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    Brilliant, Beautiful Philip III Stater

    MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Philip III Arrhidaeus (323-317 BC). AV stater (19mm, 8.54 gm, 11h).  Babylon, circa 323-318/7 BC. Head of Athena right, wearing crested Corinthian helmet decorated with leaping griffin / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦΙΛΙΠΠOY, Nike standing left, holding wreath in extended right hand and cradling stylis in left arm; facing head of Helios below left wing, KY below right wing. Price P203 (same obverse die as illustration). A flawless and gorgeous specimen, perfectly struck from dies of exemplary style, displaying brilliant luster. NGC Choice MS? 5/5 - 5/5. Fine Style.

    Born ca. 359 BC, Arrhidaeus was the illegitimate son of Philip II, king of Macedon, by a Thessalian dancer. According to Plutarch, a poisoning attempt by Philip's jealous wife Olympias left Arrhideus mentally retarded. His half-brother Alexander III the Great was quite fond of him and took him on campaigns. When Alexander died in Babylon in June, 323 BC, the army split into rival factions, one of which wanted to name Arrhidaeus as king, the other supporting Alexander's as-yet unborn son by the Afghan princess Roxanne. A council of generals hammered out a compromise by which Arrhidaeus would be crowned as Philip III, and would reign jointly with the infant Alexander IV. However, neither had any real power, this being held by a succession of regents, all Macedonian generals, including Perdiccas, Antipater, and Polyperchon. The new king proved as compliant and simple-minded as the generals had hoped, but in 320 BC, Arrhidaeus married a niece of Philip II's, the ambitious Eurydice, who  involved herself fully in the deadly politics of the Diadochi. In 317 BC, she threw her support behind Cassander's successful bid to replace Polyperchon as regent. Cassander left her and Arrhidaeus in charge of Macedon while he went on campaign in Asia. Popyperchon, however, joined forces with Alexander's mother Olympias and invaded Macedon. Eurydice and Philip raised an army to oppose them, but their soldiers defected en masse. Arrhidaeus and Eurydice were captured and executed. Cassander soon returned to power and ordered the couple to be buried with the pomp befitting a king and queen of Macedon. A scholarly minority holds that the royal tomb discovered in Verginia in 1977, usually held to be that of Philip II, actually belongs to his unfortunate son Philip III Arrhidaeus. 


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    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
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