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Other Examples
ID:     720258
Type:     Greek
Issuer:     Alexander III
Date Ruled:     336-323 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Tetradrachm
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     332-326 BC
Weight:     17.19 g
Die Axis:     2 h
Obverse Description:     Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin headdress
Reverse Legend:     ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ
Reverse Description:     Zeus seated left on backless throne, holding eagle in right hand and scepter in left, legs parallel; prow left in left field
Mint:     Amphipolis
Primary Reference:     Price 0004
Reference2:     Muller 0503
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     EF
Notes:     Lifetime issue under Antipater, circa 332-326 BC. In conquering the Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III encountered the difficulty of financing his new state. The collection of taxes and tribute, the payment of Macedonian soldiers and mercenaries, and the continued daily local transactions, all of which had formerly occurred under a complex system of exchange, now occurred within a more standardized system of coinage. Apart from those very few local issues which Alexander himself or his governors continued to strike, this new, so-called “imperial”, coinage consisted of issues in gold, silver, and bronze. Each particular issue featured its own iconography that emphasized the Hellenic nature and mytho-historic importance of the new regime. The vast majority Alexanders new coinage was struck in silver, namely the tetradrachm and its fractions. Based on the Attic standard, which had been the economic lingua franca of much of the Greek world, these denominations show the head of a young Herakles, the ancestor and patron of the Macedonian royal house, on the obverse, and Zeus AËtophoros, the king of the Greek pantheon, on the reverse. This Alexandrine type, which was originated by Alexander but continued to be struck long after his death by many of his successors, soon became the accepted international currency during the Hellenistic Period. Unlike earlier Greek coinage, these issues were struck at various far-flung mints within the new empire, and the great number of issues is clear evidence of the sizable output of the coinage as a whole, as well as its economic importance.For a more detailed study of the Alexander coinage, see M. J. Price, The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus.