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    Two 'Helmeted Heroes'

    SELEUCID KINGDOM. Seleucus I Nicator (312-281 BC). AR tetradrachm (27mm, 16.92 gm, 6h). NGC XF 5/5 - 3/5. 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, AI monogram to lower left, monogram between Nike and trophy. SC 173.4. HGC 9 20. With a well-struck obverse and attractive toning.

    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
    September, 2017
    7th-12th Thursday-Tuesday
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