Seleucid Silver Tetradrachm of King Demetrios I

SKU LC.172
Circa

162 BC to 150 BC

Medium

Silver

Origin

Syria

Gallery Location

UAE


 

Obverse: Diademed head of Demetrios facing right.

Reverse: Tyche seated facing left on a throne supported by a winged creature, holding baton and cornucopiae. Inscription: BAΣIΛEΩ[Σ] (on right) and ΔΗMHTRIOY, ΣΩTHPOΣ (on left).

The Seleucid Kingdom was established by Seleucus I, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, following the death of Alexander and the division of his empire. At its peak under Seleucus I and Antiochus I, the Seleucid Kingdom comprised almost the whole of the conquests of Alexander with the exception of Egypt. Antiochus II, also known as Antiochus Theos, was the son and successor of Antiochus I. He spent much of his reign at was with the Ptolemaic Kingdom, until his marriage to Ptolemy’s daughter Berenice sealed the peace. Most of the Syrian possessions his father had lost were restored to Antiochus; however, both Parthia and Baktria asserted their independence during this period. Upon his death, Antiochus’ son by an earlier marriage, Seleucus II, and his wife Berenice on behalf of her infant son struggled for the throne, igniting another long war with the Ptolemaic Egypt.

How many hands have touched a coin in your pocket or your purse? What eras and lands have the coin traversed on its journey into our possession? As we reach into our pockets to pull out some change, we rarely hesitate to think of who touched the coin before us, or where the coin will venture to after us. More than money, coins are a symbol of the state that struck them, of a specific time and place, whether currency in the age we live or an artifact of a long forgotten empire. This ancient coin is more than an artifact; it is a memorial to a lost kingdom passed from the hands of civilization to civilization, from generation to generation. – (LC.172)

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