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HOME : Greek Coins : Seleucid Coins : Silver Tetradrachm Minted Under King Seleukos III
Silver Tetradrachm Minted Under King Seleukos III - C.546
Origin: Syria
Circa: 226 BC to 223 BC

Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Silver

Additional Information: Found in Haifa, Israel
Location: United States
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Obverse: Laureate Head of Apollo Facing Right

Reverse: Apollo Seated on an Omphalos, Facing Left, Holding an Arrow, Left Arm Resting on Bow, Inscription, “BASILEWS,” (King) on the Right and “SELEUKOU,” (Seleukos)

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. Around 245 B.C., Seleukos III Soter, “the Savior,” son of Seleukos II Kallinikos found himself facing the daunting task of restoring to his empire the lands lost by Antiochos Hierax. At the youthful age of twenty-five, Seleukos raised an army for the unavoidable clash with the Attalid King Attalos I of Pergamon. At the same time, he dispatched his younger brother, Antiochos III, to maintain control of the eastern satrapies. In 224 B.C., Seleukos III crossed the Tauros River, into Attalid territory, and the battle with the Pergamene army began. It is believed the Attalids may have had support from Ptolemaic Egypt, who fought over territory with the Seleukids. It is unclear how the war played out, but in the summer of 223, for reasons that are now lost to history, a conspiracy involving a Macedonian officer and a Galatian chieftain claimed the life of the young king. With the sudden poisoning death of his elder brother, the royal authority fell to the youthful Antiochos III and his guardian, Achaios.

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.546)


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