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    MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Philip III Arrhidaeus (323-317 BC). AV stater (19mm, 8.57 gm, 11h). NGC MS 5/5 - 4/5, Fine Style. Babylon, ca. 323-318/7 BC. Helmeted head of Athena right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛΛIΠOY, Nike standing left, holding wreath and stylis; wheel in outer left field, monogram below left wing. Price P193. Cleanly struck and well centered on a broad flan, with considerable luster.

    Philip III was the regnal name of Arrhidaeus, the slow-witted half-brother of Alexander III the Great. When Alexander died in Babylon in June, 323 BC, a council of generals hammered out a compromise by which Arrhidaeus would be crowned as Philip III, and would reign jointly with the infant son of the conqueror, Alexander IV. However, neither had any real power, this being held by a succession of regents. 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, Eurydice, who had enough ambition for the both of them. Eurydice plunged into the complex and deadly politics of the Diadochi, although all too frequently chosing the losing side. In 317 BC, she threw her support behind Cassander's successful bid to become regent. Cassander left her and Arrhidaeus in charge of Macedon while he went on campaign in Asia. However, Alexander's mother Olympias raised her own army and invaded Macedon. Arrhidaeus and Eurydice were captured; ater holding them hostage, Olympias finally ordered Arrhidaeus executed and compelled Eurydice to commit suicide. The coinage of Philip is clearly based on that of Alexander, showing no innovations except for the name.


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    January, 2017
    8th-9th Sunday-Monday
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