Macedonian Silver Tetradrachm of Alexander the Great

SKU C.3263

320 BC to 315 BC


0.9375″ (2.4cm) high




Minted in Macedonia (Amphipolis)

Gallery Location



Obverse: head of Herakles wearing skin of Nemean lion in right profile; pellet border, surrounding
Reverse: ???????G??, right; Zeus enthroned left, half-draped, holding eagle and sceptre, centre; ram head, in left field; ?, between legs of throne.

Alexander the Great, son of Philip II of Macedon, is arguably the most important historical figure in the ancient world. By the time of his death at the age of 32, he had personally supervised one of the largest land-based military expeditions of all time, and had conquered the whole of the then known world from Asia Minor across the whole of Persia, Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Judea, Gaza, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Bactria, parts of India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The need for silver coinage that could be widely used in Greece prompted him to begin a new coinage based on the Athenian weight-standard. His new silver coins showed the head of Herakles – from whom Alexander was supposedly descended – wearing the skin of the Nemean lion on the obverse and a seated Zeus on the reverse. This mint would become one of the most staple coinages of the Greek world and widely imitated by his successors within the empire he had forged. – (C.3263)

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