Kings of Thrace, Macedonian. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC

Kings of Thrace, Macedonian. Lysimachos. 305-281 BC


Alexandreia Troas, c. 297/6-282/1 BC. AR Tetradrachm, 17.11g (28.5mm, 12h). Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, with horn of Ammon / Athena Nikephoros seated left, left arm resting on shield, transverse spear in background; ME monogram to inner left, ΘE monogram in exergue.

References:  Thompson 156; Meadows, Earliest 13, dies O8/R20; Müller –

Grade:  Good VF, toned. High relief. Rare  (gk1149)

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Lysimachos’ father served in the court of Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander III, the Great). It is assumed that Lysimachos and Alexander knew each other and studied together at the same time. In any case, Lysimachos because deeply connected with Alexander and eventually served as one of his bodyguards. After Alexander’s death, Lysimachos was given the title of ‘strategos’ or army leader/general for the area of Thrace. Aside from difficulties with the surrounding tribal people of northern Thrace, the Odrysians, Lysimachos held this post without issue. 

In 315 BC, along with some of the other Diadochi, Lysimachus helped to murder Antigonus Monophthalmus (‘the one-eyed’) who held most of Asia Minor and Syria. With this murder, a marked increase in power for Lysimachus was realized. Before that time he really was just a defender of the northern border of the Graeco-Macedonian world. After the death of Antigonus he acquired more land in Asia Minor and took the name of King.

This coin was struck in the town of Alexandreia Troas. Prior to being named Alexandreia Troas, the town was called Antigonia Troas due to its re-founding by Antigonus I in 306 BC (the original name was Sigeia). After Antigonus’ death, Lysimachos took the northern coastal Turkish city and honoring his friend and former leader Alexander the Great, renamed the city.