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Alexander III of Macedon


Mark Stilson
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From a local coin shop. (I can bring back if anyone spots a problem. )

Macedon, Alexander III, the Great, 336-323 BC, AR Tetradrachm Herakles head rt. in skin of Nemean lion/Zeus seated left, axe to right, Minted 245-215 BC? I am not sure on all the info on this one. It has what appears to be an axe on Zeus's right.

 

984462.jpg

 

Any help folks?

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I posted this over at forumancients and got some leads. I was told they thought it came from the Amphipolis mint. That really helped a lot on searches. Kind of

 

It's been kind of aggravating trying to pin it down. There were so many mints and used through different rulers its seems hard to pin a date range. One of the on line books said the inscription on the reverse was changed at the Amphipolis mint (Their primary mint) in 326 bc if that is the case then it could be one made during his life time. But looking at other coins on line I think the book is off or out of date. I have been looking at hundreds of reverses even if the obverse does not match just to see if I could find one with the same style axe. But have not found it yet. Lambda sign over a torch seems to be the most common. Some other symbols on similar reverses to Zeus's right palm trees, a bee, two axes different style, wheat stalks, ear of corn, ox skull, cock, double head, bow and quiver, Pi and pellet|aplustre, Phrygian Cap, crescent|pi, etc. I was hoping it would have been like a french privy mark and there would be an on line reference to them. I did a search on the ANS website but they seem to be with out pictures to compare.

 

ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ On my coin

later changed to ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ or/and ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡ

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Have you checked Price? I do not own it but it is the current book on Alexander.

 

Price, Martin Jessop : The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus: A British Museum Catalogue, 1991

http://www.vcoins.com/ancient/charlesdavis...?idProduct=1494

 

Remember that each die is an individual item not mechanically reproduced so minor differences in things like the axe would not even make a catalog unless it was a catalog of all known dies. No one will be doing a die catalog of Alexander coins; there are too many of them.

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Just searched on line for the book at the library. No go there. I have seen a few similar on wildwinds. But not a match. I should have left off the mint date on my post since I really don't know. I found a few from 325-323 BC which are fairly close. I have seen what you mean about a lot of die pairs. I don't know how many auction catalogs I've looked through. Is there anything to look for to get an idea if its a lifetime, early or late? I went through 16 pages of ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ on google. Plus I don't know how many with combinations of alexander, tetradrachm, greek, etc. Looked at every ebay and vcoins alexander. The Price 129 Is fairly close. The throne, staff, and mint mark (Amphipolis mint) symbol below the throne is pretty close. That one is 325-323 BC. I'm kind of hoping a lifetime.

 

They had to have a massive hammer to mint these. It's a pretty chunky slab and has some real depth to it. I'm surprised they got as centered and clean strike on it as they did. It's probably why they went through as many dies as I've seen.

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El Reye over at forumancients found it

 

KINGS of MACEDON. Alexander III ‘the Great’. 336-323 BC. AR Tetradrachm ‘Amphipolis’ mint. Struck under Kassander, circa 316-315 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; axe in left field, monogram below throne. Price 139; Troxell, Studies, Group L, 10

 

I don't see it listed in the coin links section here, but the CNG site has a really nice search engine for finding ancients.

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