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    Description

    Heroic Seleucus I Portrait

    SELEUCID KINGDOM. Seleucus I Nicator (312-281 BC). AR tetradrachm (26mm, 16.94 gm, 9h).  Susa, circa 305-295 BC. Head of Seleucus I right, wearing Attic helmet covered with panther skin and adorned with bull's horns and ear, panther skin tied around neck / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΕΛΕΥΚΟΥ, Nike standing right, crowning trophy of arms, M to lower left, AX between Nike and trophy. SC 174.14. ESM (Persepolis) 420. HGC 9, 20. Well struck, nicely centered, and struck from dies of fine style. Attractive light toning. Extremely Fine.

    Debate has long swirled regarding the identity of the 'helmeted hero' appearing on the obverse of this type - is it Seleucus I himself, or Alexander the Great, or a composite demigod incorporating features of Seleucus, Alexander and Dionysus? In the Handbook of Syrian Coins (HGC 9, CNG 2009), Oliver Hoover opts for identifying the portrait as an idealized image of Seleucus himself. The reverse design of Nike crowning trophy, shown with exemplary centering and unusual clarity in this example, was paralleled by a nearly simultaneous issue of the Syracusan tyrant Agathocles. The motif would prove highly influential in both Greek and Roman coins for centuries to come. 


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    Auction Dates
    August, 2014
    8th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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