No ruler of ancient Greece may be as well known and widely discussed as Alexander III, Alexander the Great.
The Macedonian ruler destroyed the Persian Empire and his conquests helped spread Hellenistic culture across a hefty portion of the globe. His coins are an exciting relic of the famous ruler and his imprint on history.
A “Nearly Mint State” gold stater of Amphipholis, issued circa 330 to 320 B.C. by the ruler, is offered in Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins & Collectibles’ Pre-Long Beach auction Sept. 6 and 7.
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Greek-speaking people settled all over the Mediterranean, establishing cities from Spain to the Black Sea in southern Russia. Alexander became ruler of Macedonia in 336 B.C. when his father Philip II was murdered (ancient Macedonia was situated in the northeastern area of modern day Greece).
Though only 20 years old, the new ruler fought for and victoriously claimed the land in Asia Minor that is now modern-day Turkey (though they were under rule of the Persian Empire, Greek-speaking people dwelled in many of the coastal cities of Asia Minor).
Alexander was highly successful, reclaiming land all the way to the borders of India, defeating every combatant for 13 years. He died in 323 B.C. at the age of 33 years old, while headed home through Babylon.
Many of the ruler’s coins feature Alexander the Great himself, but the gold stater in the Goldberg auction features the head of Athena, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet, the bowl of which is adorned with serpent coiled to right.
The reverse of the coin shows the goddess Nike standing left, holding wreath and stylis, with a thunderbolt.
The coin weighs 8.57 grams, or slightly more than the weight of a Presidential dollar (which weighs 8.1 grams).