Ptolemaic Kingdo, Ptolemy II Philadelphos. 285-246 BC

Ptolemaic Kingdo, Ptolemy II Philadelphos. 285-246 BC


Alexandria, AE 43 (94.56g, 43mm, 12h). Head of Zeus Ammon r. wearing diadem with floral ornament in front / Eagle l. on thunderbolt, looking back, wing open; between legs, E; ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟY ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ around.

References: SNG Cop 142. Svoronos 446 ιδ

Grade: Overall wear but impressively heavy weight bronze. This weighs as at almost 95 grams. VF+ (gk1213)

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Ptolemy II “Philadelphos” (or brother-loving), was so named because of his shocking marriage to his sister Arsinoe II. This union was surprising for the Greeks but embraced by the Egyptians. Just as his father, Ptolemy I, had done, Ptolemy II embraced the Egyptian culture instead of just trying to promote only a Greek way of life to the people of Egypt.

The fight over Alexander the Great’s vast kingdom was continued under the reign of Ptolemy II. The lines of power were still not clarified so strengthening bonds and destroying others were central at the time. Ptolemy II was almost solely responsible for the introduction of elephants into the Ptolemaic cavalry.

This particular coin bears no direct ties to Ptolemy II other than the symbol between the legs of the eagle. The Zeus/eagle bronze coinage can be found throughout the Ptolemaic series. This coin has a substantially heavy weight at 94.56 grams. The heaviest bronzes have been found to weigh over 105 grams but these are typically almost impossible to find.