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Pella, Ca. 348-329 BC

Kingdom of Macedon, Philip II Ar. tetradrachm, Pella. Laureate head of Zeus to right. Rev. ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ; Nude youth riding horse to right, reins in left hand, victory palm in right hand, bunch of grapes on a stem beneath the horse. LeRider Philip II 1.422.

Following his victory at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, Phillip II enjoyed a position of hegemony over almost all of Greece. He established the League of Corinth to codify and legitimise this position, his Macedonian origins alienating him slightly from his Greek subjects.

The inclusion of Zeus on the obverse of this silver tetradrachm forms another source of political legitimacy, signalling the ancestral links of Argead house to the god through his son, Herakles. The reverse also signals the Greekness of the Macedonian royal house, commemorating Phillip II’s victory in the Olympic horse race in 356 BC (Plut. Alex. 3.8)

For additional information see:
Price, M. J., 1979, “The Coinage of Philip II.” The Numismatic Chronicle (1966-), 19 (139), 230–241.


SKU: CAT-019
  • Dimensions 

    D: 28mm ; 14.5g

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