A SILVER TETRADRACHM OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT SET IN 18K GOLD PENDANT

A SILVER TETRADRACHM OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT SET IN 18K GOLD PENDANT


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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: Ancient World: Greek: Pre AD 1000: Item # 1297058

Please refer to our stock # PG.44 when inquiring.
Biblical Artifacts
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at The Inbal Hotel, Liberty Bell Park, 3 Jabotinsky Street
P. O. Box 14646, Jerusalem 9114601, Israel
tel. 972 2 583 7606

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 $3,750.00 
Asia Minor Mint; c. 325-315/10 BCE

Obverse: Bust of Alexander III as Herakles wearing lion skin.

Reverse: Zeus enthroned holding eagle in his right hand and a scepter in his left. A under throne. ALEXANDROU behind throne. BASILEWS in exergue.

Coin in fine condition set in modern 18K gold pendant.

Weight: 23.2g; Diameter: 30mm

Worldwide shipping and Certificate of Authenticity included in price.

Export Approval from the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Bibliography:

Otto Morkholm, Early Hellenistic Coinage: From the Accession of Alexander to the Peace of Apamea (1991)

Price, The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus (1991)

*****

Certainly the most famous of all Greeks, Alexander had conquered much of the Western world before he reached the age of 30. After toppling the Persian Empire and establishing his rule in most lands from Greece to the border of India, he died a young man, long before his ambitions were fulfilled. Afterward, his massive kingdom was carved up by his successors, the diadochi, who thus created several new kingdoms.

The principal silver coins of Alexander show on their obverse the bust of Alexander III as Herakles (Hercules) wearing the scalp of the Nemean lion, and on their reverse the seated figure of Zeus holding an eagle and a scepter. It is debatable whether the obverse of these coins depict Herakles himself or Alexander III in the guise of Herakles. Given Alexander's clear understanding of the importance of propaganda as well as a plethora of other examples in which he attempted to depict himself as the demi-god the latter is extremely likely. Many were struck in Alexander’s time, but they were continued by his successors and the designs were copied at independent Greek mints for more than 250 years after his death. They were also imitated by Celts, Arabians and other non-Greek peoples.

This example from a mint of Asia Minor, was minted after 325 BCE, when the word BASILEWS meaning “King” began to appear on his coinage, according to Price. Although the open legs of Zeus suggest this coin was issued during Alexander's lifetime, coins with crossed legs were not issued exclusively until 315/310 BCE making it possible that this coin was issued either at the end of Alexander's life (most likely as payment to his soldiers) or shortly after his death.