Kings of Macedon, Philip II. Struck under Alexander II or Philip III. 359-336 BC, Pella, c. 340-328 BC

Kings of Macedon, Philip II. Struck under Alexander II or Philip III. 359-336 BC, Pella, c. 340-328 BC


AV Stater, 8.57g (12mm, 12h). Laureate head of Apollo to right / ΦΙΛΙΠΠOY Charioteer driving biga to right, holding reins in his left hand and goad in his right; below horses, trident right.

Pedigree: Collection formed in Vienna in the 1990’s.

References:  Le Rider 228. SNG ANS 144-154

Grade:  Minor die rust on the obverse and with some marks, otherwise, EF


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Alexander III, the Great is more well remembered than his father Philip II. The reality is that Philip II paved the way for Alexander’s great military success. Philip II was a strong military commander and was able to transform the Macedonian kingdom to lead most of the known Greek world. Philip, the son of the Macedonian king Amyntas only came into power after his two older brothers, Perdiccas III and Alexander II were killed. His older siblings were unsuccessful in comparison to Philip who rose to the occasion. He married Olympias, a Molossian princess who bore him a son, the future King Alexander III, the Great.

He strengthened the Macedonian military and developed new battle formations along with this son Alexander. Olympias who was born under a different name was apparently renamed after 356 BC when Philip III successfully won in the Olympic Games. The reverse of his coinage celebrates his victory at the Olympics. Philip married for strategic gain and therefore was a polygamist which was not uncommon at the time. After he set his sights on a new wife, Cleopatra of Macedon, Olympias left taking Alexander with her. To save the succession Philip reconciled with his son but even with his death in 336 BC it was suggested that Olympias may have had a hand in his death. One will never know. What is certain however is that Philip II strengthened the Macedonian people into leaders of the Greek world.