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Coin Detail
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ID:     77000131
Type:     Greek
Issuer:     Philip V
Date Ruled:     221-179 BC
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Tetradrachm
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC 220-211
Weight:     17.04 g
Die Axis:     11 h
Obverse Description:     Diademed head right
Reverse Legend:     ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ
Reverse Description:     Athena Alkidemos advancing left, preparing to cast thunderbolt held in her right hand; monograms to inner left and right
Mint:     Pella or Amphipolis
Primary Reference:     Mamroth, Philip 1, pl. 5, 1 (same obv. die)
Reference2:     SNG Alpha Bank 1049
Reference3:     SNG MÜnchen 1124
Reference4:     SNG Saroglos 934 (same obv. die); McClean 3628 (same obv. die)
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     EF
Notes:     Rare first issue of Philip. From the Semon Lipcer Collection.Philip V was the son of the Macedonian king Demetrios II Aitolikos. He was only nine at the time of his father's death in 239 BC, so the kingdom passed to his cousin, Antigonos III Doson, who ruled until 221 BC. The entirety of Philip’s reign was devoted to maintaining the supremacy of Macedon in Greece, which inevitably brought the kingdom into conflict with Rome, whose power in Greece was ascendant. Two major wars ensued, the First and Second Macedonian Wars, the latter culminating in the overwhelming defeat of the Macedonians at the Battle of Cynocephalae in 197 BC. Although Philip retained his kingdom, the influence of Macedon was considerably decreased, and Greece passed into the sphere of Rome.This tetradrachm is from Philip’s first series of silver coinage, and features the first Macedonian royal portrait since the issues of his great-grandfather Demetrios I Poliorketes in the 290s BC. While the style of portraiture in Macedonian coinage was traditionally sub-par in comparison with those of Asia Minor, these portraits of Philip are among the most beautiful Hellenistic portraits, obviously engraved by master celators. The reverse features Athena Alkidemos, which was the traditional reverse type used on the tetradrachms of his grandfather, Antigonos II Gonatas. This first series of tetradrachms was struck on the Attic standard, and was replaced by a new coinage in 211 BC, with completely novel types, struck on the Macedonian standard. Although this first series is dated to a period of nine years, it most likely was a very short issue (only three obverse dies are known) struck during the Social War (220-217 BC) (see EHC, p. 135).