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Coin Detail
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ID:     720952
Type:     Greek
Issuer:     Tryphon
Date Ruled:     Circa 142-138 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Tetradrachm
Date Struck:     VF, attractively toned, double on reverse
Weight:     16.23 g
Die Axis:     12 h
Obverse Description:     Diademed head right
Reverse Description:     Macedonian cavalry helmet within oak wreath
Primary Reference:     SNG Spaer 1822
Reference2:     SMA 263
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     VF, attractively toned, double struck on reverse
Notes:     Sale: CNG 72, Lot: 952 Rare. A military commander and leading supporter of the usurper Alexander I Balas, Diodotos placed Antiochos VI on the Seleukid throne following Balas' death. Two years later, upon the death of the young king, Diodotos took the throne himself, supposedly upon the acclamation of his troops. Unlike previous usurpers, Diodotos did not fabricate his lineage into the Seleukid house, but maintained that the Seleukid line had ended, and his was the beginning of a new era. He broke tradition by assuming the title autocrat rather than king, and took the name Tryphon ('the magnificent'). His reign proved very unpopular, and a new Seleukid claimant, Antiochos VII Sidetes, rose against him. Within three years Tryphon was defeated and killed. The portraits on his coinage, with tousled hair and affected countenance, are often viewed as among the most flamboyant and pretentious of all Seleukid (and Hellenistic) portraits. Such a depiction is fitting given the tenor of his reign, and his choice of names, the root of which (truf-) meant 'extravagant' and 'effeminate.'