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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.

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Baktrian Kingdom – 170 BC

Eukratides I

From Ancient Galleries

Baktrian Kingdom – 170 BC

Obverse: Conjugate draped busts of Heliokles and Laodike with monogram behind.
Reverse: Diademed, draped and helmeted bust of Eukratides I facing right.

Obv: HΛIOKΛEOYΣ above, KAI ΛAOΔIKHΣ below, Heliokles and Laodike conjugate draped busts facing right; monogram to left; within bead-reel border. Rev: BAΣIΛEYΣ MEΓAS above, EYKPATIΔHΣ below, Eukratides I diademed and draped bust facing right, wearing crested helmet adorned with bull’s horn and ear; within bead-reel border.

The ancient Greco-Baktrian Empire established independence from the Seleucids in 255 BC. The Empire controlled vast territories that extended east from the Caspian Sea, through fertile valleys along the Oxus River to the Indus River. Greek culture, language and influence in the region began with the invasions by Alexander III and his fellow Macedonian’s. Eukratides I began his rule over Baktria by overthrowing the dynasty of Euthydemus I in 170 BC. This extraordinary tetradrachm was influenced by the realistic portraiture of Hellenistic Greece and is known as Eukratides dynastic pedigree commemorative. The coin memorializes his family origins with jugate busts of his elderly parents, along with a mid-twenties portrait of Eukratides I (A.S.Hollis1996). The superbly engraved obverse portraits depict his “citizen” father Heliokles in the foreground, seen bare-headed and draped. The genitive Greek legend HLIOKLEOUS above names his father. His mother Laodike, daughter of Antiochus III, is depicted beyond wearing a diadem to indicate her royal and noble heritage. The genitive Greek legend KAI LAODIKHS below names his mother. The monogram in the left field is a symbolic sign of the minting city Antiochia Magiana. The coins reverse depicts the warrior style portrait of Eukratides facing right and draped. He wears the king’s diadem under a crested bronze helmeted adorned with a bull’s ear and horn. The nominative reverse legend BASILEUS MEGAS above and EUKRATIDHS below translate as, “King Eucratides the Great” in Greek. Eucratides likely imagined the hereditary propaganda of this unusual commemorative would enable him to strengthen his authority and bring legitimacy to the prevailing dynastic rule of Baktria.

Value: Tetradrachm Metal: AR Silver. Weight: 16.88 grams. Mint: Antiochia Magiana. Date: 170 BC
Attribution: Bopearachchi 15A; MACW 1725; SNG ANS 526-527; MIG Type 182a; CNG 53, 870.

Legend, Documentation and Attribution