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Description

Splendid Ptolemy III Portrait

Ptolemy III Eurgetes (246-222 BC). AV mnaieion (28mm, 27.80 gm, 6h).  Alexandria, struck by Ptolemy IV Philopator, 222-205 BC. Bust of the deified Ptolemy III right, wearing radiate diadem and aegis, trident ornamented with lotus over far shoulder / ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ. filleted and radiate cornucopia, ΔI below. Svoronos 1117. SNG Copenhagen 196. An outstanding specimen, struck from fresh dies and possessing flawless surfaces. Lustrous. Mint State.


Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222 BC) was the Ptolemaic dynasty's greatest conqueror. Shortly after inheriting the throne, he launched a massive invasion of the neighboring Seleucid Kingdom of Syria. Easily crushing all resistance, he reached as far as Babylon, where he proclaimed himself King of Kings. For a heady moment, Ptolemy III seemed to have gathered almost all of Alexander the Great's vast empire into his own hands. But instead of trying to step into Alexander's shoes, he wisely imposed severe terms on the Seleucids, annexed Palestine and Phoenicia, and returned to a rapturous welcome in Alexandria. Ptolemy III's powerful portrait appears on gold octadrachms struck by his son, Ptolemy IV Philopator, who succeeded him in 221 BC. The great conqueror appears almost bloated; while likely an accurate portrait, his well-fed appearance is also visual shorthand for Egypt's bountiful abundance. Ptolemy III also sports an array of godly attributes, including the rayed crown of Helios, the trident of Poseidon, and the aegis of Zeus. The reverse depicts a cornucopia, again symbolizing the plenty of Egypt. 



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Auction Dates
January, 2013
6th-7th
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 4
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