Kings of Macedon. Alexander III 'the Great'. 336-323 BC

Kings of Macedon. Alexander III 'the Great'. 336-323 BC


Abydos (?), struck by Antigonus I Monophthalmus, c. 310-301 BC. AR Drachm, 4.24g (18mm, 11h). Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress / AΛEΞANΔPOY Zeus seated left on low throne, holding long scepter in his left hand and eagle standing right with closed wings in his right; to left, head of Zeus Ammon to right; below throne, ivy-leaf.

References: Price 1551

Grade: A beautifully struck example with a charming reverse symbol. The obverse struck slightly off center, otherwise, EF (gk1242)

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For anyone that is unfamiliar with the history of Alexander the Great, all coins bearing the head of Herakles on the obverse and Zeus on the reverse with the legend of ALEXANDER would seem to be struck under the great leader. This is not the case with this drachm. After Alexander’s death the diadochi gradually transitioned the coinage from the close association with the former ruler to that of their own names. This particular coin was struck under Antigonus I Monophthalmus.

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