When Alexander the Great died on June 11, 323 B.C., his empire
disintegrated, setting off decades of warfare.
A circa 313 B.C. gold drachm from Karystos on Euboia, struck to pay the
forces fighting the Diadochi, Alexander’s rival generals, family and
friends, highlights Gorny & Mosch’s March 9 auction No. 228.
The auction is one of four over four days following the Numismata
During the War of the Diadochs (315 to 311 B.C.), Antiogonos I
Monophthalmos sent his nephew Ptolemaios to Greece, where he formed an
alliance with anti-Macedonian factions in various city-states.
Ptolemaios united these factions to revolt against Kassander,
wresting most of Greece from Macedonian control. His effort began in
Boiotia and Euboia, the latter being where this coin was struck,
likely to help finance the anti-Macedonian cause.
Both gold and silver versions are known, according to J.R. Melville
Jones in “The Date of the Gold Drachma of Carystus” (Numismatic
“The dies for the silver coins were prepared by an artist of only
mediocre talent, while the gold ones show the work of a craftsman of
the first rank,” Jones wrote.
The coin in the auction is one of at least 12 examples known.
Graded About Extremely Fine, it has an estimate of €7,000 (about
$7,996 in U.S. funds). The same example realized $14,950, including
the 15 percent buyer’s fee, when sold Jan. 14, 2008, by Stack’s.
For more about the auction, visit the firm's website.
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