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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 enthroned left, 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); $1980.00 (€1683.00)
 


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 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); $700.00 (€595.00)
 


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 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; $600.00 (€510.00)
 


The Coinage In The Name of Alexander The Great and Philip Arrhidaeus

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The standard reference for coins in the name of Alexander the Great, and now out of print. Volume 1 contains general information and a list of over 4000 coins by mint. Volume 2 includes concordances, indexes, and photographic plates.
BK12934. The Coinage In The Name of Alexander The Great and Philip Arrhidaeus by Martin Jessop Price, 1991, Zurich/London, 2 volumes, 637 pages, 159 photographic plates, red cloth/gilt dust jackets, international shipping at the actual cost of postage, only one copy available; $550.00 (€467.50)
 


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; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


Chios, Islands off Ionia, c. 290 - 275 B.C., Civic Coinage in the Name and Types of Alexander the Great

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Lysimachus may have controlled Chios after Antigonus was killed at Ipsus in 301 B.C. A Chian inscription honoring one of his generals supports this view. But Chios is likely to have had significant autonomy even if it continued to be ruled by a foreign monarch. Beginning c. 290 B.C., the island struck precious metal for the first time in over half a century. At the same time they began developing close economic and political relations with other Greek cities and states. Lysimachus lost his life at the Battle of Corupedium in 281 B.C. The victor, Seleukos, was murdered less than a year later and his empire plunged into political chaos. Chios was almost certainly completely autonomous by this time. -- Lagos, Constantinos. A study of the coinage of Chios in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. PhD thesis, Durham University. (1998). Available at Durham E-Theses Online: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/4848/
GS86313. Silver drachm, Price 2322; Müller Alexander 1534; Bauslaugh Posthumous p. 4, series 4 (no die matches); SNG Cop 903; SNG Munchen -; SNG Alpha Bank -, Choice EF, fantastic detail, exotic style, toned, weight 4.181 g, maximum diameter 20.2 mm, die axis 0o, Islands of Ionia, Chios mint, under Lysimachos or autonomous, c. 290 - 275 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, monogram over bunch of grapes left; $450.00 (€382.50)
 


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; $400.00 (€340.00)
 


Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.

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Struck in the name of King Philip III Arrhidaeus, Alexander the Great's half-brother, under the regent Perdikkas. Philip III and Alexander's infant son, Alexander IV, were made joint kings after Alexander's death. 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 and both were selected only to serve as pawns. The regents held power, while Philip III was actually imprisoned. In 317, Philip was murdered by Olympias to ensure the succession of her grandson.
GS86270. Silver tetradrachm, Price P182; Müller P103., weight 17.095 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 0o, Babylon mint, c. 323 - 317 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion scalp headdress; reverse ΦIΛIΠΠOY right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in ex, Zeus seated left on throne, feet on footstool, right leg drawn back, eagle in right, long scepter in left hand, M left, B under seat; $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; $290.00 (€246.50)
 


Koinon of Macedonia, c. 244 - 245 A.D., Portrait of Alexander the Great

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The two temples and legend on the reverse indicate "Two Neokorie," advertising the Koinon of Macedonia held the highly prized designation "double temple guardian" of the imperial cult. The first Nekoros was awarded by Nerva. The second Neokoros, indicated by B (the Greek number two) or rarely ∆IC (double in Greek) on coins, was first received under Elagabalus. The title was rescinded but then later restored by Severus Alexander, probably in 231 A.D.
RP79978. Bronze AE 28, AMNG III 833; Mionnet supp. 3, p. 229, 446; BMC Macedonia -; SNG Cop -; SNG Hunterian -; SNG Bar -; SNG Saroglos -; Lindgren -, gF, obverse rough, smoothing on reverse, weight 11.370 g, maximum diameter 28.2 mm, die axis 90o, Macedonia, Beroea(?) mint, c. 244 -245 A.D.; obverse AΛEΞAN∆POY, diademed head of Alexander the Great right; reverse two hexastyle temple fronts, KOINON / M-AKE∆-O in two lines above, B NEΩKOPΩN / EOC (Era of Actium year 275) below;
very rare; $195.00 (€165.75)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Head, B. British Museum Catalogue of Greek Coins, Macedonia, etc. (London, 1879).
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Liampi. K. "Zur Chronologie der sogenannten 'anonymen' mekedonischen Münzen des späten 4. Jhs. v. Chr." in JNG XXXVI. (1986).
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VII, Manchester University Museum. (London, 1986).
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Catalog current as of Tuesday, December 12, 2017.
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Alexander the Great