Kings of Macedon, Alexander III 'the Great'. 336-323 BC. Possibly Abydus, c. 328-323 BC

Kings of Macedon, Alexander III 'the Great'. 336-323 BC. Possibly Abydus, c. 328-323 BC


AR Drachm, 4.37g (16mm, 6h). Head of Heracles r., wearing lion skin headdress / Zeus seated l., holding eagle and sceptre; in l. field, Hermes advancing l., holding caduceus. Below the throne, Ξ

Pedigree: From the Michael Dearing collection

References: Price 1502

Grade: Slightly doublestruck and rough on obverse. Well centered and good strike. aEF (gk1307)

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The world knows how “great” Alexander III really was. It is apparent at least from the empire he created in a short time period. The biggest the Greek world had ever been before. The specifics of Alexander’s life however are purely conjecture. Alexander had an official historian named Kallisthenes but nothing of his writings survives. He also died for unknown reasons in c. 327 BC. The most utilized histories come from the 1st century Roman historian Arrian. This obviously creates a massive break in the historical timeline and the believability of it all since he was writing over 300 years after Alexander’s death. Other resources that his life is based on are questionable as to how accurate they truly are. They are hypomnemata or “notebooks” that were written by the historian Diodorus Siculus, another 1st century author who based his own writings on Alexander from Kleitarchos (Cleitarcus) whom no one is even certain as to when he lived. Some have suggested that he lived at the same time as Alexander. However, this is debatable as later research suggests that Kleitarchos might have lived in the 2nd century AD (see the papyri of Oxyrhynchus for more information on this). Another reference which existed but is now lost are the Ephemerides, or “royal journals” from Eumenes, the personal secretary of Alexander. Plutarch wrote extensively about Alexander, even quoting his conversations with Darius, the Persian King, but these are not to be totally trusted. In the end, while we don’t have concrete conversations recorded between Alexander and his confidants, we do know for certain the battles he waged, won and the lands he conquered.