Macedon, Kings of. Alexander III. 336-323 BC. AR Drachm (4.25gm).

Ancient Coins - Macedon, Kings of. Alexander III. 336-323 BC. AR Drachm (4.25gm).
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Macedon, Kings of. Alexander III. 336-323 BC. AR Drachm (4.25gm). 
Head of Herakles wearing lions skin headdress / Zeus seated left;
Toned VF. 

 

  

Alexander the Great of Macedonia inherited his father's dream of conquering the

Persian empire. Soon after his father's assassination in 336 B.C., Alexander led Greek

and Macedonian forces into Asia Minor, sweeping down the coast and liberating its Greek

cities from the Persians. He occupied Syria and Phoenicia and was accepted as pharaoh

of Egypt. There he founded the important city of Alexandria and visited the oracle of Zeus

Ammon, where he was recognized as a son of Zeus. He then turned eastward toward

Mesopotamia, where he defeated the main army of the Persians. Finally, he pushed

further eastward, beyond the Indus River, where in 327 B.C. his exhausted troops forced

him to turn back. On the return Alexander began to secure and organize his far-flung

 

empire, but in the summer of 323 B.C. he died of fever in Babylonia.

Alexander reformed Macedonian coinage, instituting types that would be circulated

throughout his empire long after his death. The most important were the types on his

tetradrachms, which soon replaced the Athenian "owls"  as the most widely circulated

coins of antiquity. On the obverse is the head of Herakles, reference to his family's claim

of descent from the hero. Alexander was particularly devoted to Herakles and in time

came to be identified with him. Whether the features of Herakles on the coins were subtly

altered to those of Alexander in his lifetime is uncertain, but after his death the image was

widely regarded as a portrait of Alexander. His father's use of the head of Zeus on his

staters may have inspired Alexander to put a full figure of Zeus on the reverse, but the

god acquired particular significance for him after the visit to the oracle. Greeks recognized

the figure as their chief god, but to the inhabitants of Persian lands it could also represent

their god Baal, also depicted enthroned with an eagle and scepter.

The hundreds of small symbols and letters on the coins of Alexander and his successors

are probably control marks of particular issues, apparently a system to safeguard the

production of the coins.

Prezzo SKU : 10051
US$ 125.00
  • € 107.34
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Quotazione: 09/25/20

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