Alexander III of Macedon (336-323 BCE)

Lampsacus (Mysia) mint, Gold Stater, 328-323 BCE
weight: 8.5g, width: 1.92cm

Alexander AU OBVAlexander AU REV

OBV.: Head of Athena facing right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet adorned with a coiled snake.
REV.: Winged Nike standing, facing left, holding a wreath in her outstretched right hand and a ship’s standard (stylis) in her left hand. Mint marks: Two horse-foreparts conjoined in left field, monogram "Di(o)" below left wing. Inscription ALEXANDROU (= "of Alexander") in right field.

HFMA nr. 2006.010.005. Ref.: Price (1991) nr. 1358.


The gold coins of Alexander the Great proclaim him as the leader of a unified Greece that fights together against the Persian barbarians. The goddess Athena on the obverse with her Corinthian helmet probably symbolizes the League of Greek States situated in Corinth that had elected Alexander, like his father Philipp before him, as their leader for the planned invasion of the Persian Empire.
 
The winged victory goddess Nike is both a reminder of the glorious past and a representation of Greek hopes for a similarly glorious future. The naval standard that she holds in her hand probably alludes to the naval victory against the Persian invaders at Salamis in 480 BCE, and it promises similar victories under Alexander's leadership in the future.

O.K.

Literature:
Price, M.,  The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus: A British Museum Catalogue. Zürich: Swiss Numismatic Society/London: British Museum Press, 1991.

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