letters, founding the Great Library of Alexandria. He himself wrote a history of Alexander's campaigns that has not survived. This used to be considered an objective work, distinguished by its straightforward honesty and sobriety. However, Ptolemy may have exaggerated his own role, and had propagandist aims in writing his History. Although now lost, it was a principal source for the surviving account by Arrian of Nicomedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy_I_Soter

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsCleisthenes
42576q00.jpg
[303a] Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I, 312 - 280 B.C.124 viewsSilver drachm, Houghton and Lorber 131(8), Newell ESM 91a-b (same obv die), gVF, Seleukeia mint, weight 4.239g, maximum diameter 17.1mm, die axis 270o, obverse laureate head of Zeus; reverse Athena driving quadriga of horned elephants right, anchor above, BASILEWS on left, SELEUKOU in ex; ex CNG auction 82, lot 713. Ex FORVM.

Seleukos (often spelled Seleucus) I Nikator, Founder of a Hellenistic Dynasty in the Orient
Born into a well-placed family in Macedon, trained as a royal page to King Philip II, trusted companion and chief of the élite bodyguard of Alexander the Great, he spent half his life in the shadow of more ambitious soldiers. Yet he eventually rose above all of them, and the kingdom he founded rivalled Ptolemaic Egypt in brilliance and almost in longevity, for Cleopatra VII ended her life, surrendering Egypt to Octavian, only a generation after Rome reduced what remained of the Seleukid Empire to the Province of Syria.
http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/908680

Seleucus I (surnamed for later generations Nicator, Greek: Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ, i.e. Seleucus Victor) (ca. 358 BCE–281 BCE), was a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great. In the wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire.

Seleucus was the son of Antiochus from Orestis, one of Philip's generals, and of Laodice. In 333 BC, as a young man of about twenty-three, he accompanied Alexander into Asia and won distinction in the Indian campaign of 326 BC. In 324 BCE Seleucus took as wife Apama, with whom he had four children: two daughters, Apama and Laodice, and two sons, Antiochus & Achaeus.

When the Macedonian empire was divided in 323 BC (the "Partition of Babylon"), Seleucus was given the office of chiliarch, which attached him closely to the regent Perdiccas. Subsequently, Seleucus had a hand in the murder of Perdiccas during the latter's unsuccessful invasion of Egypt in 321 BC.

At the second partition, at Triparadisus (321 BC), Seleucus was given the government of the Babylonian satrapy. In 316 BC, when Antigonus had made himself master of the eastern provinces, Seleucus felt himself threatened and fled to Egypt. In the war which followed between Antigonus and the other Macedonian chiefs, Seleucus actively cooperated with Ptolemy and commanded Egyptian squadrons in the Aegean Sea.

The victory won by Ptolemy at the battle of Gaza in 312 BC opened the way for Seleucus to return to the east. His return to Babylon was afterwards officially regarded as the beginning of the Seleucid Empire and that year as the first of the Seleucid era. Master of Babylonia, Seleucus at once proceeded to wrest the neighbouring provinces of Persia, Susiana and Media from the nominees of Antigonus. A raid into Babylonia conducted in 311 BC by Demetrius, son of Antigonus, did not seriously check Seleucus' progress. Over the course of nine years (311-302 BC), while Antigonus was occupied in the west, Seleucus brought the whole eastern part of Alexander's empire as far as the Jaxartes and Indus Rivers under his authority.

In 305 BC, after the extinction of the old royal line of Macedonia, Seleucus, like the other four principal Macedonian chiefs, assumed the title and style of basileus (king). He established Seleucia on the Tigris as his capital.

In the year 281 B.C., at the age of 77, Seleukos was assassinated by Ptolemy Ceraunus (the eldest son of Ptolemy I Soter). All of the "principal" Diadochi; Antigonas Monophthalmos, Antipater, Kassander, Ptolemy, Lysimichus and Seleukos; had now joined their great king, Alexander, in death.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucus_I_Nicator

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
5 commentsCleisthenes
SeleukosISNGSpaer23.jpg
[303b] Seleucid Kingdom, Seleukos I, 312 - 281 B.C.83 viewsBronze AE 19, WSM 925, SNG Spaer 23, VF, Antioch mint, 7.994g, 19.2mm, 225o; Obverse: winged Gorgon head right; Reverse: BASILEWS SELEUKOU, bull butting right, X in exergue.


Seleukos I Nikator, Founder of a Hellenistic Dynasty in the Orient
Born into a well-placed family in Macedon, trained as a royal page to King Philip II, trusted companion and chief of the élite bodyguard of Alexander the Great, he spent half his life in the shadow of more ambitious soldiers. Yet he eventually rose above all of them, and the kingdom he founded rivalled Ptolemaic Egypt in brilliance and almost in longevity, for Cleopatra VII ended her life, surrendering Egypt to Octavian, only a generation after Rome reduced what remained of the Seleukid Empire to the Province of Syria.
http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/908680

Seleucus I (surnamed for later generations Nicator, Greek: Σέλευκος Νικάτωρ, i.e. Seleucus Victor) (ca. 358 BCE–281 BCE), was a Macedonian officer of Alexander the Great. In the wars of the Diadochi that took place after Alexander's death, Seleucus established the Seleucid dynasty and the Seleucid Empire.

Seleucus was the son of Antiochus from Orestis, one of Philip's generals, and of Laodice. In 333 BC, as a young man of about twenty-three, he accompanied Alexander into Asia and won distinction in the Indian campaign of 326 BC. In 324 BCE Seleucus took as wife Apama, with whom he had four children: two daughters, Apama and Laodice, and two sons, Antiochus & Achaeus.

When the Macedonian empire was divided in 323 BC (the "Partition of Babylon"), Seleucus was given the office of chiliarch, which attached him closely to the regent Perdiccas. Subsequently, Seleucus had a hand in the murder of Perdiccas during the latter's unsuccessful invasion of Egypt in 321 BC.

At the second partition, at Triparadisus (321 BC), Seleucus was given the government of the Babylonian satrapy. In 316 BC, when Antigonus had made himself master of the eastern provinces, Seleucus felt himself threatened and fled to Egypt. In the war which followed between Antigonus and the other Macedonian chiefs, Seleucus actively cooperated with Ptolemy and commanded Egyptian squadrons in the Aegean Sea.

The victory won by Ptolemy at the battle of Gaza in 312 BC opened the way for Seleucus to return to the east. His return to Babylon was afterwards officially regarded as the beginning of the Seleucid Empire and that year as the first of the Seleucid era. Master of Babylonia, Seleucus at once proceeded to wrest the neighbouring provinces of Persia, Susiana and Media from the nominees of Antigonus. A raid into Babylonia conducted in 311 BC by Demetrius, son of Antigonus, did not seriously check Seleucus' progress. Over the course of nine years (311-302 BC), while Antigonus was occupied in the west, Seleucus brought the whole eastern part of Alexander's empire as far as the Jaxartes and Indus Rivers under his authority.

In 305 BC, after the extinction of the old royal line of Macedonia, Seleucus, like the other four principal Macedonian chiefs, assumed the title and style of basileus (king). He established Seleucia on the Tigris as his capital.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucus_I_Nicator

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
   
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