Seleucid Kingdom, Antiochus II. 261-246 BC

Seleucid Kingdom, Antiochus II. 261-246 BC


Alinda or Mylasa mint. AR Drachm, 4.25g (20mm, 12h). Head of Antiochus right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY Apollo seated left on omphalos. monograms upper right field

Pedigree: Ex W.F. Stoecklin Collection. Amriseil, Switzerland, acquired from M&M Basel prior to 1975

References: SC 551.1. WSM 1481

Grade: Overall wear but clear images. Some horn silver on reverse from 12-2h. VF (gk1302c)

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Antiochus II was the son of Antiochus I and Stratonice of Syria, whose father was Dimitrios Poliorcetes. After the death of Alexander the Great, his successors, the Diadochi, repeatedly attempted to align themselves with each other through marriage. Before Stratonice married Antiochus I she was wed to the already aged Seleucus I. Antiochus I, the stepson to Seleucus became enamored with his stepmother and finally was allowed to marry her. Antiochus II was one of their five children. He became the third ruler of the Seleucid emperor after his grandfather and father. 

Much of Antiochus’ reign was fraught with war with Egypt. Eventually he garnered a peaceful agreement with Ptolemy II even marrying his daughter, Berenice, while at the same time divorcing his wife Laodice. This strategy did not bode well for Antiochus as Laodice was powerful in her own right. When Antiochus proclaimed that any child born to Berenice would be successor to the throne, Laodice strategized to lure Antiochus back into her arms leaving Berenice with their infant son. Once he was firmly back in her grasp she poisoned him to death and simultaneously had Berenice and her infant killed by her supporters.