Obverse: Diademed head of Demetrios facing
Reverse: Tyche seated facing left on a throne
supported by a winged creature, holding baton
and cornucopiae. Inscription: BAΣIΛEΩ[Σ] (on
right) and ΔΗMHTRIOY, ΣΩTHPOΣ (on left).
The Seleucid Kingdom was established by
Seleucus I, one of the generals of Alexander the
Great, following the death of Alexander and the
division of his empire. At its peak under Seleucus
I and Antiochus I, the Seleucid Kingdom
comprised almost the whole of the conquests of
Alexander with the exception of Egypt.
Antiochus II, also known as Antiochus Theos,
was the son and successor of Antiochus I. He
spent much of his reign at was with the
Ptolemaic Kingdom, until his marriage to
Ptolemy’s daughter Berenice sealed the peace.
Most of the Syrian possessions his father had lost
were restored to Antiochus; however, both
Parthia and Baktria asserted their independence
during this period. Upon his death, Antiochus’
son by an earlier marriage, Seleucus II, and his
wife Berenice on behalf of her infant son
struggled for the throne, igniting another long
war with the Ptolemaic Egypt.
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.