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    Description

    Early Bactrian Stater

    GRECO-BACTRIAN KINGDOM. Diodotus I as Satrap (ca. 250-230 BC). AV stater (20mm, 8.23 gm, 6h). Mint A, in the name of Antiochus II. Diademed head of Diodotus I right / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ, nude Zeus, striding left, hurling thunderbolt, holding aegis over left arm, eagle with raised wings standing left to left of feet,  Ν in left field. Bopearachchi 5b. SC 629.1. Well struck and lacking the usual test cut. NGC AU 5/5 - 5/5, Fine Style.

    The traditional attribution of this well-known type holds that it depicts Diodotus I, the first king of independent Bactria, but gives the name of the concurrent Seleucid King, Antiochus II Theos. Under this interpretation, the coin represents the Bactrian Kingdom's transition from being the largest and furthest-flung province of the Seleucid Kingdom to full independence under Diodotus, who later (after about 235 BC) struck coins naming himself as king, or Basileus. A more recent theory put forth by historian Jens Jakobsson in Numismatic Chronicle (2010) posits that "Antiochus Nicator" was an entirely different ruler of Bactria, probably a son of Diodotus I, who ruled concurrently with his father and brother Diodotus II, perhaps ca. 235-220 BC. However, Brian Kritt examines this theory in his new publication, "New Discoveries In Bactrian Numismatics" (CNG 8, 2015), and finds that many of the die links used to support the "Antiochus Nicator" theory are either false or incorrectly sequenced. Kritt concludes that the earlier attribution to Diodotus I is most likely correct. 


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