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    Rare Philip V Variety

    MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Philip V (221-179 BC). AR tetradrachm (32mm, 17.11 gm, 12h).  Pella or Amphipolis, ca. 211-197 BC. Helmeted and beardless head of the hero Perseus left, harpa over shoulder, in boss of a Macedonian shield decorated with seven eight-pointed stars within double crescents / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟY, large, thick club of Heracles within oak wreath, M to left. Boehringer, Chron. pl. 8, 7 (same dies). AMNG III pg. 197, 1 (Philip VI; same dies). Very rare variety! NGC Choice XF? 5/5 - 5/5.

    From The California Collection. Ex Triton VIII (New York, 11 January 2005), lot 191. 

    Philip V was the most ambitious and opportunistic king of Macedon since Alexander the Great more than a century before. Soon after gaining the throne in 221 BC, Philip began strengthening Macedon's military and seeking ways to increase his dominance over Greece. Around 215 BC, he observed Hannibal's early success against Rome and made an 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.  Tetradrachms of this impressive type, marked by a beardless head of Perseus, a particularly large and heavy club, and the absence of reverse control marks, were originally attributed by Gaebler in AMNG to the revolt of the pretender Philip VI Andriscus in 149-148 BC. Gaebler based this conclusion on his observation that some coins of the type appeared to be overstruck on tetradrachms of the LEG MAKEDONON type, struck circa 149 BC. A reassessment of the evidence by Philip Thompson and Boehringer concluded the coins were struck much earlier than Gaebler supposed, in the latter stages of Philip V's reign. 


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    January, 2015
    4th-5th Sunday-Monday
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