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    Pleasing Ptolemy II Half Mnaieion

    PTOLEMAIC EGYPT. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 BC), with Arsinoe II, Ptolemy I, and Berenice I. AV half mnaieion or tetradrachm (21mm, 13.85 gm, 12h). Alexandria, ca. 270/65-261/0 BC. Jugate busts of Ptolemy II, draped and diademed, and Arsinoe II, diademed and veiled, right; AΔEΛΦΩN above, Gallic shield behind / Jugate busts of Ptolemy I, diademed and draped, and Berenice, diademed and veiled, right; ΘEΩN above. Svoronos 604. SNG Copenhagen 133. A few faint marks, otherwise very well struck and possessing lovely surfaces. NGC AU 5/5 - 3/5, light scratches.

    From the Northern California Collection. Ex Triton III (30 November - December 1, 1999), lot 655.

    Gold coins of the mnaieion and half-mnaieion denomination were first struck under Ptolemy II (282-246 BC), who built the famous Library of Alexandria and towering Pharos lighthouse. In 279 BC he married his sister, the beautiful and ambitious Arsinoe, in the manner of the old Egyptian pharaohs. The sibling marriage scandalized Greek society, which gave Arsinoe the nickname Philadelphus, or "brother-lover." The first half-mnaieions carried four royal portraits: Ptolemy II and his sister-wife on the obverse with the epithet adelphon ("sibling lovers"), backed with the portraits of his parents, Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice I, now identified as theon ("gods"). 


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2016
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