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    Exceptional Philip V Tetradrachm

    MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Philip V (220-179 BC). AR tetradrachm (34mm, 16.74 gm, 12h). NGC AU 5/5 - 4/5. Head of Perseus left, wearing winged Phrygian helmet with griffin at peak, harpa over shoulder; all within doubled-lined circle in center of Macedonian shield, the outer margins ornamented with stars within doubled ovals / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΦIΛΛIΠOY, large horizontal club; single monogram above and two below; all within oak wreath; smaller vertical club in outer left field. Mamroth p. 296, 8. AMNG III, 3 variant (same). Boldly struck on an immense flan, with subdued luster in fields.

    From the Northern California Collection. Acquired from Freeman & Sear, 2002.

    Philip V was the most ambitious and opportunistic king of Macedon since Alexander III the Great. Soon after gaining the throne in 221 BC, Philip began strengthening Macedon's military and seeking ways to increase his dominance over Greece and the Balkans. Around 215 BC, he observed Hannibal's early success against Rome and made a treaty of alliance with Carthage, hoping to seize control of the Roman protectorate of Illyricum. The Romans viewed this as a stab in the back. In 200 BC, with Carthage defeated, the Romans moved decisively against Philip under the general T. Quinctius Flamininus. After two years of maneuvering, the Roman legions shattered Macedon's phalanx at the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 BC. Forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty, Philip became a Roman ally and managed to recoup some of his lost territory and prestige over the next decade. Relations with Rome deteriorated throughout the 180s BC and Philip was making plans for another war when he died in 179 BC, leaving his son Perseus the dubious distinction of pursuing the course set by his father and presiding over its disastrous consequences.


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