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    Description

    Rare Pedigree Tetradrachm

    GRECO-BACTRIAN KINGDOM. Agathocles (ca. 185-170 BC), in the name of Diodotus I Soter. AR tetradrachm (32mm, 15.63 gm, 12h). "Pedigree issue" commemorating Diodotus I (ca. 255-235 BC). ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ [Δ]ΙΟΔΟΤΟΥ, diademed head of Diodotos I right / BAΣIΛEΥONTOΣ AΓAΘOKΛEOYΣ ΔIKAIOY, Zeus striding left, seen from behind, extending left arm covered by aegis, brandishing thunderbolt in right hand; to left, wreath above eagle standing left; monogram in inner right field. Bopearachchi Série 14E. Mitchiner 144a. Extremely rare! Areas of surface roughness and porosity. NGC XF 4/5 - 2/5.

    Numismatic evidence indicates the reign  of Agathocles followed upon that of Demetrius I, who extended Greek rule deep into northern India, and likely overlapped and coincided with the reigns of Euthydemus II (son of Demetrius?), Pantaleon, Antimachus I, and Eucratides I "the Great," who seems to have conquered his realm about 171-170 BC. Agathocles struck a remarkable "pedigree" coinage naming as his antecedents Alexander III "the Great," Antiochus "Nicator" (Antiochus II?), Diodotus I and II, Euthydemus I, and Demetrius I. Only the last four of these rulers had any blood relation to each other; in fact, they were in some cases deadly enemies. In honoring them on his coinage, Agathocles seems to be claiming legitimacy based on the authority inherent in their names and titles, rather than any personal blood relationship. This extremely rare tetradrachm type has both the portrait and name of Diodotus I, here named as Soter or "Savior,"  who founded the Bactrian Kingdom by breaking away from Seleucid rule in the mid third century BC. 


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
    3rd-4th Sunday-Monday
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