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Ancient Nomos Art is a museum of galleries exhibiting ancient coins and ancient mint maps. The coin gallery displays the diverse art and history of hand-crafted ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Medieval coinage. The ancient mints mapping gallery features Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Asia Minor and Medieval mint city regions and territories. Visitor's are welcome to explore, study and enjoy Ancient Nomos Art.

 

Greek, Amphipolis – 288 BC

Lysimachus

From Ancient Galleries

Obverse: Deified Alexander III facing right, wearing diadem and horn of Ammon.
Reverse: Athena Nikephoros seated left, arm on shield holding Nike in right hand.

LEGEND SYMBOLS
Obv: Deified head of Alexander the Great facing right, wearing diadem and horn of Ammon. Rev: Athena Nikephoros seated left holding wreath bearing Nike on outstretched right arm, holding spear in left hand while resting left arm on shield emblazoned with lion’s head; Caduceus with handle in field to left; ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ to right, ΛΥΣΙΜΑΧΟΥ to left; monogram in field to right.

Lysimachus of Thrace was one of Alexander the Great’s most trusted military generals. He was initially appointed by Alexander to oversee Thrace in the name of his infant son and brother. When they were both murdered, Cassander is said to have claimed kingship of Macedon. Lysimachus followed his example and claimed kinship in Thrace. Lysimachus, Ptolemy I, and Seleucus I then joined forces and won territorial gains after the battle of Ipsus in Phrygia, 301 BC, by defeating Antigonus, the “One-Eyed” and his son, Demetrius Poliorcetes. According to Plutarch, this team of surviving successors to Alexander divided Antigonus’ vast kingdom, each claiming his own dominion. Lysimachus, by virtue of his strong position, ruthless tactics and cleverness as ruler in Thrace, won most of Asia Minor. Lysimachus quickly established important mints across his lands and upon gaining power, was striking one the most beautiful of all Hellenistic coins. Unlike Ptolemy I and Seleucus I, Lysimachus chose not to put his own portrait on his coinage, but instead engraved a powerful deified image of Alexander the Great. This remarkably artistic portrait, with the distinctive upward gaze of Alexander III as he communes with the gods, depicts Alexander wearing the ram’s horn of the Greco-Egyptian god Ammon. The reverse image of Athena enthroned reverberated through the centuries in a series of similar coin designs, culminating in the image of Britannia found on modern British coins. Late in life, Lysimachus chanced one more bid for unchallenged rule of all of Alexander’s empire, and lost. In 281 BC, at the age of 81, he fell in battle against his onetime ally Seleucus I.

DOCUMENTATION
Value: Tetradrachm. Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 17.43 grams. Mint: Amphipolis. Date: 288-281 BC.
Attribution: ANS Museum Notes 31 (1986), Plates 23-24; Thompson 193; SNG Volume VIII, 351; Muller 106; NFA Zurich 1993, 345.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution

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