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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.
Macedonian Kingdom, Alexander the Great, 336 - 323 B.C.
Troxell did not find links to these dies in the series, but footnote 6, on p. 107, indicates this coin is from series 2. The dies, which match Troxell pl. 24, H, are very similar to Troxell, series 2, pl. 21, 501 (= SNG Sweden II 993) and they were likely engraved by the same hand.SH87557. Gold stater, Troxell pl. 25, H (same dies); SNG Sweden II 993; Price 172; Müller 105; SNG Ashmolean 2522; SNG Cop -; SNG Alpha Bank -; SNG München -, Choice EF, mint luster, some light bumps and marks, weight 8.592 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 135o, Macedonia, Amphipolis mint, struck under Antipater, c. 327 - 325 B.C.; obversehead of Athena right wearing earring, necklace, and crested Corinthian helmet decorated with a coiled snake; reverseNike standing left, wreath in right hand, stylus in left hand, trident-head downward (control symbol) in left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; $5750.00 (€4887.50)
Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III and Alexander IV, c. 323 - 317 B.C., In the Name of Alexander
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 München 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.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus Aëtophoros 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)
Macedonia, Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 95 - 70 B.C.
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.SH82660. Silver tetradrachm, Bauslaugh Group III (O15A/R85, 13 spec.), SNG Lockett 1542, SNG Fitzwilliam 2346, Dewing 1223 (all same dies), gVF, beautifully toned, slightest double strike, some minor flatness, die wear, tiny edge cracks, weight 16.855 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain mint, 95 - 70 B.C.; obverse MAKE∆ONΩN counterclockwise below, head of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon and flowing hair, reversed B behind; reverse AESILLAS above money-chest (cista) on left, club in center, and Q over quaestor's chair (sella curulis) on right, all within laurel wreath tied at the bottom; ex Leu Numismatics, web auction 3 (25 Feb 2018), lot 212; ex De La Tour Collection; ex Hess-Divo, auction 314 (4 May 2009), lot 1093; ex A. Weil, fixed price list (Sep 1985), lot 12; $600.00 (€510.00)
Mesembria, Thrace, c. 275 - 225 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
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.; obversehead 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); $560.00 (€476.00)
Arados, Phoenicia, 200 - 190 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great
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 (Arwad, Syria) mint, c. 200 - 190 B.C.; obversehead 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; $480.00 (€408.00)
Macedonian Kingdom, Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV, 323 - 317 B.C.
Struck after Alexander the Great's death during the joint reign of Philip III, Alexander's brother, and the infant king Alexander IV, Alexander's son with the Bactrian princess Roxana. The two were made joint kings by Alexander's generals who only intended to use them as pawns. Philip III was imprisoned upon his return to Macedonia, and in 317 B.C. he was executed under orders from Olympias. Alexander IV and his mother Roxana were executed by the boy's regent, Kassander, in 311 B.C. Magnesia also struck nearly identical drachms during this period in the name of Philip. Traditionally coins naming Alexander have been attributed to Alexander III the Great, but the Alexander named on this coin was more likely the infant son of Roxana, Alexander IV.GS87355. Silver drachm, Price 1937, Müller Alexander 323, SNG Cop 952, SNG Alpha Bank 624, HGC 3.1, 944e, SNG München -, SNG Saroglos -, Choice EF, well centered and struck, nice style, radiating flow lines, light marks, tiny encrustations, weight 4.173 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Ionia, Magnesia ad Maeandrum (near Tekin, Turkey) mint, struck under Menander or Kleito, c. 323 - 319 B.C.; obversehead 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 waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, feet on footstool, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, bee with head left on left, spear head pointed upward outer right; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 67, lot 107; $450.00 (€382.50)
Macedonia, Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 95 - 70 B.C.
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.; obversehead 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, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., In the Name of Alexander the Great
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.GS82741. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 41(3)c, Price 3818, Müller Alexander 267, Meydancikkale 1958 - 1960, SNG Cope 851, Newell WSM 9, HGC 6 12a, gVF, attractive style, high relief, light toning, tight flan, minor obverse die wear/damage, bumps and marks, weight 16.913 g, maximum diameter 26.0 mm, die axis 90o, Karrhai (Harran, Turkey) mint, c. 310 - 290 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress, forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on high back throne, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right foot drawn back, feet on footstool, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue, crescent over ∆I left, AYP monogram in circle below throne; $360.00 (€306.00)
Macedonian Kingdom, Antigonos I Monophthalmos, Strategos of Asia, 320 - 306 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander
Antigonos I Monophthalmos ("the One-eyed") was a nobleman and strategos (general and governor) under Alexander the Great. Upon Alexander's death in 323 B.C., he established himself as one of the successors and declared himself King in 306 B.C. The most powerful satraps of the empire, Cassander, Seleucus, Ptolemy, and Lysimachus, answered by also proclaiming themselves kings. Antigonus found himself at war with all four, largely because his territory shared borders with all of them. He died in battle at Ipsus in 301 B.C. Antigonus' kingdom was divided up, with Seleucus I Nicator gaining the most. His son, Demetrius I Poliorcetes, took Macedon, which the family held, off and on, until it was conquered by Rome in 168 B.C.GS82743. Silver tetradrachm, In the name of Alexander; Price 3713, Müller Alexander 717, SNG München 790, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered and struck with high relief dies, toned, tight flan, light bumps and marks, mild porosity, weight 16.528 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, Babylon mint, under the satrap Peithon, 315 - 311 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress, forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, 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, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ in exergue, monogram in wreath left, KΛ under throne; $360.00 (€306.00)
Seleukid Kingdom, Seleukos I Nikator, 312 - 281 B.C., Babylonia, In the Name of Alexander the Great
Price dates this type 311 - 305 B.C. Houghton dates it 311 - 300 B.C. Houghton notes that Kritt down-dated the chronology due to the complexity of the emissions and that two hoards independently support the revised dating.GS82762. Silver tetradrachm, Houghton-Lorber I 82.5b, Price 3747, Müller Alexander 734, SNG Saroglos 646, HGC 9 10f, VF, toned, obverse a little off center and double struck, weight 17.105 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 90o, Babylon mint, 311 - 300 B.C.; obversehead of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress forelegs tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros enthroned left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, monogram in wreath left, MI under throne below strut, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) in exergue; $320.00 (€272.00)
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