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    Description

    Rare Perseus Didrachm

    MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Perseus (179-168 BC). AR didrachm (24mm, 8.53 gm, 12h). Pella or Amphipolis mint, Zoilos, magistrate. Struck ca. 178-174 BC. Diademed head right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠEPΣEΩΣ, sword; monogram above; monogram and Ξ below; all within oak wreath; star to outer left. Mamroth 14X var. (control marks). SNG Copenhagen 1270 var. (same). Very rare! One of only four examples offered at auction in the last decade. Toned. A few scattered marks, but very attractive overall, with a high-relief portrait of great artistry. Extremely Fine.

    Ex Freeman & Sear FPL 12 (Winter 2007), no. 53; Triton V (15 January 2002), lot 1314.

    The last independent king of Macedon, Perseus inherited the throne from his father Philip V after the latter had his pro-Roman son Demetrius executed. Thus the tone was set from the outset of his reign for an eventual clash which proved fatal to the Antigonid monarchy and Macedonian independence. Perseus skilfully rebuilt the Macedonian army and a network of marriage alliances during the first years of his reign, which the Romans watched with rising alarm. The Third Macedonian War broke out in 171 BC, and for a time Perseus employed guerrilla tactics which gave him the initiative and kept the Romans on their heels. Like his father, though, he chose to risk all in a single pitched battle at Pydna and lost badly to the Roman general  Lucius Aemilius Paullus. Perseus surrendered and was allowed to live out his life in comfortable captivity in Rome; the Macedonian Kingdom was divided into four theoretically autonomous Republics which were soon subsumed into direct Roman rule. The coinage of Perseus is one of the more attractive of the Hellenistic series; while tetradrachms are fairly plentiful, didrachms such as this one are exceedingly rare.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2014
    3rd-10th Wednesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 430

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