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    Radiant Rhodes Tetradrachm

    CARIAN ISLANDS. Rhodes. Ca. 229-205 BC. AR tetradrachm (27mm, 13.64 gm, 11h). NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5. Ameinias, magistrate. Radiate head of Helios facing slightly right, hair parted in middle and swept to either side / ΡΟΔΙΟΝ above rose with single bud on stem to right; AMEIN-IAΣ across field, galley prow in left field. Ashton 212. SNG Keckman 542. HGC 6, 1432. An uncommonly handsome example of this important Hellenistic type, deeply struck from dies of sensational style on a broad, round flan, nicely displaying the full radiate crown.

    The city of Rhodes on its eponymous island was a relatively late foundation, formed in 408 BC by the union of Ialussus, Camirus and Lindus. Its strategic position on an island between Europe and Asia Minor assured its prosperity and growing importance as a naval power. In 305 BC, Rhodes allied itself with Ptolemy I of Egypt against Antigonus I and his son, Demetrius, who quickly attacked the city and placed it under a titanic siege. Despite employing the most imposing artillery and siege engines yet seen, Demetrius was forced to give up the siege by the timely arrival of a relief force sent by Ptolemy. The Rhodians sold off the abandoned siege equipment for 300 talents, and used the money to build a gigantic statue of the city's patron god, Apollo-Helios. Designed by the brilliant sculptor Chares of Lindos, the statue was composed of bronze plates attached to an iron frame and stood 98 feet tall atop a 50-foot base. The head of Helios was topped by a crown of sunbeams, an image replicated on the famous coins of Rhodes, including the example seen here.


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    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
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