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HOME : Greek Coins : Seleucid Coins : Silver Tetradrachm of King Seleukos I
Silver Tetradrachm of King Seleukos I - C.550
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 312 BC to 280 BC

Collection: Numismatics
Medium: Silver

Additional Information: Found in Haifa, Israel
Location: United States
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Obverse: Head of Hercules Wearing the Skin of the Nimean Lion

Reverse: Zeus Seated Holding an Eagles and Scepter with Greek Inscription, “of King Seleukos”

Seleukos I was one of the generals of Alexander the Great and assumed control of Babylon after Alexander's death. By degrees he became ruler of Alexander's eastern dominions defeating his rivals Demetrios and Lysimachos. At its peak under Seleukos I and Antiochus I, the Seleukid Kingdom comprised almost the whole of the conquests of Alexander with the exception of Egypt. In 305/04 B.C. he assumed the title of basileus or king. Like the other successors of Alexander, Seleukos I initially issued coins with the types used in Alexander's coinage in order to bolster his legitimacy as a ruler through association.

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 one of Alexander the Great’s most successful generals and the kingdom he established passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation.
- (C.550)


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