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“For Jupiter … had made sacrifice in heaven, as a sign of victory he saw close at hand the auspicious flight of an eagle. For so happy an omen, especially since victory did ensue, he made a golden eagle for his war standards and consecrated it to the might of his protection…”

Fulgentius (5th-6th century AD), Mythologies I
Alexander Balas silver tetradrachm
£2,350
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“For Jupiter … had made sacrifice in heaven, as a sign of victory he saw close at hand the auspicious flight of an eagle. For so happy an omen, especially since victory did ensue, he made a golden eagle for his war standards and consecrated it to the might of his protection…”

Fulgentius (5th-6th century AD), Mythologies I
Alexander Balas silver tetradrachm
£2,350
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Alexander Balas silver tetradrachm

Circa 147-146 BC

Struck at the Sidon mint under the Seleucid king Alexander Balas, this coin has a crisp surface and is particularly well struck for this issue. The obverse with the diademed head of Alexander Balas. The reverse with the symbol of Zeus, the eagle, standing tall with folded wings, a palm branch by its side and a ship’s stern behind. The inscription reads:

ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ

"Of King Alexander”.

ΣΙΔΩ

“Sidon".

CΞΡ in the left field, indicating the date of issue, year 166 of the Seleucid era.

Alexander Balas acceded to the Seleucid throne by claiming to be the son of King Antiochus IV Epiphanes and slaying his “cousin” Demetrius I Soter. He was a decadent ruler and his reign was marked by great turmoil, heralding the collapse of what had once been the largest and most diverse Hellenistic kingdom.

Weight: 14.05 g

Diameter: 27.25 mm

Provenance:

Purchased privately from Münzen und Medaillen, Basel, 9 February 1983. With old Münzen und Medaillen ticket.

£2,350

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