Dec 8, 2009
Dec 8, 2009

Tetradrachm: Head of Alexander III [The Great] (obverse); Athena (reverse)

Tetradrachm: Head of Alexander III [The Great] (obverse); Athena (reverse)

306 BC

Part of a set. See all set records


Overall: 2.9 cm (1 1/8 in.)

Weight: 15.422 g (0.54 oz.)

Die axis: 11

Gift of J. H. Wade 1916.994


Did you know?

The image of Alexander the Great in an elephant headdress references his Eastern conquests.


Much like his former commander Alexander III (the Great) showed connections to Herakles and Zeus, Ptolemy I Soter (the Savior) used coins to validate his succession to power. Thus, in place of Herakles with lion-skin, this coin shows Alexander in an elephant headdress, referring to their shared Eastern triumphs. On the reverse is Athena Promachos, striding forward with shield and spear. Before her are a helmet and an eagle, and behind her the inscription ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, “of Alexander.”

See also
GR - Greek
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Gift of J. H. Wade

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