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24712

Ancients: Demetrius I (ca. 200-185 BC). AR tetradrachm (33.5mm, 17.10 gm, 11h). ...

2013 April 18-19 & 22-23 CICF World & Ancient Coins Signature Auction - Chicago #3024

 
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Auction Ended On: Apr 19, 2013
Item Activity: 2 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel
5440 N. River Rd.
Rosemont, IL 60018

Description:
Choice Demetrius I Tetradrachm
Demetrius I (ca. 200-185 BC). AR tetradrachm (33.5mm, 17.10 gm, 11h).  Diademed and draped bust of Demetrius right, wearing elephant skin headdress / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY, Heracles standing facing, crowning himself with wreath held in right hand and cradling club in left arm draped with lion skin; monogram to inner left. SNG Bopearachchi Série 1F. SNG ANS 192. Well centered and struck in high relief on an exceptionally broad flan. NGC Choice XF 5/5 - 4/5.

The unusual elephant headdress worn by Demetrius recalls that of Alexander the Great on early tetradrachms of Ptolemaic Egypt, referring to his conquests in northern India. Demetrius campaigned in India while serving a long apprenticeship under his father, Euthydemus I, as recorded on a dedicatory stone recently discovered north of Ai Khanoum in Afghanistan. After succeeding to the throne, he launched an invasion of Northern India that extended Greek control into modern Pakistan. The historian Strabo claims "more tribes were subdued by [Demetrius] than Alexander."  He apparently made Taxila in the Punjab his capital, and during his reign the Greco-Bactrian kingdom seems to have reached its greatest extent. The cause of his death is unknown. His son Euthydemos II seems to have reigned for a short time before his kingdom fragmented, with his ministers and/or relations Agathocles, Antimachus, and Panteleon claiming portions of it. 

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