Alexander III the Great 336BC Ancient Greek Coin Hercules Bow Club i37065

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller highrating_lowprice (20,658) 100%, Location: Rego Park, New York, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 350983884540 Item: i37065 Authentic Ancient Coin of: Alexander III the Great - King of Macedonia 336-323 B.C. Bronze 18mm (2.29 grams) Struck under Alexander the Great 336-323 B.C. Reference: Sear 6739 var. Head of Alexander III the Great as Hercules right, wearing the lion-skin headdress. Hercules' weapons, bow in bow-case and club, ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ in between. You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity. The bow and arrow is a projectile weapon system (a bow with arrows ) that predates recorded history and is common to most cultures . Archery is the art, practice, or skill of applying it. Description A bow is a flexible arc which shoots aerodynamic projectiles called arrows . A string joins the two ends of the bow and when the string is drawn back, the ends of the bow are flexed. When the string is released, the potential energy of the flexed stick is transformed into the velocity of the arrow. Archery is the art or sport of shooting arrows from bows. Today, bows and arrows are used primarily for hunting and for the sport of archery . Though they are still occasionally used as weapons of war , the development of gunpowder and muskets , and the growing size of armies, led to their replacement in warfare several centuries ago in much of the world. Someone who makes bows is known as a bowyer , and one who makes arrows is a fletcher —or in the case of the manufacture of metal arrow heads, an arrow smith. History Scythians shooting with bows, Panticapeum (known today as Kertch , Ukraine ), 4th century BCE. The bow and arrow is among the oldest composite projectile weapons invented; only spear throwers and darts may predate it, having been in use since 30,000 BCE, with the oldest example from 17,500 BCE. However, despite its ancient provenance, a number of cultures in historical times lacked the bow and arrow, and in others oral history records a time before its acquisition. The earliest potential arrow heads date from about 64,000 years ago in the South African Sibudu Cave , though their identification as arrowheads (as opposed to spear or dart heads) is uncertain. The first actual bow fragments are the Stellmoor bows from northern Germany. They were dated to about 8,000 BCE but were destroyed in Hamburg during the Second World War, before carbon 14 dating was available; their age is attributed by archaeological association. The oldest bows in one piece are the elm Holmegaard bows from Denmark which were dated to 9,000 BCE. High performance wooden bows are currently made following the Holmegaard design. The bow and arrow are still used in tribal warfare in Africa to this day. An example was documented in 2009 in Kenya when the Kisii-tribe and Kalenjin-tribe clashed resulting in four deaths. Construction Polychrome small-scale model of the archer XI of the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaea , ca. 505–500 BCE. Parts of the bow The basic elements of a bow are a pair of curved elastic limbs , traditionally made from wood, joined by a riser. Both ends of the limbs are connected by a string known as the bow string . By pulling the string backwards the archer exerts compressive force on the string-facing section, or belly , of the limbs as well as placing the outer section, or back , under tension . While the string is held, this stores the energy later released in putting the arrow to flight.[citation needed] The force required to hold the string stationary at full draw is often used to express the power of a bow, and is known as its draw weight, or weight. Other things being equal, a higher draw weight means a more powerful bow, which is able to project arrows heavier, faster, or a greater distance. The various parts of the bow can be subdivided into further sections. The topmost limb is known as the upper limb, while the bottom limb is the lower limb. At the tip of each limb is a nock, which is used to attach the bowstring to the limbs. The riser is usually divided into the grip, which is held by the archer, as well as the arrow rest and the bow window. The arrow rest is a small ledge or extension above the grip which the arrow rests upon while being aimed. The bow window is that part of the riser above the grip, which contains the arrow rest. In bows drawn and held by hand, the maximum draw weight is determined by the strength of the archer. The maximum distance the string could be displaced and thus the longest arrow that could be loosed from it, a bow’s draw length, is determined by the size of the archer. A composite bow uses a combination of materials to create the limbs, allowing the use of materials specialized for the different functions of a bow limb. The classic composite bow uses wood for lightness and dimensional stability in the core, horn to store energy in compression, and sinew for its ability to store energy in tension. Such bows, typically Asian, would often use a stiff end on the limb end, having the effect of a recurve.[16] In this type of bow, this is known by the Arabic name 'siyah'. Modern construction materials for bows include laminated wood, fiberglass , metals , and carbon fiber components. Arrows An arrow usually consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the other. Modern arrows are usually made from carbon fibre, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood shafts. Carbon shafts have the advantage that they do not bend or warp, but they can often be too light weight to shoot from some bows and are expensive. Aluminum shafts are less expensive than carbon shafts, but they can bend and warp from use. Wood shafts are the least expensive option but often will not be identical in weight and size to each other and break more often than the other types of shafts. Arrow sizes vary greatly across cultures and range from very short ones that require the use of special equipment to be shot to ones in use in the Amazon River jungles that are 8.5 feet (2.6 metres) long. Most modern arrows are 22 inches (56 cm) to 30 inches (76 cm) in length. Arrows come in many types, among which are breasted, bob-tailed, barrelled, clout, and target. A breasted arrow is thickest at the area right behind the fletchings, and tapers towards the nock and head. A bob-tailed arrow is thickest right behind the head, and tapers to the nock. A barrelled arrow is thickest in the centre of the arrow. Target arrows are those arrows used for target shooting rather than warfare or hunting, and usually have simple arrowheads. Arrowheads The end of the arrow that is designed to hit the target is called the arrowhead. Usually, these are separate items that are attached to the arrow shaft by either tangs or sockets. Materials used in the past for arrowheads include flint, bone, horn, or metal. Most modern arrowheads are made of steel, but wood and other traditional materials are still used occasionally. A number of different types of arrowheads are known, with the most common being bodkins , broadheads, and piles. Bodkin heads are simple spikes made of metal of various shapes, designed to pierce armour. A broadhead arrowhead is usually triangular or leaf-shaped and has a sharpened edge or edges. Broadheads are commonly used for hunting. A pile arrowhead is a simple metal cone, either sharpened to a point or somewhat blunt, that is used mainly for target shooting. A pile head is the same diameter as the arrow shaft and is usually just fitted over the tip of the arrow. Other heads are known, including the blunt head, which is flat at the end and is used for hunting small game or birds, and is designed to not pierce the target nor embed itself in trees or other objects and make recovery difficult. Another type of arrowhead is a barbed head, usually used in warfare or hunting. Bowstrings Bowstrings may have a nocking point marked on them, which serves to mark where the arrow is fitted to the bowstring before firing. The area around the nocking point is usually bound with thread to protect the area around the nocking point from wear by the archer's hands. This section is called the serving. At one end of the bowstring a loop is formed, which is permanent. The other end of the bowstring also has a loop, but this is not permanently formed into the bowstring but is constructed by tying a knot into the string to form a loop. Traditionally this knot is known as the archer's knot, but is a form of the timber hitch . The knot can be adjusted to lengthen or shorten the bowstring. The adjustable loop is known as the "tail". Bowstrings have been constructed of many materials throughout history, including fibres such as flax, silk , and hemp. Other materials used were animal guts , animal sinews , and rawhide . Modern fibres such as Dacron or Kevlar are now used in bowstring construction, as well as steel wires in some compound bows. Compound bows have a mechanical system of pulley cams over which the bowstring is wound. Types of bows There is no one accepted system of classification of bows. Some systems classify bows as either longbows or composite bows. In this system, a longbow is any bow that is made from one material. Composite bows are made from two or more layers of different materials. Other classifications divide bows into three types — simple, backed, and composite. In this scheme, simple bows are made of one material, backed bows are made of two layers, which could be similar or different materials. Composite bows are made of three different layers, usually different materials, but occasionally two of the layers are made from the same material. Common types of bow include Recurve bow : a bow with the tips curving away from the archer. The curves straighten out as the bow is drawn and the return of the tip to its curved state after release of the arrow adds extra velocity to the arrow. Reflex bow : a bow that curves completely away from the archer when unstrung. The curves are opposite to the direction in which the bow flexes while drawn.Self bow : a bow made from one piece of wood.Longbow : a self bow that is usually quite long, often over 5 feet (1.5 metres) long. The traditional English longbow was usually made of yew wood, but other woods are used also. Composite bow : a bow made of more than one material Compound : a bow with mechanical aids to help with drawing the bowstring. Usually, these aids are pulleys at the tips of the limbs. Crossbow In a crossbow , the limbs of the bow, called a prod, are attached at right angles to a crosspiece or stock in order to allow for mechanical pulling and holding of the string. The mechanism that holds the drawn string has a release or trigger that allows the string to be released. A crossbow shoots a "bolt" rather than an arrow. Hercules is the Roman name for the Greek divine hero Heracles , who was the son of Zeus (Roman equivalent Jupiter ) and the mortal Alcmene . In classical mythology , Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures. The Romans adapted the Greek hero's iconography and myths for their literature and art under the name Hercules. In later Western art and literature and in popular culture , Hercules is more commonly used than Heracles as the name of the hero. Hercules was a multifaceted figure with contradictory characteristics, which enabled later artists and writers to pick and choose how to represent him. This article provides an introduction to representations of Hercules in the later tradition . Labours Hercules is known for his many adventures, which took him to the far reaches of the Greco-Roman world . One cycle of these adventures became canonical as the "Twelve Labours," but the list has variations. One traditional order of the labours is found in the Bibliotheca as follows: Slay the Nemean Lion .Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra .Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis .Capture the Erymanthian Boar .Clean the Augean stables in a single day.Slay the Stymphalian Birds .Capture the Cretan Bull .Steal the Mares of Diomedes .Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta , Queen of the Amazons .Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon .Steal the apples of the Hesperides .Capture and bring back Cerberus . The Latin name Hercules was borrowed through Etruscan , where it is represented variously as Heracle , Hercle, and other forms. Hercules was a favorite subject for Etruscan art , and appears often on bronze mirrors . The Etruscan form Herceler derives from the Greek Heracles via syncope . A mild oath invoking Hercules (Hercule! or Mehercle!) was a common interjection in Classical Latin . Baby Hercules strangling a snake sent to kill him in his cradle (Roman marble, 2nd century CE) Hercules had a number of myths that were distinctly Roman. One of these is Hercules' defeat of Cacus , who was terrorizing the countryside of Rome. The hero was associated with the Aventine Hill through his son Aventinus . Mark Antony considered him a personal patron god, as did the emperor Commodus . Hercules received various forms of religious veneration , including as a deity concerned with children and childbirth , in part because of myths about his precocious infancy, and in part because he fathered countless children. Roman brides wore a special belt tied with the "knot of Hercules", which was supposed to be hard to untie.[4] The comic playwright Plautus presents the myth of Hercules' conception as a sex comedy in his play Amphitryon ; Seneca wrote the tragedy Hercules Furens about his bout with madness. During the Roman Imperial era , Hercules was worshipped locally from Hispania through Gaul . Medieval mythography After the Roman Empire became Christianized , mythological narratives were often reinterpreted as allegory , influenced by the philosophy of late antiquity . In the 4th century, Servius had described Hercules' return from the underworld as representing his ability to overcome earthly desires and vices, or the earth itself as a consumer of bodies. In medieval mythography, Hercules was one of the heroes seen as a strong role model who demonstrated both valor and wisdom, with the monsters he battles as moral obstacles. One glossator noted that when Hercules became a constellation , he showed that strength was necessary to gain entrance to Heaven. Medieval mythography was written almost entirely in Latin, and original Greek texts were little used as sources for Hercules' myths. Renaissance mythography The Renaissance and the invention of the printing press brought a renewed interest in and publication of Greek literature. Renaissance mythography drew more extensively on the Greek tradition of Heracles, typically under the Romanized name Hercules, or the alternate name Alcides . In a chapter of his book Mythologiae (1567), the influential mythographer Natale Conti collected and summarized an extensive range of myths concerning the birth, adventures, and death of the hero under his Roman name Hercules. Conti begins his lengthy chapter on Hercules with an overview description that continues the moralizing impulse of the Middle Ages: Hercules, who subdued and destroyed monsters, bandits, and criminals, was justly famous and renowned for his great courage. His great and glorious reputation was worldwide, and so firmly entrenched that he'll always be remembered. In fact the ancients honored him with his own temples, altars, ceremonies, and priests. But it was his wisdom and great soul that earned those honors; noble blood, physical strength, and political power just aren't good enough. Alexander III of Macedon (20/21 July 356 – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great from the Greek alexo "to defend, help" + aner "man"), was a king of Macedon , a state in northern ancient Greece . Born in Pella in 356 BC, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16. By the age of thirty, he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world , stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Himalayas .He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful commanders. Alexander succeeded his father, Philip II of Macedon , to the throne in 336 BC after Philip was assassinated. Upon Philip's death, Alexander inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's military expansion plans. In 334 BC, he invaded Persian -ruled Asia Minor and began a series of campaigns that lasted ten years. Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela . He subsequently overthrew the Persian King Darius III and conquered the entirety of the Persian Empire . At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River . Seeking to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea", he invaded India in 326 BC, but was eventually forced to turn back at the demand of his troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia . In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in several states ruled by the Diadochi , Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion his conquests engendered. He founded some twenty cities that bore his name , most notably Alexandria in Egypt. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization , aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century. Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles , and he features prominently in the history and myth of Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, and military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics. Early life Lineage and childhood Alexander was born on the 6th day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion , in Pella , the capital of the Ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedon .He was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II , and his fourth wife, Olympias , the daughter of Neoptolemus I , king of Epirus . Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his principal wife for some time, likely a result of giving birth to Alexander. Philip II of Macedon , Alexander's father. On the day that Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice . That same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, and that his horses had won at the Olympic Games . It was also said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus , one of the Seven Wonders of the World , burnt down. This led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, attending the birth of Alexander. Bust of a young Alexander the Great from the Hellenistic era, British Museum In his early years, Alexander was raised by a nurse, Lanike , sister of Alexander's future general Cleitus the Black . Later in his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas , a relative of his mother, and by Philip's general Lysimachus . Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride, fight, and hunt. When Alexander was ten years old, a trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents . The horse refused to be mounted and Philip ordered it away. Alexander however, detecting the horse's fear of its own shadow, asked to tame the horse, which he eventually managed. Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed his son tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", and bought the horse for him.Alexander named it Bucephalas , meaning "ox-head". Bucephalas carried Alexander as far as Pakistan . When the animal died at age thirty, Alexander named a city after him, Bucephala . When Alexander was 13, Philip began to search for a tutor , chose Aristotle and provided the Temple of the Nymphs at Mieza as a classroom. In return for teaching Alexander, Philip agreed to rebuild Aristotle's hometown of Stageira , which Philip had razed, and to repopulate it by buying and freeing the ex-citizens who were slaves, or pardoning those who were in exile. Mieza was like a boarding school for Alexander and the children of Macedonian nobles, such as Ptolemy , Hephaistion , and Cassander . Many of these students would become his friends and future generals, and are often known as the 'Companions'. Aristotle taught Alexander and his companions about medicine, philosophy, morals, religion, logic, and art. Under Aristotle's tutelage, Alexander developed a passion for the works of Homer , and in particular the Iliad ; Aristotle gave him an annotated copy, which Alexander later carried on his campaigns. At age 16, Alexander's education under Aristotle ended. Philip waged war against Byzantion , leaving Alexander in charge as regent and heir apparent . During Philip's absence, the Thracian Maedi revolted against Macedonia. Alexander responded quickly, driving them from their territory. He colonized it with Greeks, and founded a city named Alexandropolis . Upon Philip's return, he dispatched Alexander with a small force to subdue revolts in southern Thrace . Campaigning against the Greek city of Perinthus , Alexander is reported to have saved his father's life. Meanwhile, the city of Amphissa began to work lands that were sacred to Apollo near Delphi , a sacrilege that gave Philip the opportunity to further intervene in Greek affairs. Still occupied in Thrace, he ordered Alexander to muster an army for a campaign in Greece. Concerned that other Greek states might intervene, Alexander made it look as though he was preparing to attack Illyria instead. During this turmoil, the Illyrians invaded Macedonia, only to be repelled by Alexander. Philip and his army joined his son in 338 BC, and they marched south through Thermopylae , taking it after stubborn resistance from its Theban garrison. They went on to occupy the city of Elatea , only a few days' march from both Athens and Thebes. The Athenians, led by Demosthenes , voted to seek alliance with Thebes against Macedonia. Both Athens and Philip sent embassies to win Thebes' favor, but Athens won the contest.Philip marched on Amphissa (ostensibly acting on the request of the Amphictyonic League ), capturing the mercenaries sent there by Demosthenes and accepting the city's surrender. Philip then returned to Elatea, sending a final offer of peace to Athens and Thebes, who both rejected it. As Philip marched south, his opponents blocked him near Chaeronea , Boeotia . During the ensuing Battle of Chaeronea , Philip commanded the right wing and Alexander the left, accompanied by a group of Philip's trusted generals. According to the ancient sources, the two sides fought bitterly for some time. Philip deliberately commanded his troops to retreat, counting on the untested Athenian hoplites to follow, thus breaking their line. Alexander was the first to break the Theban lines, followed by Philip's generals. Having damaged the enemy's cohesion, Philip ordered his troops to press forward and quickly routed them. With the Athenians lost, the Thebans were surrounded. Left to fight alone, they were defeated. After the victory at Chaeronea, Philip and Alexander marched unopposed into the Peloponnese, welcomed by all cities; however, when they reached Sparta , they were refused, but did not resort to war.At Corinth , Philip established a "Hellenic Alliance" (modeled on the old anti-Persian alliance of the Greco-Persian Wars ), which included most Greek city-states except Sparta. Philip was then named Hegemon (often translated as "Supreme Commander") of this league (known by modern scholars as the League of Corinth ), and announced his plans to attack the Persian Empire . When Philip returned to Pella, he fell in love with and married Cleopatra Eurydice , the niece of his general Attalus . The marriage made Alexander's position as heir less secure, since any son of Cleopatra Eurydice would be a fully Macedonian heir, while Alexander was only half-Macedonian. Alexander fled Macedon with his mother, dropping her off with her brother, King Alexander I of Epirus in Dodona , capital of the Molossians .He continued to Illyria, where he sought refuge with the Illyrian King and was treated as a guest, despite having defeated them in battle a few years before. However, it appears Philip never intended to disown his politically and militarily trained son. Accordingly, Alexander returned to Macedon after six months due to the efforts of a family friend, Demaratus , who mediated between the two parties. In 336 BC, while at Aegae attending the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra to Olympias's brother, Alexander I of Epirus , Philip was assassinated by the captain of his bodyguards , Pausanias . As Pausanias tried to escape, he tripped over a vine and was killed by his pursuers, including two of Alexander's companions, Perdiccas and Leonnatus . Alexander was proclaimed king by the nobles and army at the age of 20. Alexander began his reign by eliminating potential rivals to the throne. He had his cousin, the former Amyntas IV , executed. He also had two Macedonian princes from the region of Lyncestis killed, but spared a third, Alexander Lyncestes . Olympias had Cleopatra Eurydice and Europa, her daughter by Philip, burned alive. When Alexander learned about this, he was furious. Alexander also ordered the murder of Attalus, who was in command of the advance guard of the army in Asia Minor and Cleopatra's uncle. News of Philip's death roused many states into revolt, including Thebes, Athens, Thessaly, and the Thracian tribes north of Macedon. When news of the revolts reached Alexander, he responded quickly. Though advised to use diplomacy, Alexander mustered the Macedonian cavalry of 3,000 and rode south towards Thessaly. He found the Thessalian army occupying the pass between Mount Olympus and Mount Ossa , and ordered his men to ride over Mount Ossa. When the Thessalians awoke the next day, they found Alexander in their rear and promptly surrendered, adding their cavalry to Alexander's force. He then continued south towards the Peloponnese . Alexander stopped at Thermopylae, where he was recognized as the leader of the Amphictyonic League before heading south to Corinth . Athens sued for peace and Alexander pardoned the rebels. The famous encounter between Alexander and Diogenes the Cynic occurred during Alexander's stay in Corinth. When Alexander asked Diogenes what he could do for him, the philosopher disdainfully asked Alexander to stand a little to the side, as he was blocking the sunlight. This reply apparently delighted Alexander, who is reported to have said "But verily, if I were not Alexander, I would like to be Diogenes." At Corinth Alexander took the title of Hegemon ("leader"), and like Philip, was appointed commander for the coming war against Persia. He also received news of a Thracian uprising. Alexander's army crossed the Hellespont in 334 BC with approximately 48,100 soldiers, 6,100 cavalry and a fleet of 120 ships with crews numbering 38,000,drawn from Macedon and various Greek city-states, mercenaries, and feudally raised soldiers from Thrace , Paionia , and Illyria . He showed his intent to conquer the entirety of the Persian Empire by throwing a spear into Asian soil and saying he accepted Asia as a gift from the gods. This also showed Alexander's eagerness to fight, in contrast to his father's preference for diplomacy. After an initial victory against Persian forces at the Battle of the Granicus , Alexander accepted the surrender of the Persian provincial capital and treasury of Sardis ; he then proceeded along the Ionian coast. Though Alexander believed in his divine right to expend the lives of men in battle, he did experience sorrow, as those who died were rewarded generously. He did not directly influence the culture of the Persians they did not feel the need to begin a rebellion as their men and rulers were treated with proper respect. The Levant and Syria Alexander journeyed south but was met by Darius’ significantly larger army which he easily defeated, causing Darius to panic. Although he was chased by some troops ‘Alexander treated them (his family) with the respect out of consideration’ which demonstrated his continued generosity and kindness towards those he conquered.Darius fled the battle, causing his army to collapse, and left behind his wife, his two daughters, his mother Sisygambis , and a fabulous treasure.He offered a peace treaty that included the lands he had already lost, and a ransom of 10,000 talents for his family. Alexander replied that since he was now king of Asia, it was he alone who decided territorial divisions. Alexander proceeded to take possession of Syria , and most of the coast of the Levant . In the following year, 332 BC, he was forced to attack Tyre , which he captured after a long and difficult siege .Alexander massacred the men of military age and sold the women and children into slavery . Egypt When Alexander destroyed Tyre, most of the towns on the route to Egypt quickly capitulated, with the exception of Gaza. The stronghold at Gaza was heavily fortified and built on a hill, requiring a siege. Alexander came upon the city only to be met with a surprising resistance and fortification. When ‘his engineers pointed out to him that because of the height of the mound it would be impossible… this encouraged Alexander all the more to make the attempt’ . The divine right that Alexander believed he had gave him confidence of a miracle occurring. After three unsuccessful assaults, the stronghold fell, but not before Alexander had received a serious shoulder wound. As in Tyre, men of military age were put to the sword and the women and children sold into slavery. Jerusalem instead opened its gates in surrender, and according to Josephus , Alexander was shown the Book of Daniel 's prophecy, presumably chapter 8, which described a mighty Greek king who would conquer the Persian Empire. He spared Jerusalem and pushed south into Egypt. Alexander advanced on Egypt in later 332 BC, where he was regarded as a liberator. He was pronounced the new "master of the Universe" and son of the deity of Amun at the Oracle of Siwa Oasis in the Libyan desert.Henceforth, Alexander often referred to Zeus-Ammon as his true father, and subsequent currency depicted him adorned with rams horn as a symbol of his divinity. During his stay in Egypt, he founded Alexandria-by-Egypt , which would become the prosperous capital of the Ptolemaic Kingdom after his death. Bust of Alexander the Great as Helios (Musei Capitolini) Assyria and Babylonia Leaving Egypt in 331 BC, Alexander marched eastward into Mesopotamia (now northern Iraq) and again defeated Darius, at the Battle of Gaugamela . Darius once more fled the field, and Alexander chased him as far as Arbela . Gaugamela would be the final and decisive encounter between the two. Darius fled over the mountains to Ecbatana (modern Hamedan ), while Alexander captured Babylon . Persia From Babylon, Alexander went to Susa, one of the Achaemenid capitals, and captured its legendary treasury. He sent the bulk of his army to the Persian ceremonial capital of Persepolis via the Royal Road . Alexander himself took selected troops on the direct route to the city. He had to storm the pass of the Persian Gates (in the modern Zagros Mountains ) which had been blocked by a Persian army under Ariobarzanes and then hurried to Persepolis before its garrison could loot the treasury. Alexander fighting the Persian king Darius III . From Alexander Mosaic , Naples National Archaeological Museum On entering Persepolis, Alexander allowed his troops to loot the city for several days.Alexander stayed in Persepolis for five months. During his stay a fire broke out in the eastern palace of Xerxes and spread to the rest of the city. Possible causes include a drunken accident or deliberate revenge for the burning of the Acropolis of Athens during the Second Persian War . Fall of the Empire and the East Alexander then chased Darius, first into Media, and then Parthia.The Persian king no longer controlled his own destiny, and was taken prisoner by Bessus , his Bactrian satrap and kinsman.As Alexander approached, Bessus had his men fatally stab the Great King and then declared himself Darius' successor as Artaxerxes V, before retreating into Central Asia to launch a guerrilla campaign against Alexander. Alexander buried Darius' remains next to his Achaemenid predecessors in a regal funeral.He claimed that, while dying, Darius had named him as his successor to the Achaemenid throne. The Achaemenid Empire is normally considered to have fallen with Darius. Alexander viewed Bessus as a usurper and set out to defeat him. This campaign, initially against Bessus, turned into a grand tour of central Asia. Alexander founded a series of new cities, all called Alexandria, including modern Kandahar in Afghanistan, and Alexandria Eschate ("The Furthest") in modern Tajikistan . The campaign took Alexander through Media , Parthia , Aria (West Afghanistan), Drangiana , Arachosia (South and Central Afghanistan), Bactria (North and Central Afghanistan), and Scythia . Spitamenes , who held an undefined position in the satrapy of Sogdiana, in 329 BC betrayed Bessus to Ptolemy , one of Alexander's trusted companions, and Bessus was executed. However, when, at some point later, Alexander was on the Jaxartes dealing with an incursion by a horse nomad army, Spitamenes raised Sogdiana in revolt. Alexander personally defeated the Scythians at the Battle of Jaxartes and immediately launched a campaign against Spitamenes, defeating him in the Battle of Gabai. After the defeat, Spitamenes was killed by his own men, who then sued for peace.The empire began falling as military leaders and eventually Alexander died. Problems and plots During this time, Alexander took the Persian title "King of Kings" (Shahanshah) and adopted some elements of Persian dress and customs at his court, notably the custom of proskynesis , either a symbolic kissing of the hand, or prostration on the ground, that Persians showed to their social superiors. The Greeks regarded the gesture as the province of deities and believed that Alexander meant to deify himself by requiring it. This cost him the sympathies of many of his countrymen, and he eventually abandoned it. A plot against his life was revealed, and one of his officers, Philotas , was executed for failing to alert Alexander. The death of the son necessitated the death of the father, and thus Parmenion , who had been charged with guarding the treasury at Ecbatana , was assassinated at Alexander's command, to prevent attempts at vengeance. Most infamously, Alexander personally killed the man who had saved his life at Granicus, Cleitus the Black , during a violent drunken altercation at Maracanda (modern day Samarkand in Uzbekistan ), in which Cleitus accused Alexander of several judgemental mistakes and most especially, of having forgot the Macedonian ways in favour of a corrupt oriental lifestyle. Macedon in Alexander's absence When Alexander set out for Asia, he left his general Antipater , an experienced military and political leader and part of Philip II's "Old Guard", in charge of Macedon. Alexander's sacking of Thebes ensured that Greece remained quiet during his absence. The one exception was a call to arms by Spartan king Agis III in 331 BC, whom Antipater defeated and killed in battle at Megalopolis the following year. Antipater referred the Spartans' punishment to the League of Corinth, which then deferred to Alexander, who chose to pardon them. There was also considerable friction between Antipater and Olympias, and each complained to Alexander about the other. In general, Greece enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity during Alexander's campaign in Asia. Alexander sent back vast sums from his conquest, which stimulated the economy and increased trade across his empire.However, Alexander's constant demands for troops and the migration of Macedonians throughout his empire depleted Macedon's manpower, greatly weakening it in the years after Alexander, and ultimately led to its subjugation by Rome. Indian campaign After the death of Spitamenes and his marriage to Roxana (Roshanak in Bactrian ) to cement relations with his new satrapies, Alexander turned to the Indian subcontinent . He invited the chieftains of the former satrapy of Gandhara , in the north of what is now Pakistan , to come to him and submit to his authority. Omphis , ruler of Taxila , whose kingdom extended from the Indus to the Hydaspes , complied, but the chieftains of some hill clans, including the Aspasioi and Assakenoi sections of the Kambojas (known in Indian texts also as Ashvayanas and Ashvakayanas), refused to submit.In the winter of 327/326 BC, Alexander personally led a campaign against these clans; the Aspasioi of Kunar valleys , the Guraeans of the Guraeus valley, and the Assakenoi of the Swat and Buner valleys.A fierce contest ensued with the Aspasioi in which Alexander was wounded in the shoulder by a dart, but eventually the Aspasioi lost. Alexander then faced the Assakenoi, who fought in the strongholds of Massaga, Ora and Aornos .The fort of Massaga was reduced only after days of bloody fighting, in which Alexander was wounded seriously in the ankle. After Aornos, Alexander crossed the Indus and fought and won an epic battle against King Porus , who ruled a region in the Punjab , in the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BC. Alexander was impressed by Porus's bravery, and made him an ally. He appointed Porus as satrap, and added to Porus' territory land that he did not previously own. Choosing a local helped him control these lands so distant from Greece.Alexander founded two cities on opposite sides of the Hydaspes river, naming one Bucephala , in honor of his horse, who died around this time.The other was Nicaea (Victory) located at the site of modern day Mong, Punjab . Revolt of the army East of Porus' kingdom, near the Ganges River , were the Nanda Empire of Magadha and further east the Gangaridai Empire of Bengal . Fearing the prospect of facing other large armies and exhausted by years of campaigning, Alexander's army mutinied at the Hyphasis River , refusing to march farther east. This river thus marks the easternmost extent of Alexander's conquests. Alexander tried to persuade his soldiers to march farther, but his general Coenus pleaded with him to change his opinion and return; the men, he said, "longed to again see their parents, their wives and children, their homeland". Alexander eventually agreed and turned south, marching along the Indus . Along the way his army conquered the Malli clans (in modern day Multan ) and other Indian tribes. Alexander sent much of his army to Carmania (modern southern Iran) with general Craterus , and commissioned a fleet to explore the Persian Gulf shore under his admiral Nearchus , while he led the rest back to Persia through the more difficult southern route along the Gedrosian Desert and Makran (now part of southern Iran and Pakistan).Alexander reached Susa in 324 BC, but not before losing many men to the harsh desert. Last years in Persia Discovering that many of his satraps and military governors had misbehaved in his absence, Alexander executed several of them as examples on his way to Susa. As a gesture of thanks, he paid off the debts of his soldiers, and announced that he would send over-aged and disabled veterans back to Macedon, led by Craterus. His troops misunderstood his intention and mutinied at the town of Opis . They refused to be sent away and criticized his adoption of Persian customs and dress and the introduction of Persian officers and soldiers into Macedonian units. Death and succession On either 10 or 11 June 323 BC, Alexander died in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II , in Babylon , at age 32. Details of the death differ slightly – Plutarch 's account is that roughly 14 days before his death, Alexander entertained admiral Nearchus , and spent the night and next day drinking with Medius of Larissa .He developed a fever, which worsened until he was unable to speak. Diodorus, Plutarch, Arrian and Justin all mentioned the theory that Alexander was poisoned. The strongest argument against the poison theory is the fact that twelve days passed between the start of his illness and his death; such long-acting poisons were probably not available. In 2010, however, a new theory proposed that the circumstances of his death were compatible with poisoning by water of the river Styx (Mavroneri) that contained calicheamicin , a dangerous compound produced by bacteria . Several natural causes (diseases) have been suggested, including malaria and typhoid fever . After death Alexander's body was laid in a gold anthropoid sarcophagus that was filled with honey, which was in turn placed in a gold casket. While Alexander's funeral cortege was on its way to Macedon, Ptolemy stole it and took it to Memphis. His successor, Ptolemy II Philadelphus , transferred the sarcophagus to Alexandria, where it remained until at least late Antiquity . Ptolemy IX Lathyros , one of Ptolemy's final successors, replaced Alexander's sarcophagus with a glass one so he could convert the original to coinage. Pompey , Julius Caesar and Augustus all visited the tomb in Alexandria. Caligula was said to have taken Alexander's breastplate from the tomb for his own use. In c. AD 200, Emperor Septimius Severus closed Alexander's tomb to the public. His son and successor, Caracalla , a great admirer, visited the tomb during his own reign. After this, details on the fate of the tomb are hazy. Division of the empire Alexander's death was so sudden that when reports of his death reached Greece, they were not immediately believed.Alexander had no obvious or legitimate heir, his son Alexander IV by Roxane being born after Alexander's death.According to Diodorus, Alexander's companions asked him on his deathbed to whom he bequeathed his kingdom; his laconic reply was "tôi kratistôi"—"to the strongest". In 321 BC, Macedonian unity collapsed, and 40 years of war between "The Successors" (Diadochi) ensued before the Hellenistic world settled into four stable power blocks: the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, the Seleucid Empire in the east, the Kingdom of Pergamon in Asia Minor, and Macedon. In the process, both Alexander IV and Philip III were murdered. Character Alexander earned the epithet "the Great" due to his unparalleled success as a military commander. He never lost a battle, despite typically being outnumbered.This was due to use of terrain, phalanx and cavalry tactics, bold strategy, and the fierce loyalty of his troops.The Macedonian phalanx , armed with the sarissa , a spear 6 metres (20 ft) long, had been developed and perfected by Philip II through rigorous training, and Alexander used its speed and maneuverability to great effect against larger but more disparate Persian forces.Alexander also recognized the potential for disunity among his diverse army, which employed various languages and weapons. He overcame this by being personally involved in battle,in the manner of a Macedonian king. When faced with opponents who used unfamiliar fighting techniques, such as in Central Asia and India, Alexander adapted his forces to his opponents' style. Thus, in Bactria and Sogdiana , Alexander successfully used his javelin throwers and archers to prevent outflanking movements, while massing his cavalry at the center. In India, confronted by Porus' elephant corps, the Macedonians opened their ranks to envelop the elephants and used their sarissas to strike upwards and dislodge the elephants' handlers. Physical appearance: Greek historian Arrian described Alexander as: The strong, handsome commander with one eye dark as the night and one blue as the sky. Alexander suffered from heterochromia iridum : that one eye was dark and the other light. Personality Some of Alexander's strongest personality traits formed in response to his parents.His mother had huge ambitions, and encouraged him to believe it was his destiny to conquer the Persian Empire. Olympias' influence instilled a sense of destiny in him, and Plutarch tells us that his ambition "kept his spirit serious and lofty in advance of his years". However, his father Philip was Alexander's most immediate and influential role model, as the young Alexander watched him campaign practically every year, winning victory after victory while ignoring severe wounds.Alexander's relationship with his father forged the competitive side of his personality; he had a need to out-do his father, illustrated by his reckless behavior in battle. While Alexander worried that his father would leave him "no great or brilliant achievement to be displayed to the world", he also downplayed his father's achievements to his companions. According to Plutarch, among Alexander's traits were a violent temper and rash, impulsive nature, which undoubtedly contributed to some of his decisions. Although Alexander was stubborn and did not respond well to orders from his father, he was open to reasoned debate. He had a calmer side—perceptive, logical, and calculating. He had a great desire for knowledge, a love for philosophy, and was an avid reader.This was no doubt in part due to Aristotle's tutelage; Alexander was intelligent and quick to learn. His intelligent and rational side was amply demonstrated by his ability and success as a general. Alexander was erudite and patronized both arts and sciences.However, he had little interest in sports or the Olympic games (unlike his father), seeking only the Homeric ideals of honor (timê) and glory (kudos). He had great charisma and force of personality, characteristics which made him a great leader. His unique abilities were further demonstrated by the inability of any of his generals to unite Macedonia and retain the Empire after his death – only Alexander had the ability to do so. During his final years, and especially after the death of Hephaestion, Alexander began to exhibit signs of megalomania and paranoia .His extraordinary achievements, coupled with his own ineffable sense of destiny and the flattery of his companions, may have combined to produce this effect. He appears to have believed himself a deity, or at least sought to deify himself. Olympias always insisted to him that he was the son of Zeus,a theory apparently confirmed to him by the oracle of Amun at Siwa . He began to identify himself as the son of Zeus-Ammon.Alexander adopted elements of Persian dress and customs at court, notably proskynesis , a practice that Macedonians disapproved, and were loath to perform. This behavior cost him the sympathies of many of his countrymen.However, Alexander also was a pragmatic ruler who understood the difficulties of ruling culturally disparate peoples, many of whom lived in kingdoms where the king was divine.Thus, rather than megalomania, his behavior may simply have been a practical attempt at strengthening his rule and keeping his empire together. Personal relationships Alexander, left, and Hephaestion , right The central personal relationship of Alexander's life was with his friend, general, and bodyguard Hephaestion , the son of a Macedonian noble.Hephaestion's death devastated Alexander.This event may have contributed to Alexander's failing health and detached mental state during his final months. Alexander married twice: Roxana , daughter of the Bactrian nobleman Oxyartes , out of love; and Stateira II , a Persian princess and daughter of Darius III of Persia, for political reasons. He apparently had two sons, Alexander IV of Macedon of Roxana and, possibly, Heracles of Macedon from his mistress Barsine. He lost another child when Roxana miscarried at Babylon. Alexander's sexuality has been the subject of speculation and controversy. No ancient sources stated that Alexander had homosexual relationships, or that Alexander's relationship with Hephaestion was sexual. Aelian, however, writes of Alexander's visit to Troy where "Alexander garlanded the tomb of Achilles and Hephaestion that of Patroclus , the latter riddling that he was a beloved of Alexander, in just the same way as Patroclus was of Achilles". Noting that the word eromenos (ancient Greek for beloved) does not necessarily bear sexual meaning, Alexander may have been bisexual, which in his time was not controversial. Influence on Rome Alexander and his exploits were admired by many Romans, especially generals, who wanted to associate themselves with his achievements. Pompey the Great adopted the epithet "Magnus" and even Alexander's anatole-type haircut, and searched the conquered lands of the east for Alexander's 260-year-old cloak, which he then wore as a sign of greatness. Julius Caesar dedicated a Lysippean equestrian bronze statue but replaced Alexander's head with his own, while Octavian visited Alexander's tomb in Alexandria and temporarily changed his seal from a sphinx to Alexander's profile. The emperor Trajan also admired Alexander, as did Nero and Caracalla .The Macriani, a Roman family that in the person of Macrinus briefly ascended to the imperial throne, kept images of Alexander on their persons, either on jewelry, or embroidered into their clothes. Alexander the Great's accomplishments and legacy have been depicted in many cultures. Alexander has figured in both high and popular culture beginning in his own era to the present day. The Alexander Romance, in particular, has had a significant impact on portrayals of Alexander in later cultures, from Persian to medieval European to modern Greek. HERCULES - This celebrated of mythological romance was at first called Alcides, but received the name of Hercules, or Heracles, from the Pythia of Delphos. Feigned by the poets of antiquity to have been a son of "the Thunderer," but born of an earthly mother, he was exposed, through Juno's implacable hatred to him as the offspring of Alemena, to a course of perils, which commenced whilst he was yet in his cradle, and under each of which he seemed to perish, but as constantly proved victorious. At length finishing his allotted career with native valor and generosity, though too frequently the submissive agent of the meanness and injustice of others, he perished self-devotedly on the funeral pile, which was lighted on Mount Oeta. Jupiter raised his heroic progeny to the skies; and Hercules was honored by the pagan world, as the most illustrious of deified mortals. The extraordinary enterprises cruelly imposed upon, but gloriously achieved, by this famous demigod, are to be found depicted, not only on Greek coins, but also on the Roman series both consular and imperial. The first, and one of the most dangerous, of undertakings, well-known under the name of the twelve labors of Hercules, was that of killing the huge lion of Nemea; on which account the intrepid warrior is represented, clothes in the skin of that forest monarch; he also bears uniformly a massive club, sometimes without any other arms, but at others with a bow and quiver of arrows. On a denarius of the Antia gens he is represented walking with trophy and club. When his head alone is typified, as in Mucia gens, it is covered with the lion's spoils, in which distinctive decoration he was imitated by many princes, and especially by those who claimed descent from him - as for example, the kings of Macedonia, and the successors of Alexander the Great. Among the Roman emperors Trajan is the first whose coins exhibit the figure and attributes of Hercules.The immense issues of coinage made in the name of Alexander the Great for a topic which could occupy the pages of a large volume. Obviously it is not possible, in a work of this scope, to do justice to such a subject. As in the case of Philip II, coinage in the name of Alexander continued long after the king's death. No doubt this was largely due to the lack of an effective successor to the imperial throne. Almost two decades were to elapse before Alexander's generals, his true successors, felt sufficiently secure to take the title of 'king' and to issue coinage in their own names. Although he began his career as King of Macedon, Alexander spent only the first two years of his reign in his native kingdom, and by the time of his death, at the age of thirty three, he ruled a vast empire stretching from Greece to India. Consequently, his coinage was on an imperial scale, unlike those of his predecessors, and was struck at a multitude of mints in many lands, often replacing an existing autonomous series. nevertheless, the Macedonian mint of Amphipolis remained one of the principal sources of currency. In later ages (3rd-2nd century B.C.) the types of Alexander's silver coinage were revived by various cities as they regained a measure of autonomy from the declining Hellenistic Monarchies. The history of Ancient Greek coinage can be divided (along with most other Greek art forms) into four periods, the Archaic , the Classical , the Hellenistic and the Roman . The Archaic period extends from the introduction of coinage to the Greek world during the 7th century BC until the Persian Wars in about 480 BC. The Classical period then began, and lasted until the conquests of Alexander the Great in about 330 BC, which began the Hellenistic period, extending until the Roman absorption of the Greek world in the 1st century BC. The Greek cities continued to produce their own coins for several more centuries under Roman rule. The coins produced during this period are called Roman provincial coins or Greek Imperial Coins. Ancient Greek coins of all four periods span over a period of more than ten centuries. Weight standards and denominations Above: Six rod-shaped obeloi (oboloi) displayed at the Numismatic Museum of Athens , discovered at Heraion of Argos . Below: grasp[1] of six oboloi forming one drachma Electrum coin from Ephesus , 620-600 BC, known as Phanes' coin . Obverse: Stag grazing, ΦΑΝΕΩΣ (retrograde). Reverse: Two incuse punches. The basic standards of the Ancient Greek monetary system were the Attic standard, based on the Athenian drachma of 4.3 grams of silver and the Corinthian standard based on the stater of 8.6 grams of silver, that was subdivided into three silver drachmas of 2.9 grams. The word drachm (a) means "a handful", literally "a grasp". Drachmae were divided into six obols (from the Greek word for a spit ), and six spits made a "handful". This suggests that before coinage came to be used in Greece, spits in prehistoric times were used as measures of daily transaction. In archaic/pre-numismatic times iron was valued for making durable tools and weapons, and its casting in spit form may have actually represented a form of transportable bullion , which eventually became bulky and inconvenient after the adoption of precious metals. Because of this very aspect, Spartan legislation famously forbade issuance of Spartan coin, and enforced the continued use of iron spits so as to discourage avarice and the hoarding of wealth. In addition to its original meaning (which also gave the euphemistic diminutive "obelisk", "little spit"), the word obol (ὀβολός, obolós, or ὀβελός, obelós) was retained as a Greek word for coins of small value, still used as such in Modern Greek slang (όβολα, óvola, "monies"). The obol was further subdivided into tetartemorioi (singular tetartemorion) which represented 1/4 of an obol, or 1/24 of a drachm. This coin (which was known to have been struck in Athens , Colophon , and several other cities) is mentioned by Aristotle as the smallest silver coin.:237 Various multiples of this denomination were also struck, including the trihemitetartemorion (literally three half-tetartemorioi) valued at 3/8 of an obol.: Denominations of silver drachma Image Denomination Value Weight Dekadrachm 10 drachmas 43 grams Tetradrachm 4 drachmas 17.2 grams Didrachm 2 drachmas 8.6 grams Drachma 6 obols 4.3 grams Tetrobol 4 obols 2.85 grams Triobol (hemidrachm) 3 obols 2.15 grams Diobol 2 obols 1.43 grams Obol 4 tetartemorions 0.72 grams Tritartemorion 3 tetartemorions 0.54 grams Hemiobol 2 tetartemorions 0.36 grams Trihemitartemorion 3/2 tetartemorions 0.27 grams Tetartemorion 0.18 grams Hemitartemorion ½ tetartemorion 0.09 grams Archaic period Archaic coinage Uninscribed electrum coin from Lydia , 6th century BCE. Obverse: lion head and sunburst Reverse: plain square imprints, probably used to standardise weight Electrum coin from Ephesus , 620-600 BC. Obverse: Forepart of stag. Reverse: Square incuse punch. The first coins were issued in either Lydia or Ionia in Asia Minor at some time before 600 BC, either by the non-Greek Lydians for their own use or perhaps because Greek mercenaries wanted to be paid in precious metal at the conclusion of their time of service, and wanted to have their payments marked in a way that would authenticate them. These coins were made of electrum , an alloy of gold and silver that was highly prized and abundant in that area. By the middle of the 6th century BC, technology had advanced, making the production of pure gold and silver coins simpler. Accordingly, King Croesus introduced a bi-metallic standard that allowed for coins of pure gold and pure silver to be struck and traded in the marketplace. Coins of Aegina Silver stater of Aegina, 550-530 BC. Obv. Sea turtle with large pellets down center. Rev. incuse square with eight sections. After the end of the Peloponnesian War , 404 BC, Sea turtle was replaced by the land tortoise . Silver drachma of Aegina, 404-340 BC. Obverse: Land tortoise . Reverse: inscription AΙΓ[INAΤΟΝ] ([of the] Aeg[inetans]) "Aegina" and dolphin. The Greek world was divided into more than two thousand self-governing city-states (in Greek , poleis), and more than half of them issued their own coins. Some coins circulated widely beyond their polis, indicating that they were being used in inter-city trade; the first example appears to have been the silver stater or didrachm of Aegina that regularly turns up in hoards in Egypt and the Levant , places which were deficient in silver supply. As such coins circulated more widely, other cities began to mint coins to this "Aeginetan" weight standard of (6.1 grams to the drachm), other cities included their own symbols on the coins. This is not unlike present day Euro coins, which are recognisably from a particular country, but usable all over the Euro zone . Athenian coins, however, were struck on the "Attic" standard, with a drachm equaling 4.3 grams of silver. Over time, Athens' plentiful supply of silver from the mines at Laurion and its increasing dominance in trade made this the pre-eminent standard. These coins, known as "owls" because of their central design feature, were also minted to an extremely tight standard of purity and weight. This contributed to their success as the premier trade coin of their era. Tetradrachms on this weight standard continued to be a widely used coin (often the most widely used) through the classical period. By the time of Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors , this large denomination was being regularly used to make large payments, or was often saved for hoarding. Classical period A Syracusan tetradrachm (c. 415–405 BC) Obverse: head of the nymph Arethusa , surrounded by four swimming dolphins and a rudder Reverse: a racing quadriga , its charioteer crowned by the goddess Victory in flight. Tetradrachm of Athens, (5th century BC) Obverse: a portrait of Athena , patron goddess of the city, in helmet Reverse: the owl of Athens, with an olive sprig and the inscription "ΑΘΕ", short for ΑΘΕΝΑΙΟΝ, "of the Athenians " The Classical period saw Greek coinage reach a high level of technical and aesthetic quality. Larger cities now produced a range of fine silver and gold coins, most bearing a portrait of their patron god or goddess or a legendary hero on one side, and a symbol of the city on the other. Some coins employed a visual pun: some coins from Rhodes featured a rose, since the Greek word for rose is rhodon. The use of inscriptions on coins also began, usually the name of the issuing city. The wealthy cities of Sicily produced some especially fine coins. The large silver decadrachm (10-drachm) coin from Syracuse is regarded by many collectors as the finest coin produced in the ancient world, perhaps ever. Syracusan issues were rather standard in their imprints, one side bearing the head of the nymph Arethusa and the other usually a victorious quadriga . The tyrants of Syracuse were fabulously rich, and part of their public relations policy was to fund quadrigas for the Olympic chariot race , a very expensive undertaking. As they were often able to finance more than one quadriga at a time, they were frequent victors in this highly prestigious event. Syracuse was one of the epicenters of numismatic art during the classical period. Led by the engravers Kimon and Euainetos, Syracuse produced some of the finest coin designs of antiquity. Hellenistic period Gold 20-stater of Eucratides I , the largest gold coin ever minted in Antiquity. Drachma of Alexandria , 222-235 AD. Obverse: Laureate head of Alexander Severus , KAI(ΣΑΡ) MAP(ΚΟΣ) AYP(ΗΛΙΟΣ) ΣЄY(ΑΣΤΟΣ) AΛЄΞANΔPOΣ ЄYΣЄ(ΒΗΣ). Reverse: Bust of Asclepius . The Hellenistic period was characterized by the spread of Greek culture across a large part of the known world. Greek-speaking kingdoms were established in Egypt and Syria , and for a time also in Iran and as far east as what is now Afghanistan and northwestern India . Greek traders spread Greek coins across this vast area, and the new kingdoms soon began to produce their own coins. Because these kingdoms were much larger and wealthier than the Greek city states of the classical period, their coins tended to be more mass-produced, as well as larger, and more frequently in gold. They often lacked the aesthetic delicacy of coins of the earlier period. Still, some of the Greco-Bactrian coins, and those of their successors in India, the Indo-Greeks , are considered the finest examples of Greek numismatic art with "a nice blend of realism and idealization", including the largest coins to be minted in the Hellenistic world: the largest gold coin was minted by Eucratides (reigned 171–145 BC), the largest silver coin by the Indo-Greek king Amyntas Nikator (reigned c. 95–90 BC). The portraits "show a degree of individuality never matched by the often bland depictions of their royal contemporaries further West" (Roger Ling, "Greece and the Hellenistic World"). The most striking new feature of Hellenistic coins was the use of portraits of living people, namely of the kings themselves. This practice had begun in Sicily, but was disapproved of by other Greeks as showing hubris (arrogance). But the kings of Ptolemaic Egypt and Seleucid Syria had no such scruples: having already awarded themselves with "divine" status, they issued magnificent gold coins adorned with their own portraits, with the symbols of their state on the reverse. The names of the kings were frequently inscribed on the coin as well. This established a pattern for coins which has persisted ever since: a portrait of the king, usually in profile and striking a heroic pose, on the obverse, with his name beside him, and a coat of arms or other symbol of state on the reverse. Minting All Greek coins were handmade , rather than machined as modern coins are. The design for the obverse was carved (in incuso ) into a block of bronze or possibly iron, called a die . The design of the reverse was carved into a similar punch. A blank disk of gold, silver, or electrum was cast in a mold and then, placed between these two and the punch struck hard with a hammer, raising the design on both sides of the coin. Coins as a symbol of the city-state Coins of Greek city-states depicted a unique symbol or feature, an early form of emblem , also known as badge in numismatics, that represented their city and promoted the prestige of their state. Corinthian stater for example depicted pegasus the mythological winged stallion, tamed by their hero Bellerophon . Coins of Ephesus depicted the bee sacred to Artemis . Drachmas of Athens depicted the owl of Athena . Drachmas of Aegina depicted a chelone . Coins of Selinunte depicted a "selinon" (σέλινον - celery ). Coins of Heraclea depicted Heracles . Coins of Gela depicted a man-headed bull, the personification of the river Gela . Coins of Rhodes depicted a "rhodon" (ῥόδον[8] - rose ). Coins of Knossos depicted the labyrinth or the mythical creature minotaur , a symbol of the Minoan Crete . Coins of Melos depicted a "mēlon" (μήλον - apple ). Coins of Thebes depicted a Boeotian shield. Corinthian stater with pegasus Coin of Rhodes with a rose Didrachm of Selinunte with a celery Coin of Ephesus with a bee Stater of Olympia depicting Nike Coin of Melos with an apple Obolus from Stymphalia with a Stymphalian bird Coin of Thebes with a Boeotian shield Coin of Gela with a man-headed bull, the personification of the river Gela Didrachm of Knossos depicting the Minotaur Commemorative coins Dekadrachm of Syracuse [disambiguation needed]. Head of Arethusa or queen Demarete. ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΟΝ (of the Syracusians), around four dolphins The use of commemorative coins to celebrate a victory or an achievement of the state was a Greek invention. Coins are valuable, durable and pass through many hands. In an age without newspapers or other mass media, they were an ideal way of disseminating a political message. The first such coin was a commemorative decadrachm issued by Athens following the Greek victory in the Persian Wars . On these coins that were struck around 480 BC, the owl of Athens, the goddess Athena 's sacred bird, was depicted facing the viewer with wings outstretched, holding a spray of olive leaves, the olive tree being Athena's sacred plant and also a symbol of peace and prosperity. The message was that Athens was powerful and victorious, but also peace-loving. Another commemorative coin, a silver dekadrachm known as " Demareteion", was minted at Syracuse at approximately the same time to celebrate the defeat of the Carthaginians . On the obverse it bears a portrait of Arethusa or queen Demarete. Ancient Greek coins today Collections of Ancient Greek coins are held by museums around the world, of which the collections of the British Museum , the American Numismatic Society , and the Danish National Museum are considered to be the finest. The American Numismatic Society collection comprises some 100,000 ancient Greek coins from many regions and mints, from Spain and North Africa to Afghanistan. To varying degrees, these coins are available for study by academics and researchers. There is also an active collector market for Greek coins. Several auction houses in Europe and the United States specialize in ancient coins (including Greek) and there is also a large on-line market for such coins. Hoards of Greek coins are still being found in Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, and some of the coins in these hoards find their way onto the market. Coins are the only art form from the Ancient world which is common enough and durable enough to be within the reach of ordinary collectors. Frequently Asked Questions How long until my order is shipped?: Depending on the volume of sales, it may take up to 5 business days for shipment of your order after the receipt of payment. How will I know when the order was shipped?: After your order has shipped, you will be left positive feedback, and that date should be used as a basis of estimating an arrival date. After you shipped the order, how long will the mail take? USPS First Class mail takes about 3-5 business days to arrive in the U.S., international shipping times cannot be estimated as they vary from country to country. I am not responsible for any USPS delivery delays, especially for an international package. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? Each of the items sold here, is provided with a Certificate of Authenticity, and a Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity, issued by a world-renowned numismatic and antique expert that has identified over 10000 ancient coins and has provided them with the same guarantee. You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Compared to other certification companies, the certificate of authenticity is a $25-50 value. So buy a coin today and own a piece of history, guaranteed. Is there a money back guarantee? I offer a 30 day unconditional money back guarantee. I stand behind my coins and would be willing to exchange your order for either store credit towards other coins, or refund, minus shipping expenses, within 30 days from the receipt of your order. My goal is to have the returning customers for a lifetime, and I am so sure in my coins, their authenticity, numismatic value and beauty, I can offer such a guarantee. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? You can contact me directly via ask seller a question and request my telephone number, or go to my About Me Page to get my contact information only in regards to items purchased on eBay. When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don't leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. Also, if you sent an email, make sure to check for my reply in your messages before claiming that you didn't receive a response. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service.

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  •  Seller - 20,658+ items sold. 0% negative feedback. Top-Rated Seller! Ships on time with tracking, 0 problems with past sales.
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