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    Impressive Macedonian Octadrachm

    MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Alexander I (498-454 BC). AR octadrachm (31mm, 28.23 gm).  Struck circa 492-480/79 BC. Horseman, wearing chlamys and petasos, holding two spears, standing right behind horse standing right, foreleg raised / Quadripartite incuse square. Raymond pl. II, 6. SNG ANS 1. HPM pl. XII, 2 (Bisaltai). Boldly struck on a broad, massive flan. Slight surface porosity, otherwise a choice example. NGC XF 5/5 - 3/5. 

    From The California Collection. Ex Daniel Koppersmith Collection (CNG 94, 18 September 2013) lot 212; Goldberg 63 (31 May 2011), lot 2437.

    Although previously attributed as a tribal issue of the Bisaltai, one of the powerful Thraco-Macedonian tribes that struck coinage in the late 6th and early 5th centuries, recent scholarship assigns it to Alexander I, king of Macedon during the Greco-Persian wars of 492-479 BC. Alexander was painted as a rather double-dealing character by the historian Herodotus. When Persian envoys  arrived in 492 BC to ask for Macedon's submission, Alexander ordered their arrest and execution. He spent several years enlisting the support of the tribal regions of Thrace and Macedon in a guerrilla campaign against the Persians; this was likely the era in which this coin was struck on a weight standard also used by the allied Bisaltai.  The huge invasion of Greece launched by Xerxes in 480 BC forced Alexander to submit to Persian rule; however, while supposedly acting as a mediator between the Persians and the other Greek states, he secretly plotted against his overlords and gave the allied Greek army critical intelligence prior to the battle of Plataea in 479 BC that helped them secure a resounding victory. When the surviving Persian soldiers passed through Macedon, Alexander attacked them near the river Strymon and massacred most of the 43,000-man host. 


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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2015
    4th-5th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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