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Sizing Range: 8-14
Description: Head of Alexander the Great, Horse on Reverse, Bronze AE Coin
History: The reign of Phillip II, father of Alexander the Great, marked a major turning point in the history of the Greek world. His plan was to make himself master of Greece and then undertake the conquest of the traditional enemy of the Greeks, the Persian Empire. The first part of his ambition was achieved, but the assassins hand struck down the king before he was able to begin his attack on Acheamenid territory. In order to finance his military operations Philip instituted a large scale coinage of gold and silver denominations. His tetradrachm were struck on the Thraco-Macedonia standard of about 14.4 grams, while his son and successor Alexander the Great adopted the Attic standard of about 17.2 grams. The types doubtless refer to Phillip’s equestrian victory at the Olympian Games of 356 BCE. The head is that of the Olympian Zeus, while the boy-jockey symbolizes the king’s success in the racehorse event. Coinage in Phillip’s name continued long after his death and served the needs of the northern territories of the Macedonian kingdom. This late variant, from the Amphilopolis mint, probably belongs to the years following the death of Alexander when the vast realm was nominally ruled by the great conqueror’s half brother Phillip III Arrhidaeus, son of Phillip II and Philinna.