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00005x00~7.jpg
26 viewsEGYPT, Antinoöpolis
PB Tessera – Dichalkon
Draped bust of Antinous right, wearing hem-hem crown(?);[Δ]/I downward to left, X/A downward to right
Tyche standing right, holding rudder and cornucopia; [Λ/K] downwards to left, [O/N] downwards to right

This piece is extremely important for the study of lead tokens in Roman Egypt. The legend reads DIXALKON, normally a bronze denomination. Leads bearing denominational names are known from only a few specimens (see Köln 3502, for one such piece from Memphis), including one of this type in Dattari (Savio).
Ardatirion
00069x00.jpg
37 viewsEGYPT, Antinoöpolis
PB Tessera (21mm, 4.14 g, 4 h)
Dated year 2 of an uncertain era
Confronted busts of Antinous, draped and wearing hem-hem crown, and Isis, draped and wearing headdress; [L] B flanking
Nilus reclining left on hippopatumus, holding cornucopia and reeds
Milne -; Milne, Memphis p. 115; Dattari (Savio) -; Köln 3569-70; Rostovtsev & Prou 665-6; Roma 6 (29 September 2013), lot 923-4
Ardatirion
Memphis_5279.jpg
44 viewsEGYPT, Memphis
PB Tessera (24mm, 5.76 g, 11 h)
Nilus reclining left on hippopotamus, holding cornucopia and reeds, being crowned by Euthenia advancing right
Isis-Hekate triformis standing facing, holding uraeus and resting arm on Apis bull standing left with solar disk between horns; to left, small figure standing right; MEMΦIC to right
Milne 5279; Dattari (Savio) 6419; Köln 3501
Ardatirion
2740288.jpg
50 viewsEGYPT, Athribis
PB Tessera (24mm, 5.17 g, 12h).
Tyche reclining left on couch (hiera klinê, or lectisternium), holding rudder in outstretched right hand and resting head on raised left set on pillow; A[Θ]PI[B]IC/ [ΠOΛ]OI above
Nike standing right, holding palm frond and presenting wreath to Serapis standing left, holding long scepter in left hand and raising right
Milne -; Dattari (Savio) -; Köln -

Ex Classical Numismatic Group Electronic Auction 274, lot 288 (there as Memphis).
Ardatirion
00006x00~5.jpg
12 viewsEGYPT, Memphis
PB Tessera
Uncertain figure standing facing, holding bust of Harpokrates wearing skent crown; MEMΦIC to right
Serapis enthroned left, holding scepter, with Cerberus at feet; to left, Demeter(?) standing right, holding scepter; to right, Tyche standing left, holding rudder and cornucopia
Milne -; Dattari (Savio) -; Köln 3563
Ardatirion
376_P_Hadrian_Emmett883.jpg
5713 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Tetradrachm 127-28 AD Mummiform Osiris62 viewsReference.
Emmett 883.12; RPC III, 5713; Köln 982; Dattari (Savio) 1445; K&G 32.458.

Issue L ΔWΔƐΚΑΤΟΥ = year 12

Obv. ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙ - ΤΡΑΙAN ΑΔΡ CΕΒ
Laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right, seen from back.

Rev. LΔωΔΕ ΚΑΤΟV
Mummiform Osiris (Ptah-Sokar-Osiris) standing right, holding scepter tipped with jackal-head (Was-sceptre)

12.66 gr
24 mm
6h

Note.
Giovanni Dattari summarizes the unusual reverse type seen on this billon tetradrachm of Hadrian. The image of the Ptah-Sokar-Osiris divinity belongs to Egyptian theology, and in particular to funeral worship. It brings together three famous members of the Pharaonic Pantheon through their respective symbols: the headdress and scepter for Ptah, the solar disk for Osiris, and the mummiform wrappings for Sokar – the “Lord of the Necropolis.” These three associated divinities call upon the concepts of “mourning” and “life”, evoking at the same time the pain associated with death and the hope of resurrection. The main sanctuaries of Ptah, Sokaris, and Osiris were at Memphis and Abydos.
2 commentsokidoki
293_P_Hadrian_RPC5823.jpg
5823 EGYPT, Alexandria. Hadrian Tetradrachm 132-33 AD Mummiform Sokar42 viewsReference.
Emmett 883.17; RPC III, 5823; Dattari (Savio) 1446

Issue L IZ = year 17

Obv. ΑΥΤ ΚΑΙС ΤΡΑΙΑΝ - ΑΔΡΙΑΝΟС СƐΒ
Laureate draped and cuirassed bust of Hadrian, r., seen from rear

Rev. L ΙΖ
Mummiform Sokar (Ptah-Sokar-Osiris) standing right, holding sceptre tipped with falon (Horus?)

13.00 gr
27 mm
12h

Note.
Giovanni Dattari summarizes the unusual reverse type seen on this billon tetradrachm of Hadrian. The image of the Ptah-Sokar-Osiris divinity belongs to Egyptian theology, and in particular to funeral worship. It brings together three famous members of the Pharaonic Pantheon through their respective symbols: the headdress and scepter for Ptah, the solar disk for Osiris, and the mummiform wrappings for Sokar – the “Lord of the Necropolis.” These three associated divinities call upon the concepts of “mourning” and “life”, evoking at the same time the pain associated with death and the hope of resurrection. The main sanctuaries of Ptah, Sokaris, and Osiris were at Memphis and Abydos.
4 commentsokidoki
AlexTheGreatMemphisTet.jpg
Alexander III The Great, Macedonian Kingdom, 336 - 323 B.C., Possible Lifetime Issue104 viewsThis is the same coin in my collection, different picture, as the Alexander tetradrachm listed as [300mem].

Silver tetradrachm, Price 3971, VF, 16.081g, 26.1mm, 0o, Egypt, Memphis mint, c. 332 - 323 or 323 - 305 B.C.; obverse Herakles' head right, clad in Nemean lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse ALEXANDROU, Zeus enthroned left, legs crossed, eagle in right, scepter in left, rose left, DI-O under throne. Ex Pavlos S. Pavlou. Ex FORVM, "The Memphis issues are among the finest style Alexander coins. Experts disagree on the date of this issue. Some identify it as a lifetime issue and others as a posthumous issue (Joseph Sermarini).

Alexandros III Philippou Makedonon (356-323 BC)

"Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, single-handedly changed the entire nature of the ancient world in little more than ten years.

Born in the northern Greek kingdom of Macedonia in 356 BC, to Philip II and his formidable wife Olympias, Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle. Following his father's assassination in 336 BC, he inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom, which he had to secure - along with the rest of the Greek city states - before he could set out to conquer the massive Persian Empire, in revenge for Persia's earlier attempts to conquer Greece.

Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without incurring a single defeat. With his greatest victory at the Battle of Gaugamela, in what is now northern Iraq, in 331 BC, the young king of Macedonia, leader of the Greeks, Overlord of Asia Minor and Pharaoh of Egypt also became Great King of Persia at the age of 25.

Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army a further 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered some two million square miles.

The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce. This was united by a common Greek language and culture, whilst the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.

Primarily a soldier, Alexander was an acknowledged military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and that of those he expected to follow him. The fact that his army only refused to do so once, in the13 years of a reign during which there was constant fighting, indicates the loyalty he inspired.

Following his death in 323 BC at the age of only 32, his empire was torn apart in the power struggles of his successors. Yet Alexander's mythical status rapidly reached epic proportions and inspired individuals as diverse as Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Louis XIV and Napoleon.

He continues to be portrayed according to the bias of those interpreting his achievements. He is either Alexander the Great or Iskander the Accursed, chivalrous knight or bloody monster, benign multi-culturalist or racist imperialist - but above all he is fully deserving of his description as 'the most significant secular individual in history'."

By Dr. Joann Fletcher
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/alexander_the_great.shtml

"When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."--attributed to Plutarch, The Moralia.
http://www.pothos.org/alexander.asp?paraID=96

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
1 commentsJames Fitzgerald
julianII_225.jpg
Apis342 viewsJulian II the philosopher 360 - 363, nephew of Constantin I
AE - Maiorina, 7.30g, 25mm
Thessalonica 1. officina, summer 361 - June 26. 363
obv. DN FL CL IVLI - ANVS PF AVG
bust draped and cuirassed, pearl-diademed head r.
rev. SECVRITA[S R]EI PVB
diademed bull r., head facing, two stars above
exergue: TESA between palmbranchs
RIC VIII, Thessalonica 225; C.38
Rare; good F

APIS, holy bull of Memphis/Egypt, herald of god Ptah, making oracles in the name of the god. Each new bull should have a white triangle on the forehead or a moon-like spot at the sides. After his death buried as Osiris-Apis, from which the Serapis cult developed. Julian II has renewed this cult. For a new interpretation of the bull see the remarks in 'Jochen's Folles' to Julian II RIC VIII, 163!
Jochen
Deified_Alexander_.jpg
Athena and Deified Alexander399 viewsThe deified Alexander the Great is depicted on the obverse of this coin of Lysimachos, dating to the early third century BC.

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 AD when Theodosius banned paganism, only to disappear without trace.

Athena depicted on the reverse of this coin was the patron goddess of Athens. She came to be worshiped throughout much of the Mediterranean basin during Hellenistic period.
7 commentsLloyd T
Rith_Home___Hospital.JPG
B'nai B'rith Home & Hospital for the Aged (Memphis, Tennessee)75 viewsFE token, 32 mm., 1952.

Obv: B’NAI B’RITH HOME & HOSPITAL FOR THE AGED / MEMPHIS – TENN. around rim, SILVER JUBILEE above building in center and 1927 – 1952 below building.

Rev: GOOD • LUCK • PIECE / CAST • US • NOT • AWAY • IN • OUR • OLD • AGE around rim, candelabra in center with Stars of David to its sides and below, אל תשליכני לעת זקנה [“Cast us not away in our old age” [Psalm 71:9]), beneath candelabra.

Ref: None known.

Founded in 1927 as the B’nai B’rith Home for the Aged, it became a non-profit corporation independent of the B’nai B’rith organization under the name B’nai B’rith Home & Hospital for the Aged, Inc. in December 1954. It also began to do business under the name Memphis Jewish Home in 1992, and under the name Memphis Jewish Home and Rehabilitation Center in 2008.
Stkp
JCT_B__nai_B__rith_Home_for_the_Aged_1937.jpg
B'nai B'rith Home & Hospital for the Aged (Memphis, Tennessee) 20 viewsAE token, 32 mm., 180°.

Obv: B’NAI • B’RITH • HOME • FOR • AGED • MEMPHIS, TENN. / TENTH ANNIVERSARY, around rim, building in center and 1927 • 1937, below building.

Rev: GOOD • LUCK • PIECE / CAST • US • NOT • AWAY • IN • OUR • OLD • AGE around rim, candelabra in center with Stars of David to its sides and below, אל תשליכני לעת זקנה [“Cast us not away in our old age” [Psalm 71:9]), beneath candelabra.

Ref: None known.

Founded in 1927 as the B’nai B’rith Home for the Aged, it became a non-profit corporation independent of the B’nai B’rith organization under the name B’nai B’rith Home & Hospital for the Aged, Inc. in December 1954. It also began to do business under the name Memphis Jewish Home in 1992, and under the name Memphis Jewish Home and Rehabilitation Center in 2008.
Stkp
Egypt,_Sabakes_Tetradrachm.jpg
Egypt, Memphis or Aswan (?), Satrap Sabakes, 335-333 BC, AR Tetradrachm37 viewsHead of Athena right with punch mark X on cheek.
Owl standing right, head facing, crescent and olive spray to left, crescent above a stylized thunderbolt (Sabakes symbol) and Aramaic legend SWYN (Aswan) to right, punch mark X on owl.

Nicolet-Pierre 6, D4/R-; SNG Copenhagen 3; Van Alfen Type I, O4/R-; Mitchiner 10a; Sear GCV 6232. Van Alfen (AJN 14 2002) countermark 3 on obv. & rev.

(24 mm, 16.91 g, 9h).
From LWHT Col.; HJB 166, 15 October 2009, 176.

Sabakes, to whom the issue of this coin type is attributed, was the penultimate Persian Satrap of Egypt. In 333 BC he led a contingent from Egypt to join the Persian army facing Alexander the Great at Issos, where he perished in battle. It is likely that this coin was struck under his governorship, perhaps for use as payment in preparations for the expeditionary force in support of Darius III. Counter marks are commonly present on these coins and most of the surviving examples are worn, indicating an extended period of circulation. This is consistent with the fact that the next coinage to be struck in Egypt was almost a decade later, shortly after the death of Alexander the Great.
2 commentsn.igma
68257q00.jpg
GREEK, Macedonian Kingdom, Ptolemy I, Satrap of Egypt, 323 - 305 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great, Gold stater23 viewsSH68257. Gold stater, Svoronos 11, Price 3975, Müller Alexander 6, SNG Cop 643, EF, weight 8.554 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Egypt, Memphis mint, reign of Philip III, c. 323 - 316 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake, hair in ringlets; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Nike standing left, wreath in right hand, stylus in left, thunderbolt left, small ∆I at feet on left; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 215, lot 775Joe Sermarini
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Mark Antony & Octavian Denarius (Syd 1181; RCV 1504)93 viewsMark Antony & Octavian, Silver Denarius, mint of Ephesus, 41 B.C. 3.55g

Obv: M ANT IMP AVG III VIR R P C M BARBAT Q P, head of Antony right

Rev. CAESAR IMP PONT III VIR R P C, head of Octavian right

12h (Cr 517/2; Syd 1181; RCV 1504). Small banker’s mark on obverse, attractive old iridescent cabinet tone, nearly extremely fine.

Ex. Baldwin & Sons
Summer 2011 Argentum Auction, Lot 26, 04/06/2011
David Heuer Collection, David Heuer of Memphis, Tennessee, USA
5 commentsKained but Able
flower.jpg
Paphos, Cyprus, late 4th Century B.C. AE 13, Aphrodite/ flower4 viewsPaphos, Cyprus, late 4th Century B.C. Bronze AE 13, SGCV II 5788, BMC 49, Tzambazis 92, VF, Paphos mint, weight 2.078g, maximum diameter 12.9mm, die axis 0o, obverse head of Aphrodite left, wearing ornamented stephanos; reverse rose; An interesting issue. The flower is similar to the flower which appears on the Alexander the Great tetradrachm of both Paphos and Memphis. This little bronze helps make the connection between the two issues. Ex FORVMPodiceps
Egypt,_Sabakes_Tetradrachm.jpg
Persian Satrap Sabakes perished opposing Alexander III the Great at Issos 333 BC.202 viewsEgypt, Memphis (or Aswan?), Persian Administration, 343-332 BC, Sabakes as Satrap, AR Tetradrachm

Head of Athena right with punchmark X on cheek / Owl standing right, head facing, crescent and olive spray to left, crescent above a stylized thunderbolt(?) (Sabakes symbol) and SWYN (Aswan) in Aramaic script to right, countermark X on owl.
Nicolet-Pierre 6, D4/R-; SNG Copenhagen 3; Van Alfen Type I, O4/R-; Mitchiner 10a; Sear 6232. Van Alfen (AJN 14 2002) countermark 3 on obv. & rev.
(24 mm, 16.91 g, 9h)

Sabakes, to whom the issue of this coin type is attributed, was the penultimate Persian Satrap of Egypt. In 333 BC he led a contingent from Egypt to join the Persian army facing Alexander the Great at Issos, where he perished in battle. It is likely that this coin was struck under his governorship, perhaps for use as payment in preparations for the expeditionary force in support of Darius III. Countermarks are commonly present on these coins and most of the surviving examples are worn, indicating an extended period of circulation. This is consistent with the fact that the next coinage to be struck in Egypt was almost a decade later, shortly before the death of Alexander the Great.
1 commentsLloyd T
Egypt,_Mamphis_Mint,_Alexander_tetradrachm.jpg
Ptolemaic Kings of Egypt, Ptolemy I Soter as Satrap, 323-305 BC - Memphis Mint61 viewsHead of Herakles right wearing lion-skin headdress; test cut applied to top of the head.
AΛΕΞANΔPOY Zeus seated left, holding eagle and scepter; rose before, ΔI beneath throne, O between throne and scepter.

Price 3971; Muller 124; SNG Copenhagen 853; Dewing 1180.
Memphis mint ca. 323-316 BC.

(27 mm, 16.92 g, 12h).
ex- Barry P. Murphy.

Amongst the first Egyptian issues of Alexandrine tetradrachms, minted shortly after Ptolemy took control of Egypt as Satrap.
3 commentsn.igma
Price_3971c.jpg
PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. As satrap, 323-305 BC. AR Tetradrachm15 views28mm, 16.92 g, 11h

In the name and types of Alexander III of Macedon. Memphis or Alexandreia mint. Struck circa 323/2-317/1 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; rose in left field, ΔI below throne, O to left of scepter. Svoronos –; Zervos Issue 2C; Price 3971c; SNG Copenhagen 7. Good VF, toned, some roughness at edge.

From the collection of José Miguel Márquez del Prado.
Leo
imgonline-com-ua-twotoone-FoVTANMmEFe7O1M-Julian_II_the_apostate.jpg
ulian II (Augustus) Coin: Bronze Double Maiorina5 viewsD N FL CL IVLIANVS P F AVG - Pearl diademed, draped and cuirassed bust of Julian right
SECVRITAS REIPVB - Apis bull standing right, two stars above horns
Exergue:



Mint: Sirmium (361-363AD)
Wt./Size/Axis: 7.95g / 28mm / 360
References:
RIC VIII 106
Acquisition/Sale: xcelatorx Ebay $0.00 7/17
Notes: Oct 13, 18 - The Gary R. Wilson Collection

While the coinage of Julian is most remarkable for its depiction of the Apis bull, historians are uncertain of what the emperor actually intended to portray through this coinage. Was it an effort to link the emperor to the mysterious power of the bull common amongst the Egyptians? Was it an attempt to portray the ritual sacrifice of bulls that Julian re-instated after decades of Christian-sympathizing rule? Or was it something else, perhaps a representation of the astrological sign Taurus? The chronicler Ammianus Marcellinus is the primary source on Julian's reign and unfortunately never commented on the coinage, whilst mostly praising Julian's actions, personality, and character. [1]

More on the Apis Bull:

The Apis bull was an important sacred animal to the ancient Egyptians. As with the other sacred beasts Apis' importance increased over the centuries. During colonization of the conquered Egypt, Greek and Roman authors had much to say about Apis, the markings by which the black calf was recognized, the manner of his conception by a ray from heaven, his house at Memphis (with a court for his deportment), the mode of prognostication from his actions, his death, the mourning at his death, his costly burial, and the rejoicings throughout the country when a new Apis was found. Auguste Mariette's excavation of the Serapeum of Saqqara revealed the tombs of more than sixty animals, ranging from the time of Amenhotep III to that of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Originally, each animal was buried in a separate tomb with a chapel built above it.

According to Arrian, Apis was one of the Egyptian deities Alexander the Great propitiated by offering a sacrifice during his seizure of Ancient Egypt from the Persians. After Alexander's death, his general Ptolemy I Soter made efforts to integrate Egyptian religion with that of the new Hellenic rulers. Ptolemy's policy was to find a deity that might win the reverence of both groups, despite the curses of the Egyptian religious leaders against the deities of the previous foreign rulers (i.e. Set, lauded by the Hyksos). Without success, Alexander had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but that deity was more prominent in Upper Egypt and not for those in Lower Egypt, where the Greeks had stronger influence. Since the Greeks had little respect for animal-headed deities, a Greek statue was created as an idol and proclaimed as an anthropomorphic equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and later was said to represent Osiris fully, rather than just his Ka.

The earliest mention of a Serapis is in the authentic death scene of Alexander, from the royal diaries. Here, Serapis has a temple at Babylon, and is of such importance that he alone is named as being consulted on behalf of the dying Alexander. The presence of this temple in Babylon radically altered perceptions of the mythologies of this era, although it has been discovered that the unconnected Babylonian deity Ea was entitled Serapsi, meaning king of the deep, and it is Serapsi who is referred to in the diaries, not Serapis. The significance of this Serapsi in the Hellenic psyche, however, due to its involvement in Alexander's death, also may have contributed to the choice of Osiris-Apis as the chief Ptolemaic deity during their occupation of Ancient Egypt.

According to Plutarch, Ptolemy stole the statue from Sinope, having been instructed in a dream by the Unknown God to bring the statue to Alexandria, where the statue was pronounced to be "Serapis" by two religious experts. Among those experts was one of the Eumolpidae, the ancient family from which the hierophant of the Eleusinian Mysteries traditionally had been chosen since before any historical records. The other expert supposedly was the scholarly Egyptian priest Manetho, which increased acceptability from both the Egyptians and the Greeks.

Plutarch may not be correct, however, as some Egyptologists assert that the Sinope in Plutarch's report is the hill of Sinopeion, a name given to the site of an existing Serapeum at Memphis. Also, according to Tacitus, Serapis (i.e. Apis explicitly identified as Osiris in full) had been the tutelary deity of the village of Rhacotis, before it suddenly expanded into the great capital of "Alexandria".

Being introduced by the Greeks, understandably, the statue depicted a fully human figure resembling Hades or Pluto, both being kings of the Greek underworld. The figure was enthroned with the modius, which is a basket or a grain-measure, on his head, a Greek symbol for the land of the dead. He also held a sceptre, indicating rulership, and Cerberus, gatekeeper of the underworld, rested at his feet. It also had what appeared to be a serpent at its base, fitting the Egyptian symbol of sovereignty, the uraeus.

With his (i.e., Osiris') wife, Isis, and their son (at this point in history) Horus (in the form of Harpocrates), Serapis won an important place in the Greek world, reaching Ancient Rome, with Anubis being identified as Cerberus. The cult survived until 385, when Christians destroyed the Serapeum of Alexandria, and subsequently, the cult was forbidden by the Edict of Thessalonica.[2]

[1] Lewis, Will. Taking the Bull by the Horns, Ancient World Magazine, March 16, 2018
[2] The Apis Bull, Wikipedia online encyclopedia
Gary W2
ATGlifetime TetMemphis.jpg
[300mem] Alexander III, The Great, 336-323 BC, AR Tetradrachm (Possible Lifetime Issue)81 viewsAlexander III, The Great; 336-323BC. AR tetradrachm; Price 3971, SNG Cop.7; 16.07g. Memphis mint, Egypt. Possible Lifetime issue. Obverse: Beardless bust of young Herakles right wearing lions scalp. Reverse: Zeus enthroned left; holding eagle in outstretched right hand and sceptre in left , rose in left field; between legs of throne and O next to right leg of throne; gVF/VF, light encrustation obverse, small chip reverse; together with several light scratches both sides. Ex Pavlos S. Pavlou. Ex FORVM, "The Memphis issues are among the finest style Alexander coins. Experts disagree on the date of this issue. Some identify it as a lifetime issue and others as a posthumous issue (Joseph Sermarini)..

Alexandros III Philippou Makedonon (356-323 BC)

"Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, single-handedly changed the entire nature of the ancient world in little more than ten years.

Born in the northern Greek kingdom of Macedonia in 356 BC, to Philip II and his formidable wife Olympias, Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle. Following his father's assassination in 336 BC, he inherited a powerful yet volatile kingdom, which he had to secure - along with the rest of the Greek city states - before he could set out to conquer the massive Persian Empire, in revenge for Persia's earlier attempts to conquer Greece.

Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without incurring a single defeat. With his greatest victory at the Battle of Gaugamela, in what is now northern Iraq, in 331 BC, the young king of Macedonia, leader of the Greeks, Overlord of Asia Minor and Pharaoh of Egypt also became Great King of Persia at the age of 25.

Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army a further 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered some two million square miles.

The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce. This was united by a common Greek language and culture, whilst the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.

Primarily a soldier, Alexander was an acknowledged military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and that of those he expected to follow him. The fact that his army only refused to do so once, in the13 years of a reign during which there was constant fighting, indicates the loyalty he inspired.

Following his death in 323 BC at the age of only 32, his empire was torn apart in the power struggles of his successors. Yet Alexander's mythical status rapidly reached epic proportions and inspired individuals as diverse as Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Louis XIV and Napoleon.

He continues to be portrayed according to the bias of those interpreting his achievements. He is either Alexander the Great or Iskander the Accursed, chivalrous knight or bloody monster, benign multi-culturalist or racist imperialist - but above all he is fully deserving of his description as 'the most significant secular individual in history'."

By Dr. Joann Fletcher
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/alexander_the_great.shtml

"When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."--attributed to Plutarch, The Moralia.
http://www.pothos.org/alexander.asp?paraID=96

Edited by J. P. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Cleisthenes
ptolemy1soterLG.jpg
[301a] Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemy I Soter, 305 - 283 B.C.184 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.105 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
 
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