ALEXANDER III ‘THE GREAT’ | TETRADRACHM
The tetradrachms of Alexander III are avidly collected today for both artistic beauty and historical significance. The Alexander coin has Herakles (or Hercules as the Romans called him) on the front (obverse). On the back (reverse) was the supreme god, Zeus, who was the father of Herakles. Zeus sits on his throne holding a scepter and eagle. Although some people have argued the image of Herakles was Alexander himself, there is no convincing evidence of this and the face of Herakles is diverse in different regions. Herakles was the greatest hero of the Greeks. Born of the Greek god Zeus and made mortal, Herakles attained divine status by accomplishing 12 great tasks on Earth known as the 12 Labours of Herakles. The idea of a man becoming a god obviously was an attractive image for Alexander. The headdress that appears on the head of Herakles is the lion skin of the fierce Nemean lion that was killed by Herakles during his first labour.
MINTED: Circa 336-323 B.C.
ARTEMIS COIN | TETRADRACHM
This tetradrachm comes from Macedonia (Greece) as a protectorate of Rome. The inscription means ‘Macedonians First.’ Artemis on the front of the coin was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women. She often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows, as can be seen on her shoulder on the coin.
MINTED: Circa 168-148 B.C.