The tetradrachm was Alexander’s silver stater, or standard denomination, with more of them minted than any other Alexander denomination. Unlike Alexander’s bronze coinage, which was largely used in local marketplaces, tetradrachm were international, imperial coins that were used in state transactions. Alexander the Great was the legendary king of the Hellenistic Kingdom of Macedon. Born in 356 BC, he succeeded his father, Philip II, when he was just 20 years old. In just 10 years from his ascension to the throne, he built one of the largest empires of the Ancient World, as his kingdom stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River. He died in Babylon, which he intended to make the capital of his empire, in 323 BC, at just 33 years of age. The inclusion of Herakles on the coin refers not only to the demi-god’s heroic abilities but to allude to Alexander’s own prowess and supreme lineage.
Selection of Alexander the Great Silver Tetradrachms
A selection of Alexander the Great silver tetradrachms, each featuring the profile bust of Alexander dressed as Herakles on their obverse. His youthful features are delicately rendered; the deep-set eye, prominent nose and slightly furrowed brow still retain an excellent definition. He wears the Nemean lion-skin headdress, one of Herakles typical attributes, which imbues the Greek ruler with divine qualities. The reverse of the coins depicts the Greek god Zeus, seated to the left on a throne, holding an eagle in his right hand and sceptre in his left. The Greek inscription ΑΛΕΞΑΝ∆ΡΟΥ is written vertically to the right of the figure of Zeus. The legend, written in the genitive case, translates as, ALEXANDROY, meaning ‘[the coinage] of Alexander’.
Condition: Very fine condition.