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

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

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


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

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Struck after Alexander's death, under either Perdikkas or Antipater, regents during the joint reign of Alexander's mentally disabled half-brother, Philip III, and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV. Philip was the bastard son of Philip II and a dancer, Philinna of Larissa. Alexander the Great's mother, Olympias, allegedly poisoned her stepson Philip III as a child, leaving him mentally disabled, eliminating him as a rival to Alexander. Neither Philip III nor Alexander IV was capable of actual rule. Both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Olympias had Philip murdered to ensure the succession of her grandson. But Alexander IV would never rule. In 311 B.C., he and his mother Roxana were executed by the regent Kassander.
SH86161. Silver tetradrachm, Price 113, Müller Alexander 224, Troxell issue H3, SNG Cop 682, SNG Munchen 275, SNG Alpha Bank 503, SNG Delepierre 986, Choice EF, attractive archaic style, bold well centered strike, high relief, light toning, weight 17.283 g, maximum diameter 26.8 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, c. 322 - 320 A.D.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus seated left on throne without back, right leg forward (archaic lifetime style), eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Macedonian helmet (control symbol) left; Classical Numismatic Group auction 105 (10 May 2017), lot 78; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 46 (11 Sep 2016), lot 105 (realized €1,900 plus fees); $1780.00 (€1513.00)
 


Mesembria, Thrace, c. 275 - 225 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland Thrace. Thrace was invaded by the Galatians in 279 B.C. Only the wealthy coastal cities, including Mesembria, withstood their attacks. Following that chaos, rule of Thrace was divided between many tribes. Philip V, 221 - 179 B.C., tried to regain control of the area for the Macedonian Kingdom, but his success was limited and short lived. Mesembria was taken by Mithradates VI in the First Mithradatic War and surrendered to Rome in 71 B.C. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms as early as 275 B.C., more than 50 years after Alexander's death, and probably issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms struck anywhere, possibly under Roman rule as late as 65 B.C.
SH85286. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov p. 84 and pl. VII, 41 (O7/R18); Price 992; Müller Alexander 436, gVF, attractive style, light marks and scratches, weight 17.000 g, maximum diameter 31.6 mm, die axis 180o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 275 - 225 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Corinthian helmet right over ΠA monogram in inner left field under arm; ex FORVM (2013); $630.00 (€535.50)
 


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

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

Arados struck Alexandrine tetradrachms with a palm tree left and Phoenician dates from 243 to 205 B.C. and then with Greek dates from 202 to 167 B.C. They were not struck every year.
GS85703. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3390 ff., Mektepini 614 ff.; Duyrat 1270 ff., Cohen Dated 771, gVF, attractive style, reverse double struck, earthen encrustations, weight 17.039 g, maximum diameter 31.0 mm, die axis 0o, Arados mint, c. 200 - 190 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, palm tree with two bunches of dates in left field under arm, AP monogram under throne, uncertain Greek additive date (60 - 69?) below; $540.00 (€459.00)
 


Macedonia, Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 95 - 70 B.C.

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This type was apparently intended to encourage Macedonian pride by portraying the legendary national hero of the Macedonians, and at the same time clearly communicate Roman authority with name and symbols of the Roman quaestor.
SH77215. Silver tetradrachm, Bauslaugh Group VI (O56), AMNG III 223; SNG Cop 1330; SNG Ashmolean 3305; SGCV I 1439, VF, nice style, light toning, die wear, weight 14.921 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 95 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon and flowing hair, Θ behind, MAKE∆ONΩN below; reverse AESILLAS above money-chest (cista), club, and Q over quaestor's chair (sella curulis), all within laurel wreath, pellet at end of Q; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


Macedonia, Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 95 - 70 B.C.

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This type was apparently intended to encourage Macedonian pride by portraying the legendary national hero of the Macedonians, and at the same time clearly communicate Roman authority with name and symbols of the Roman quaestor.
SH77214. Silver tetradrachm, Bauslaugh Group VIII (O90/R328); SNG Ashmolean 3305; AMNG III 224; SNG Cop 1330; SGCV I 1439, VF, rose toning, crowded flan, die wear, weight 16.397 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 95 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon and flowing hair, Θ behind, MAKE∆ONΩN below; reverse AESILLAS above money-chest (cista), club, and Q over quaestor's chair (sella curulis), all within laurel wreath, pellet on chest handle, pellet at center of wreath knot, pellet at end of Q; $360.00 (€306.00)
 


Seleukid Kingdom, Seleucus I Nikator, 312 - 280 B.C.

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Seleukos (Seleucus) founded the Seleukid Empire and the Seleukid dynasty which ruled Syria until Pompey made it a Roman province in 63 B.C. Seleukos was never one of Alexander the Great's principal generals but he commanded the royal bodyguard during the Indian campaign. In the division of the empire after Alexander's death Seleukos did not receive a satrapy. Instead, he served under the regent Perdikkas until the latter's murder in 321 or 320. Seleukos was then appointed satrap of Babylonia. Five years later Antigonus Monophthalmus (the One-eyed) forced him to flee, but he returned with support from Ptolemy. He later added Persia and Media to his territory and defeated both Antigonus and Lysimachus. He was succeeded by his son Antiochus I.
SH85790. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 13(1)c, Newell WSM 909, Meydancikkale 2745, HGC 3 16c (R1), VF, struck with fine style high-relief dies, light golden toning, bumps and marks, tight flan, obverse slightly off center, test punch on obverse, weight 17.040 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 300 - 281 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse ΣEΛEYKOΣ BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus Nikephoros on throne, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, Nike offering wreath in his right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, monogram in left field before knees, ΘE under throne below strut, ΣEΛEYKOΣ downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue; rare; $350.00 (€297.50)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonos I Monophthalmos, Strategos of Asia, 320 - 306 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander

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After the battle of Issos, Alexander determined to seize the Phoenician coast and eliminate the threat of the Phoenician warships which had served Persia. He asked King Azemilkos of Tyre to allow him to enter the city to sacrifice to the god Melqart. After Azemilkos refused to make this act of submission, in January 332 B.C., Alexander besieged Tyre. The city was taken, after great violence, in September.

The name of the king of Tyre whose regnal year dates this coin is unknown. The king and his city were under the hegemony of Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed"), the Macedonian strategos (general and governor) of Asia. Antigonus declared himself king in 306 B.C. and died at the battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C.
GS86198. Silver tetradrachm, Price 3298, Newell Dated 47, Cohen DCA 738 (R1), Müller Alexander -, SNG Cop -, SNG München -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, toned, attractive style, obverse a little off center, die wear, bumps and marks, weight 17.166 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 300o, Tyre mint, 311 - 310 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, bare to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, Phoenician date left (read right to left): ll lll lll (regnal year 8); rare; $320.00 (€272.00)
 


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

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After Alexander's death, many cities cleverly continued to strike coins in the name of Alexander, maintaining neutrality, rather than favoring any one of the Diadochi (Alexander's successors). Although Greece was declared "free" in 311 B.C., it soon became a chaotic battleground. Old men, once comrades in Alexander's army, along with their children, fought each other to death to expand their kingdoms. Ptolemy I of Egypt took Corinth from Antigonus in 308. Demetrius Poliorcetes defeated Ptolemy and returned to Greece in 302 B.C. Claiming to be a liberator, he reinstated the Corinthian League.
GS86197. Silver tetradrachm, Price 671; Troxell Peloponnesian, pl. xix, 6; SNG München -; SNG Cop -; SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, high relief, toned, bumps, marks and scratches, areas of porosity, weight 16.454 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 165o, Greece, Corinth mint, posthumous, c. 310 - 290 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, feet on footstool, right foot drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, dove flying left surrounded by wreath in left field, H under throne; extremely rare - only a few examples known to Forum; $300.00 (€255.00)
 


Macedonia, Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 95 - 70 B.C.

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This type was apparently intended to encourage Macedonian pride by portraying the legendary national hero of the Macedonians, and at the same time clearly communicate Roman authority with name and symbols of the Roman quaestor.
RS77035. Silver tetradrachm, Bauslaugh Group VI (O76), SNG Lockett 1543, SNG Cop 1330, SNG Ashmolean 3305, AMNG III 223, SGCV I 1439, VF, toned, porous, light deposits of copper salts, weight 11.862 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 95 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon and flowing hair, Θ behind, MAKE∆ONΩN below; reverse AESILLAS above money-chest (cista), club, and Q over quaestor's chair (sella curulis), all within laurel wreath, pellet below sella, pellet at end of Q; $260.00 (€221.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander III the Great, 336 - 323 B.C., Byzantion Countermark

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This BY over prow countermark, along with a nearly identical countermark using an archaic form of B resembling Π, was used at Byzantium. David Sear notes, "at this time [when the counter mark was applied after c. 280 B.C.], the Byzantines were subject to continual threats by Gaulish invaders, who were bought off by the payment of huge annual tributes. The impoverished city had to resort to countermarking foreign coins in place of a proper currency."
CM85916. Silver drachm, c/m: Propontis Hoard 144, SGCV 1585 (Byzantion, 280 - 225 B.C.), coin: aF, flattened opposite countermark, marks, scratches, porosity; countermark VF, weight 3.808 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Western Ionian(?) mint, c. 323 - 297 B.C.; obverse Herakles head right wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; countermark: BY over prow left with dolphin finial within circular punch; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, eagle in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, control symbols left and below throne, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; rare countermark; $230.00 (€195.50)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Sunday, May 27, 2018.
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Alexander the Great