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Coin Detail
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ID:     789924
Type:     Greek
Issuer:     Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Date Ruled:     175-164 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Tetradrachm
Date Struck:     BC 175-164
Diameter:     31 mm
Weight:     16.81 g
Die Axis:     1 h
Obverse Description:     Diademed head right
Reverse Description:     Zeus Nikephoros seated left; monogram to outer left
Mint:     Antioch
Primary Reference:     cf. SNG Spaer 1004
Reference2:     Le Rider, Antioche 449-457 (A37/P274)
Reference3:     Houghton 104
Reference4:     SNG Newham Davis 393 (same dies)
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Notes:     Antiochos IV Epiphanes, third and youngest son of Antiochos the Great, was born about 215 BC. Following the battle of Magnesia in 189, the young prince was sent as a hostage to Rome and was thus unable to play an active role in Seleukid politics throughout the reign of his elder brother, Seleukos IV. In 175 Seleukos was murdered by his minister Heliodoros, who attempted to install on the Syrian throne Antiochos, the 5-year-old younger son of the late king. An elder son, Demetrios, had only recently been sent to Rome as a hostage in place of his uncle Antiochos who was on his way back to Syria at the time of his brother's murder. Antiochos now saw his opportunity to seize power in Syria, and he hastened to Antioch where he overthrew Heliodoros and ascended the throne of his ancestors. The new king soon showed that he was no traditionalist, replacing the time-honored reverse type of seated Apollo on the Seleukid coinage with an enthroned figure of Zeus Nikephoros, and adopting the grandiose and provocative title “God Manifest”. Rome was forced to intervene when he led a series of invasions of Egypt between 170 and 168 BC, and Antiochos was obliged to withdraw, though he claimed a great victory. The following year he had to face a serious Jewish revolt led by Judas Maccabaeus, the result of a tactless policy of hellenization. This issue was still unresolved at the time of his sudden death while on campaign in Persis during the winter of 165/4 BC.