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HOME : Greek Coins : Seleucid Coins : Seleucid Silver Tetradrachm of Antiochus VIII
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Seleucid Silver Tetradrachm of Antiochus VIII - C.4138
Origin: Minted in Antioch
Circa: 121 BC to 113 BC

Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Silver

Location: United States
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Obverse: Diademed Head of the King Facing Right

Reverse: Zeus Oranios Standing to the Left, Holding a Star and Sceptre

The Seleukid Kingdom was established by Seleukos I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, following the death of Alexander and the division of his empire. At its peak under Seleukos I and Antiochus I, the Seleucid Kingdom comprised almost the whole of the conquests of Alexander with the exception of Egypt. Son of Antiochus VII and Cleopatra, Antiochus IX ruled from 113-95 B.C. He spent much of his reign at war with his half brother Antiochus VIII, who was murdered in 96 B.C. Captured in Antioch in 113, Antiochus was murdered by his nephew, Seleukos VI, to avenge the death of his father. Antiochus’ murder would in turn be vindicated with the defeat of Seleukos VI by his son Antiochus X. During these years of bitter family feuding, the Seleukid Kingdom rapidly declined from one of the largest empires into a minor east Mediterranean state.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or your purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after us. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and place, whether currency in the age we live or an artifact of a long forgotten empire. This ancient coin is more than an artifact; it is a memorial to a lost kingdom passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation.
- (C.4138)


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