KINGS of MACEDON. Perseus. 179-168 BC. Pella or Amphipolis mint. Struck c. 174-173 BC. AR Tetradrachm

Ancient Coins - KINGS of MACEDON. Perseus. 179-168 BC. Pella or Amphipolis mint. Struck c. 174-173 BC. AR Tetradrachm
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KINGS of MACEDON. 179-168 BC. Pella or Amphipolis mint. Struck c. 174-173 BC. AR Tetradrachm, 16.59g (29mm, 11h).

Diademed head right / Eagle, wings spread, standing right on thunderbolt; I with half crescent on top (mintmaster's) monogram above, MI to right, Φ between legs; all within oak wreath; below, plow right (off flan)

Pedigree: From an unknown French collection

Price: $5,000


Perseus was the last of the Antigonid Empire to control the area of Macedonia. Antigonus I Monophthalmus (the ‘one-eyed’) was one of the successors to Alexander the Great. After Alexander’s death in 323 BC his vast empire was divided among his closest military advisors and friends. Antigonus took the area of Macedon. The Antigonids were not always in control of the area however. When Antigonus got ambitious and attempted to overtake all of Alexander’s empire a battle ensued and he was killed at the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC. His son Demetrios Poliorcetes managed to regain the throne but eventually became a prisoner of war to Seleucus I, another of Alexander’s confidants that oversaw part of the empire (where Syria is today). It was only some years later that Demetrios II, the son of Demetrios Poliorcetes, was able to regain Macedonia under the Antigonids in 276 BC. The Antigonids and the Seleucid dynasty still intermingled despite earlier conflict. Perseus was married to the daughter of the Seleucid King, Seleucus IV.


The advancing Roman army wrestled the area of Macedonia away from the Antigonids and the successors of Alexander the Great in 168 BC when they won the Battle of Pydna. From that point forward Macedonia became a province of the Roman Empire. It also showed the strength of the Roman legions over the military inadequacy of the once powerful Greek phalanx. The Roman general Lucius Aemilius Paullus even went so far as to place a statue of himself next to the holy Temple of Apollo at Delphi. A spot that was being reserved for a statue of the Perseus. On the base of the statue he proclaims “Lucius Aemilius, son of Lucius, set this up from the spoils which he took from King Perseus and the Macedonians”. (see Mary T. Boatwrights, People’s of the Roman World, p. 71 for more on this).



References: Mamroth, Perseus 8; HGC 3.1, 1091; SNG Copenhagen 1267

Grade: Lovely iridescence. Smaller flan. High relief and sharp imagery. Small insignificant "hole" below ear on obverse

gk1144
Price SKU: gk1144
US$ 5,000.00
  • € 4,176.41
  • £ 3,701.22
  • AUD 6,251.67
  • CHF 4,817.49
  • CAD 6,145.17

Rates for: 09/19/17

Ships from: United States