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HOME : Greek Coins : Archive : Bactrian Silver Tetradrachm of King Agathokles
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Bactrian Silver Tetradrachm of King Agathokles - C.2028
Origin: Afghanistan
Circa: 185 BC to 170 BC

Collection: Numismatics
Style: Bactrian
Medium: Silver

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: United States
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Obverse: Head of the King Crowned with a Diadem

Reverse: Nude Zeus Advancing Left Holding Aegis and Thunderbolt

In the history of the ancient world, Bactria is somewhat of an anamoly, a Greek kingdom in what is now Afghanistan. That Greek civilization penetrated so far into Central Asia is quite astounding in tiself. When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire he acquired the all its outlying provinces including Bactria. Greek forces then established control in Bactria and maintained it after the collapse of the empire of Alexander. Bactria was at first part of the eastern section of Alexander's empire, which was ruled by the Seleucids. There was extensive immigration of Greeks and the creation of Greek cities. These cities were built on the Greek model and included such pillars of Greek culture as gymnasiums and amphitheatres. Later Bactria asserted its independence and expanded its holdings to the upper reaches of the Indus River Valley. The Greek State in Bactria lasted for another two centuries, until it was finally overwhelmed by the nomadic tribesmen of the area.

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 contemporary currencies or artifacts of long forgotten empires. This stunning hand-struck coin reveals an expertise of craftsmanship and intricate sculptural detail that is often lacking in contemporary machine-made currencies. This coin is a memorial an ancient king and his empire passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation that still appears as vibrant today as the day it was struck.
- (C.2028)


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