Seller: highrating_lowprice (20,797) 100%, Location: Rego Park, New York, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 352707687905 Item: i37127 Authentic Ancient Coin of: Greek King Philip II of Macedon 359-336 B.C. Bronze 17mm (4.56 grams) Struck 359-336 B.C. in the Kingdom of Macedonia Commemorating his Olympic Games Victory Head of Apollo right, hair bound with tainia. Nude athlete on horse prancing right, ΦIΛIΠΠΟΥ above. * Numismatic Note: Authentic ancient Greek coin of King Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great. Intriguing coin referring to his Olympic victory. You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity. Click Here to See all Auction Items for SaleIf you click the above link you will see all auctions I have available for bidding on eBay. There may be some great deals to be had, so check them out today.Greek Low to High & High to low Rare Greek, R1, R2, R3, R4 Roman Republic Page with Easy search by Gens Roman Low to High & High to low Byzantine Low to High & High to low Silver Low to high & High to lowGold Low to high & High to low NGC Low to high & High to lowNGC Silver Low to high & High to low NGC Gold Low to high & High to lowNGC Greek Low to high & High to lowNGC Roman Low to high & High to lowNGC Byzantine Low to high & High to low History Behind the Coin Horse racing was an Olympic event of great prestige and intense competition. It was a great honor for Philip II of Macedon to gain entry to the games, since they were open only to Greeks. Prior to that time, the Macedonians were considered by other Greeks as barbarians. It was an even greater honor for Philip's horses to win the prize. In 356 BC his entry won the single horse event, and in 348 the two horse chariot event. Both of these victories were proudly announced (should we say propagandized) by placing references to them on the reverses of his coins struck in gold, silver and bronze. Plutarch tells us that this was indeed his intention: "[Philip] ...had victories of his chariots at Olympia stamped on his coins." In Greek and Roman mythology , Apollo , is one of the most important and diverse of the Olympian deities . The ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; archery ; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts; and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis . Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. Apollo was worshiped in both ancient Greek and Roman religion , as well as in the modern Greco -Roman Neopaganism . As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god — the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle . Medicine and healing were associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius , yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague as well as one who had the ability to cure. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists , and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musagetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry . Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans . In Hellenistic times, especially during the third century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios , god of the sun , and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene , goddess of the moon . In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the first century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215). Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the third century CE. Philip II of Macedon, (Greek: Φίλιππος Β' ο Μακεδών — φίλος = friend + ίππος = horse — transliterated Philippos 382 – 336 BC, was an ancient Greek king (basileus) of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III . Born in Pella , Philip was the youngest son of the king Amyntas III and Eurydice I . In his youth, (c. 368–365 BC) Philip was held as a hostage in Thebes , which was the leading city of Greece during the Theban hegemony . While a captive there, Philip received a military and diplomatic education from Epaminondas , became eromenos of Pelopidas , and lived with Pammenes , who was an enthusiastic advocate of the Sacred Band of Thebes . In 364 BC, Philip returned to Macedon. The deaths of Philip's elder brothers, King Alexander II and Perdiccas III , allowed him to take the throne in 359 BC. Originally appointed regent for his infant nephew Amyntas IV , who was the son of Perdiccas III, Philip managed to take the kingdom for himself that same year. Philip's military skills and expansionist vision of Macedonian greatness brought him early success. He had however first to re-establish a situation which had been greatly worsened by the defeat against the Illyrians in which King Perdiccas himself had died. The Paionians and the Thracians had sacked and invaded the eastern regions of the country, while the Athenians had landed, at Methoni on the coast, a contingent under a Macedonian pretender called Argeus . Using diplomacy, Philip pushed back Paionians and Thracians promising tributes, and crushed the 3,000 Athenian hoplites (359). Momentarily free from his opponents, he concentrated on strengthening his internal position and, above all, his army. His most important innovation was doubtless the introduction of the phalanx infantry corps, armed with the famous sarissa , an exceedingly long spear, at the time the most important army corps in Macedonia. Philip had married Audata , great-granddaughter of the Illyrian king of Dardania , Bardyllis . However, this did not prevent him from marching against them in 358 and crushing them in a ferocious battle in which some 7,000 Illyrians died (357). By this move, Philip established his authority inland as far as Lake Ohrid and the favour of the Epirotes . He also used the Social War as an opportunity for expansion. He agreed with the Athenians, who had been so far unable to conquer Amphipolis , which commanded the gold mines of Mount Pangaion , to lease it to them after its conquest, in exchange for Pydna (lost by Macedon in 363). However, after conquering Amphipolis, he kept both the cities (357). As Athens declared war against him, he allied with the Chalkidian League of Olynthus . He subsequently conquered Potidaea , this time keeping his word and ceding it to the League in 356. One year before Philip had married the Epirote princess Olympias , who was the daughter of the king of the Molossians . In 356 BC, Philip also conquered the town of Crenides and changed its name to Philippi : he established a powerful garrison there to control its mines, which granted him much of the gold later used for his campaigns. In the meantime, his general Parmenion defeated the Illyrians again. Also in 356 Alexander was born, and Philip's race horse won in the Olympic Games . In 355–354 he besieged Methone , the last city on the Thermaic Gulf controlled by Athens. During the siege, Philip lost an eye. Despite the arrival of two Athenians fleets, the city fell in 354. Philip also attacked Abdera and Maronea, on the Thracian seaboard (354–353). Map of the territory of Philip II of Macedon Involved in the Third Sacred War which had broken out in Greece, in the summer of 353 he invaded Thessaly , defeating 7,000 Phocians under the brother of Onomarchus. The latter however defeated Philip in the two succeeding battles. Philip returned to Thessaly the next summer, this time with an army of 20,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry including all Thessalian troops. In the Battle of Crocus Field 6,000 Phocians fell, while 3,000 were taken as prisoners and later drowned. This battle granted Philip an immense prestige, as well the free acquisition of Pherae . Philip was also tagus of Thessaly, and he claimed as his own Magnesia , with the important harbour of Pagasae . Philip did not attempt to advance into Central Greece because the Athenians, unable to arrive in time to defend Pagasae, had occupied Thermopylae . Hostilities with Athens did not yet take place, but Athens was threatened by the Macedonian party which Philip's gold created in Euboea . From 352 to 346 BC, Philip did not again come south. He was active in completing the subjugation of the Balkan hill-country to the west and north, and in reducing the Greek cities of the coast as far as the Hebrus . To the chief of these coastal cities, Olynthus, Philip continued to profess friendship until its neighboring cities were in his hands. In 349 BC, Philip started the siege of Olynthus, which, apart from its strategic position, housed his relatives Arrhidaeus and Menelaus, pretenders to the Macedonian throne. Olynthus had at first allied itself with Philip, but later shifted its allegiance to Athens. The latter, however, did nothing to help the city, its expeditions held back by a revolt in Euboea (probably paid by Philip's gold). The Macedonian king finally took Olynthus in 348 BC and razed the city to the ground. The same fate was inflicted on other cities of the Chalcidian peninsula. Macedon and the regions adjoining it having now been securely consolidated, Philip celebrated his Olympic Games at Dium . In 347 BC, Philip advanced to the conquest of the eastern districts about Hebrus, and compelled the submission of the Thracian prince Cersobleptes . In 346 BC, he intervened effectively in the war between Thebes and the Phocians, but his wars with Athens continued intermittently. However, Athens had made overtures for peace, and when Philip again moved south, peace was sworn in Thessaly. With key Greek city-states in submission, Philip turned to Sparta ; he sent them a message, "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city." Their laconic reply: "If". Philip and Alexander would both leave them alone. Later, the Macedonian arms were carried across Epirus to the Adriatic Sea . In 342 BC, Philip led a great military expedition north against the Scythians , conquering the Thracian fortified settlement Eumolpia to give it his name, Philippopolis (modern Plovdiv ). In 340 BC, Philip started the siege of Perinthus . Philip began another siege in 339 of the city of Byzantium . After unsuccessful sieges of both cities, Philip's influence all over Greece was compromised. However, he successfully reasserted his authority in the Aegean by defeating an alliance of Thebans and Athenians at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, while in the same year, Philip destroyed Amfissa because the residents had illegally cultivated part of the Crisaian plain which belonged to Delphi . Philip created and led the League of Corinth in 337 BC. Members of the League agreed never to wage war against each other, unless it was to suppress revolution . Philip was elected as leader (hegemon) of the army of invasion against the Persian Empire . In 336 BC, when the invasion of Persia was in its very early stage, Philip was assassinated, and was succeeded on the throne of Macedon by his son Alexander III . Assassination The murder occurred during October of 336 BC, at Aegae , the ancient capital of the kingdom of Macedon. The court had gathered there for the celebration of the marriage between Alexander I of Epirus and Philip's daughter, by his fourth wife Olympias , Cleopatra . While the king was entering unprotected into the town's theater (highlighting his approachability to the Greek diplomats present), he was killed by Pausanias of Orestis , one of his seven bodyguards. The assassin immediately tried to escape and reach his associates who were waiting for him with horses at the entrance of Aegae. He was pursued by three of Philip's bodyguards and died by their hands. The reasons for Pausanias' assassination of Phillip are difficult to fully expound, since there was controversy already among ancient historians. The only contemporary account in our possession is that of Aristotle , who states rather tersely that Philip was killed because Pausanias had been offended by the followers of Attalus , the king's father-in-law. Fifty years later, the historian Cleitarchus expanded and embellished the story. Centuries later, this version was to be narrated by Diodorus Siculus and all the historians who used Cleitarchus. In the sixteenth book of Diodorus' history, Pausanias had been a lover of Philip, but became jealous when Philip turned his attention to a younger man, also called Pausanias. His taunting of the new lover caused the youth to throw away his life, which turned his friend, Attalus, against Pausanias. Attalus took his revenge by inviting Pausanias to dinner, getting him drunk, then subjecting him to sexual assault. When Pausanias complained to Philip the king felt unable to chastise Attalus, as he was about to send him to Asia with Parmenion, to establish a bridgehead for his planned invasion. He also married Attalus's niece, or daughter, Eurydice . Rather than offend Attalus, Phillip attempted to mollify Pausanius by elevating him within the bodyguard. Pausanias' desire for revenge seems to have turned towards the man who had failed to avenge his damaged honour; so he planned to kill Philip, and some time after the alleged rape, while Attalus was already in Asia fighting the Persians, put his plan in action. Other historians (e.g., Justin 9.7) suggested that Alexander and/or his mother Olympias were at least privy to the intrigue, if not themselves instigators. The latter seems to have been anything but discreet in manifesting her gratitude to Pausanias, if we accept Justin's report: he tells us that the same night of her return from exile she placed a crown on the assassin's corpse and erected a tumulus to his memory, ordering annual sacrifices to the memory of Pausanias. The entrance to the "Great Tumulus" Museum at Vergina . Many modern historians have observed that all the accounts are improbable. In the case of Pausanias, the stated motive of the crime hardly seems adequate. On the other hand, the implication of Alexander and Olympias seems specious: to act as they did would have required brazen effrontery in the face of a military machine personally loyal to Philip. What appears to be recorded in this are the natural suspicions that fell on the chief beneficiaries of the murder; their actions after the murder, however sympathetic they might appear (if actual), cannot prove their guilt in the deed itself. Further convoluting the case is the possible role of propaganda in the surviving accounts: Attalus was executed in Alexander's consolidation of power after the murder; one might wonder if his enrollment among the conspirators was not for the effect of introducing political expediency in an otherwise messy purge (Attalus had publicly declared his hope that Alexander would not succeed Philip, but rather that a son of his own niece Eurydice, recently married to Philip and brutally murdered by Olympias after Philip's death, would gain the throne of Macedon). Marriages The dates of Philip's multiple marriages and the names of some of his wives are contested. Below is the order of marriages offered by Athenaeus, 13.557b-e: Audata , the daughter of Illyrian King Bardyllis . Mother of Cynane . Phila, the sister of Derdas and Machatas of Elimiotis . Nicesipolis of Pherae , Thessaly , mother of Thessalonica . Olympias of Epirus , mother of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra Philinna of Larissa , mother of Arrhidaeus later called Philip III of Macedon . Meda of Odessa , daughter of the king Cothelas, of Thrace . Cleopatra, daughter of Hippostratus and niece of general Attalus of Macedonia . Philip renamed her Cleopatra Eurydice of Macedon . Archaeological findings On November 8, 1977, Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos found, among other royal tombs, an unopened tomb at Vergina in the Greek prefecture of Imathia . The finds from this tomb were later included in the traveling exhibit The Search for Alexander displayed at four cities in the United States from 1980 to 1982. Initially identified as belonging to Philip II, Eugene Borza and others have suggested that the tomb actually belonged to Philip's son, Philip Arrhidaeus . Disputations often relied on contradictions between "the body" or "skeleton" of Philip II and reliable historical accounts of his life (and injuries). The initial 'proof' that the tomb may belong to Philip II was indicated by the greeves (leg armor to protect the tibia ('shin') bone), one of which indicated that the owner had a leg injury which distorted the natural alignment of the tibia (Philip II was recorded as having broken his tibia). What is now viewed as final proof that the tomb indeed did belong to Philip II and that the surviving bone fragments are in fact the body of Philip II comes from forensic reconstruction of the scull of Philip II by the wax casting and reconstruction of the scull which shows the damage to the right eye caused by the penetration of an object (historically recorded to be an arrow). See John Prag and Richard Neave's report in Making Faces: Using Forensic and Archaeological Evidence, published for the Trustees of the British Museum by the British Museum Press, London: 1997. Cult The heroon at Vergina in Greek Macedonia (the ancient city of Aigai - Αἶγαι), is thought to have been dedicated to the worship of the family of Alexander the Great and may have housed the cult statue of Philip. It is probable that he was regarded as a hero or deified on his death. Though the Macedonians did not consider Philip a god, he did receive other forms of recognition by the Greeks, such as at Eresos (altar to Zeus Philippeios), Ephesos (his statue was placed in the temple of Artemis ), and at Olympia, where the Philippeion was built. Moreover, Isocrates wrote to Philip that if he defeated Persia, there was nothing left for him to do to but become a god while Demades proposed that Philip be regarded as the thirteenth god. However, there is no clear evidence that Philip was raised to divine status like that of his son Alexander . Macedonia or Macedon (from Greek : Μακεδονία, Makedonía) was an ancient Greek kingdom . The kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula , was bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south. The rise of Macedon , from a small kingdom at the periphery of Classical Greek affairs, to one which came to dominate the entire Hellenic world, occurred under the reign of Philip II . For a brief period, after the conquests of Alexander the Great , it became the most powerful state in the world, controlling a territory that included the former Persian empire , stretching as far as the Indus River ; at that time it inaugurated the Hellenistic period of Ancient Greek civilization . Name The name Macedonia (Greek: Μακεδονία, Makedonía) comes from the ancient Greek word μακεδνός (Makednos). It is commonly explained as having originally meant "a tall one" or "highlander", possibly descriptive of the people . The shorter English name variant Macedon developed in Middle English, based on a borrowing from the French form of the name, Macédoine. History Early history and legend The lands around Aegae , the first Macedonian capital, were home to various peoples. Macedonia was called Emathia (from king Emathion) and the city of Aiges was called Edessa, the capital of fabled king Midas in his youth. In approximately 650 BC, the Argeads , an ancient Greek royal house led by Perdiccas I established their palace-capital at Aegae. It seems that the first Macedonian state emerged in the 8th or early 7th century BC under the Argead Dynasty, who, according to legend, migrated to the region from the Greek city of Argos in Peloponnesus (thus the name Argead). Herodotus mentions this founding myth when Alexander I was asked to prove his Greek descent in order to participate in the Olympic Games , an athletic event in which only men of Greek origin were entitled to participate. Alexander proved his (Argead) descent and was allowed to compete by the Hellanodikai : “And that these descendants of Perdiccas are Greeks, as they themselves say, I happen to know myself, and not only so, but I will prove in the succeeding history that they are Greeks. Moreover the Hellanodicai, who manage the games at Olympia, decided that they were so: for when Alexander wished to contend in the games and had descended for this purpose into the arena, the Greeks who were to run against him tried to exclude him, saying that the contest was not for Barbarians to contend in but for Greeks: since however Alexander proved that he was of Argos, he was judged to be a Greek, and when he entered the contest of the foot-race his lot came out with that of the first." The Macedonian tribe ruled by the Argeads, was itself called Argead (which translates as "descended from Argos"). Other founding myths served other agenda: according to Justin's, Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus , Caranus, accompanied by a multitude of Greeks came to the area in search for a new homeland took Edessa and renamed it Aegae. Subsequently, he expelled Midas and other kings and formed his new kingdom. Conversely, according to Herodotus , it was Dorus, the son of Hellen who led his people to Histaeotis, whence they were driven off by the Cadmeians into Pindus, where they settled as Macedonians. Later, a branch would migrate further south to be called Dorians. The kingdom was situated in the fertile alluvial plain, watered by the rivers Haliacmon and Axius , called Lower Macedonia, north of the mountain Olympus . Around the time of Alexander I of Macedon , the Argead Macedonians started to expand into Upper Macedonia , lands inhabited by independent Macedonian tribes like the Lyncestae and the Elmiotae and to the West, beyond Axius river, into Eordaia , Bottiaea , Mygdonia , and Almopia , regions settled by, among others, many Thracian tribes. To the north of Macedonia lay various non-Greek peoples such as the Paeonians due north, the Thracians to the northeast, and the Illyrians , with whom the Macedonians were frequently in conflict, to the northwest. To the south lay Thessaly , with whose inhabitants the Macedonians had much in common both culturally and politically, while to west lay Epirus , with whom the Macedonians had a peaceful relationship and in the 4th century BC formed an alliance against Illyrian raids. Near the modern city of Veria , Perdiccas I (or, more likely, his son, Argaeus I ) built his capital, Aigai (modern Vergina ). After a brief period under Persian rule under Darius Hystaspes , the state regained its independence under King Alexander I (495–450 BC). In the Peloponnesian War Macedon was a secondary power that alternated in support between Sparta and Athens. Involvement in the Classical Greek world Prior to the 4th century BC, the kingdom covered a region approximately corresponding to the Western and Central parts of province of Macedonia in modern Greece . A unified Macedonian state was eventually established by King Amyntas III (c. 393 –370 BC), though it still retained strong contrasts between the cattle-rich coastal plain and the fierce isolated tribal hinterland, allied to the king by marriage ties. They controlled the passes through which barbarian invasions came from Illyria to the north and northwest. It became increasingly Atticised during this period, though prominent Athenians appear to have regarded the Macedonians as uncouth. Before the establishment of the League of Corinth , even though the Macedonians apparently spoke a dialect of the Greek language and claimed proudly that they were Greeks, they were not considered to fully share the classical Greek culture by many of the inhabitants of the southern city states, because they did not share the polis based style of government. Herodotus , one of the foremost biographers in antiquity who lived in Greece at the time when the Macedonian king Alexander I was in power, recorded: "And that these descendants of Perdiccas are Hellenes, as they themselves say, I happen to know myself, and not only so, but I will prove in the succeeding history that they are Hellenes. Moreover the Hellanodikai , who manage the games at Olympia, decided that they were so: for when Alexander wished to contend in the games and had descended for this purpose into the arena, the Hellenes who were to run against him tried to exclude him, saying that the contest was not for Barbarians to contend in but for Hellenes: since however Alexander proved that he was of Argos, he was judged to be a Hellene, and when he entered the contest of the foot-race his lot came out with that of the first." Over the 4th century Macedon became more politically involved with the south-central city-states of Ancient Greece , but it also retained more archaic features like the palace-culture, first at Aegae (modern Vergina) then at Pella , resembling Mycenaean culture more than classic Hellenic city-states, and other archaic customs, like Philip's multiple wives in addition to his Epirote queen Olympias , mother of Alexander. Another archaic remnant was the very persistence of a hereditary monarchy which wielded formidable – sometimes absolute – power, although this was at times checked by the landed aristocracy, and often disturbed by power struggles within the royal family itself. This contrasted sharply with the Greek cultures further south, where the ubiquitous city-states mostly possessed aristocratic or democratic institutions; the de facto monarchy of tyrants , in which heredity was usually more of an ambition rather than the accepted rule; and the limited, predominantly military and sacerdotal, power of the twin hereditary Spartan kings. The same might have held true of feudal institutions like serfdom , which may have persisted in Macedon well into historical times. Such institutions were abolished by city-states well before Macedon's rise (most notably by the Athenian legislator Solon 's famous σεισάχθεια seisachtheia laws). Rise of Macedon Philip II , king of Macedon Amyntas had three sons; the first two, Alexander II and Perdiccas III reigned only briefly. Perdiccas III's infant heir was deposed by Amyntas' third son, Philip II of Macedon , who made himself king and ushered in a period of Macedonian dominance in Greece. Under Philip II, (359–336 BC), Macedon expanded into the territory of the Paeonians , Thracians , and Illyrians . Among other conquests, he annexed the regions of Pelagonia and Southern Paeonia . Kingdom of Macedon after Philip's II death. Philip redesigned the army of Macedon adding a number of variations to the traditional hoplite force to make it far more effective. He added the hetairoi , a well armoured heavy cavalry, and more light infantry, both of which added greater flexibility and responsiveness to the force. He also lengthened the spear and shrank the shield of the main infantry force, increasing its offensive capabilities. Philip began to rapidly expand the borders of his kingdom. He first campaigned in the north against non-Greek peoples such as the Illyrians , securing his northern border and gaining much prestige as a warrior. He next turned east, to the territory along the northern shore of the Aegean. The most important city in this area was Amphipolis , which controlled the way into Thrace and also was near valuable silver mines. This region had been part of the Athenian Empire , and Athens still considered it as in their sphere. The Athenians attempted to curb the growing power of Macedonia, but were limited by the outbreak of the Social War . They could also do little to halt Philip when he turned his armies south and took over most of Thessaly . Control of Thessaly meant Philip was now closely involved in the politics of central Greece. 356 BC saw the outbreak of the Third Sacred War that pitted Phocis against Thebes and its allies. Thebes recruited the Macedonians to join them and at the Battle of Crocus Field Phillip decisively defeated Phocis and its Athenian allies. As a result Macedonia became the leading state in the Amphictyonic League and Phillip became head of the Pythian Games, firmly putting the Macedonian leader at the centre of the Greek political world. In the continuing conflict with Athens Philip marched east through Thrace in an attempt to capture Byzantium and the Bosphorus , thus cutting off the Black Sea grain supply that provided Athens with much of its food. The siege of Byzantium failed, but Athens realized the grave danger the rise of Macedon presented and under Demosthenes built a coalition of many of the major states to oppose the Macedonians. Most importantly Thebes, which had the strongest ground force of any of the city states, joined the effort. The allies met the Macedonians at the Battle of Chaeronea and were decisively defeated, leaving Philip and the Macedonians the unquestioned master of Greece. Empire Alexander's empire at the time of its maximum expansion Philip's son, Alexander the Great (356–323 BC), managed to briefly extend Macedonian power not only over the central Greek city-states by becoming Hegemon of the League of Corinth (also known as the "Hellenic League"), but also to the Persian empire , including Egypt and lands as far east as the fringes of India . Alexander helped spread the Greek culture and learning through his vast empire. Although the empire fractured into multiple Hellenic regimes shortly after his death, his conquests left a lasting legacy, not least in the new Greek-speaking cities founded across Persia's western territories, heralding the Hellenistic period. In the partition of Alexander's empire among the Diadochi , Macedonia fell to the Antipatrid dynasty , which was overthrown by the Antigonid dynasty after only a few years, in 294 BC. Hellenistic era Antipater and his son Cassander gained control of Macedonia but it slid into a long period of civil strife following Cassander's death in 297 BC. It was ruled for a while by Demetrius I (294–288 BC) but fell into civil war. Demetrius' son, Antigonus II (277–239 BC), defeated a Galatian invasion as a condottiere , and regained his family's position in Macedonia; he successfully restored order and prosperity there, though he lost control of many of the Greek city-states. He established a stable monarchy under the Antigonid dynasty . Antigonus III (239–221 BC) built on these gains by re-establishing Macedonian power across the region. What is notable about the Macedonian regime during the Hellenistic times is that it was the only successor state to the Empire that maintained the old archaic perception of kingship, and never adopted the ways of the Hellenistic monarchy. Thus the king was never deified in the same way that Ptolemies and Seleucids were in Egypt and Asia respectively, and never adopted the custom of Proskynesis . The ancient Macedonians during the Hellenistic times were still addressing their kings in a far more casual way than the subjects of the rest of the Diadochi, and the kings were still consulting with their aristocracy (Philoi) in the process of making their decisions. Conflict with Rome Under Philip V of Macedon (221–179 BC) and his son Perseus of Macedon (179–168 BC), the kingdom clashed with the rising power of the Roman Republic . During the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, Macedon fought a series of wars with Rome. Two major losses that led to the end of the kingdom were in 197 BC when Rome defeated Philip V, and 168 BC when Rome defeated Perseus. The overall losses resulted in the defeat of Macedon, the deposition of the Antigonid dynasty and the dismantling of the Macedonian kingdom. Andriscus ' brief success at reestablishing the monarchy in 149 BC was quickly followed by his defeat the following year and the establishment of direct Roman rule and the organization of Macedon as the Roman province of Macedonia . Institutions The political organization of the Macedonian kingdom was a three-level pyramid: on the top, the King and the nation, at the foot, the civic organizations (cities and éthnē), and between the two, the districts. The study of these different institutions has been considerably renewed thanks to epigraphy , which has given us the possibility to reread the indications given us by ancient literary sources such as Livy and Polybius . They show that the Macedonian institutions were near to those of the Greek federal states, like the Aetolian and Achaean leagues, whose unity was reinforced by the presence of the king. The Vergina Sun , the 16-ray star covering what appears to be the royal burial larnax of Philip II of Macedon, discovered in Vergina, Greece. The King The king (Βασιλεύς, Basileús) headed the central administration: he led the kingdom from its capital, Pella, and in his royal palace was conserved the state's archive. He was helped in carrying out his work by the Royal Secretary (βασιλικὸς γραμματεύς, basilikós grammateús), whose work was of primary importance, and by the Council . The title "king" (basileús) may have not officially been used by the Macedonian regents until Alexander the Great , whose "usage of it may have been influenced by his ambivalent position in Persia." The king was commander of the army, head of the Macedonian religion, and director of diplomacy. Also, only he could conclude treaties, and, until Philip V , mint coins. The number of civil servants was limited: the king directed his kingdom mostly in an indirect way, supporting himself principally through the local magistrates, the epistates, with whom he constantly kept in touch. Succession Royal succession in Macedon was hereditary, male, patrilineal and generally respected the principle of primogeniture . There was also an elective element: when the king died, his designated heir, generally but not always the eldest son, had first to be accepted by the council and then presented to the general Assembly to be acclaimed king and obtain the oath of fidelity. As can be seen, the succession was far from being automatic, more so considering that many Macedonian kings died violently, without having made dispositions for the succession, or having assured themselves that these would be respected. This can be seen with Perdiccas III , slain by the Illyrians , Philip II assassinated by Pausanias of Orestis , Alexander the Great , suddenly died of malady, etc. Succession crises were frequent, especially up to the 4th century BC, when the magnate families of Upper Macedonia still cultivated the ambition of overthrowing the Argaead dynasty and to ascend to the throne. An atrium with a pebble-mosaic paving, in Pella, Greece Finances The king was the simple guardian and administrator of the treasure of Macedon and of the king's incomes (βασιλικά, basiliká), which belonged to the Macedonians: and the tributes that came to the kingdom thanks to the treaties with the defeated people also went to the Macedonian people, and not to the king. Even if the king was not accountable for his management of the kingdom's entries, he may have felt responsible to defend his administration on certain occasions: Arrian tells us that during the mutiny of Alexander's soldiers at Opis in 324 BC, Alexander detailed the possessions of his father at his death to prove he had not abused his charge. It is known from Livy and Polybius that the basiliká included the following sources of income: The mines of gold and silver (for example those of the Pangaeus ), which were the exclusive possession of the king, and which permitted him to strike currency, as already said his sole privilege till Philip V, who conceded to cities and districts the right of coinage for the lesser denominations, like bronze. The forests, whose timber was very appreciated by the Greek cities to build their ships: in particular, it is known that Athens made commercial treaties with Macedon in the 5th century BC to import the timber necessary for the construction and the maintenance of its fleet of war. The royal landed properties, lands that were annexed to the royal domain through conquest, and that the king exploited either directly, in particular through servile workforce made up of prisoners of war, or indirectly through a leasing system. The port duties on commerce (importation and exportation taxes). The most common way to exploit these different sources of income was by leasing: the Pseudo-Aristotle reports in the Oeconomica that Amyntas III (or maybe Philip II) doubled the kingdom's port revenues with the help of Callistratus , who had taken refuge in Macedon, bringing them from 20 to 40 talents per year. To do this, the exploitation of the harbour taxes was given every year at the private offering the highest bidding. It is also known from Livy that the mines and the forests were leased for a fixed sum under Philip V, and it appears that the same happened under the Argaead dynasty: from here possibly comes the leasing system that was used in Ptolemaic Egypt . Except for the king's properties, land in Macedon was free: Macedonians were free men and did not pay land taxes on private grounds. Even extraordinary taxes like those paid by the Athenians in times of war did not exist. Even in conditions of economic peril, like what happened to Alexander in 334 BC and Perseus in 168 BC, the monarchy did not tax its subjects but raised funds through loans, first of all by his Companions, or raised the cost of the leases. The king could grant the atelíē (ἀτελίη), a privilege of tax exemption, as Alexander did with those Macedonian families which had losses in the battle of the Granicus in May 334 : they were exempted from paying tribute for leasing royal grounds and commercial taxes. Extraordinary incomes came from the spoils of war, which were divided between the king and his men. At the time of Philip II and Alexander, this was a considerable source of income. A considerable part of the gold and silver objects taken at the time of the European and Asian campaigns were melted in ingots and then sent to the monetary foundries of Pella and Amphipolis , most active of the kingdom at that time: an estimate judges that during the reign of Alexander only the mint of Amphipolis struck about 13 million silver tetradrachms . The Assembly All the kingdom's citizen-soldiers gather in a popular assembly, which is held at least twice a year, in spring and in autumn, with the opening and the closing of the campaigning season. This assembly (koinê ekklesia or koinon makedonôn), of the army in times of war, of the people in times of peace, is called by the king and plays a significant role through the acclamation of the kings and in capital trials; it can be consulted (without obligation) for the foreign politics (declarations of war, treaties) and for the appointment of high state officials. In the majority of these occasions, the Assembly does nothing but ratify the proposals of a smaller body, the Council. It is also the Assembly which votes the honors, sends embassies, during its two annual meetings. It was abolished by the Romans at the time of their reorganization of Macedonia in 167 BC, to prevent, according to Livy, that a demagogue could make use of it as a mean to revolt against their authority. Council (Synedrion) The Council was a small group formed among some of the most eminent Macedonians, chosen by the king to assist him in the government of the kingdom. As such it was not a representative assembly, but notwithstanding that on certain occasions it could be expanded with the admission of representatives of the cities and of the civic corps of the kingdom. The members of the Council (synedroi) belong to three categories: The somatophylakes (in Greek literally "bodyguards") were noble Macedonians chosen by the king to serve to him as honorary bodyguards, but especially as close advisers. It was a particularly prestigious honorary title. In the times of Alexander there were seven of them. The Friends (philoi) or the king's Companions (basilikoi hetairoi ) were named for life by the king among the Macedonian aristocracy. The most important generals of the army (hégémones tôn taxéôn), also named by the king. The king had in reality less power in the choice of the members of the Council than appearances would warrant; this was because many of the kingdom's most important noblemen were members of the Council by birth-right. The Council primarily exerted a probouleutic function with respect to the Assembly: it prepared and proposed the decisions which the Assembly would have discussed and voted, working in many fields such as the designation of kings and regents, as of that of the high administrators and the declarations of war. It was also the first and final authority for all the cases which did not involve capital punishment. The Council gathered frequently and represented the principal body of government of the kingdom. Any important decision taken by the king was subjected before it for deliberation. Inside the Council ruled the democratic principles of iségoria (equality of word) and of parrhésia (freedom of speech), to which even the king subjected himself. After the removal of the Antigonid dynasty by the Romans in 167 BC, it is possible that the synedrion remained, unlike the Assembly, representing the sole federal authority in Macedonia after the country's division in four merides. Regional districts (Merides) The creation of an intermediate territorial administrative level between the central government and the cities should probably be attributed to Philip II: this reform corresponded with the need to adapt the kingdom's institutions to the great expansion of Macedon under his rule. It was no longer practical to convene all the Macedonians in a single general assembly, and the answer to this problem was the creation of four regional districts, each with a regional assembly. These territorial divisions clearly did not follow any historical or traditional internal divisions; they were simply artificial administrative lines. This said, it should be noted that the existence of these districts is not attested with certainty (by numismatics ) before the beginning of the 2nd century BC. 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 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 - 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? 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