Article

Royal Hellenistic Coinages: From Alexander to Mithradates

François de Callataÿ

in The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195305746
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195305746.013.0011

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Royal Hellenistic Coinages: From Alexander to Mithradates

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This article considers the Hellenistic royal coinages in the long term, including the essential developments preceding the death of Alexander. With metallic resources, Philip started first to issue a rich coinage in silver, mostly of heavy tetradrachms. With some 544 obverse dies attributed to the period around 356–328 BC, the pace of these strikings exceeded those of any preceding Macedonian king. But the true innovation for the Greek world was the gold coinage. The ability to control sources of precious metals proved to be decisive on the eve of the Hellenistic period. Philip II of Macedon succeeded in seizing the Pangean mines located in Macedon, while Alexander the Great captured the Persian treasuries accumulated by the Achaemenids in their palaces in what is now Iran. By domino effect, these two events, and the uses made of them, had dramatic consequences, shaping the world for centuries.

Keywords: Hellenistic; coinage; Alexander; precious metals; domino effect

Article.  5989 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Greek and Roman Archaeology ; Historical Archaeology

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