Northern Greece. Kings of Macedon. Antigonos II Gonatas, 277/6 - 239 BC.
Tetradrachm, Amphipolis, 274/1 - 260/55 BC. (Silver, 17.13g., 29.9mm). Horned head of Pan to left, wearing goat skin around his neck and with lagobolon behind; all within the center of a Macedonian shield adorned with stars and crescents / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΓΟΝΟΥ Athena Alkidemos striding left, holding shield with her left hand and brandishing a thunderbolt in her right; to left, facing Macedonian helmet with transverse crest; to right, monogram of ΗΛ. SNG Alpha Bank 987. SNG Copenhagen 1199. SNG Oxford 3259.
Antigonos II Gonatas was the son of the mercurial Demetrios Poliorketes and grandson of Antigonos Monophthalmos: he thus had the heritage of two of the most aggressive of Alexander’s successors running in his veins. Born in c. 320/319 he was just 18 when his grandfather was killed at Ipsus in 301 and his father was driven out of most of his territories. This situation soon changed: in 294 Demetrius was able to seize the Macedonian throne from Cassander’s son Alexander, and made Antigonos his primary commander in Greece. Thanks to his father’s adventurism, which resulted in his death in captivity, Antigonos became king of Macedon in 283/2, though he only managed to solidify his rule there in 277/6 (this followed his great victory over the Celts at Lysimacheia in 277). Antigonos’s rule lasted until his death at the great age of 81 and was basically a period of well-being and consolidation for both Macedon and Greece as a whole. There were wars against Pyrrhus of Epirus and the Egyptian Ptolemy II, as well as problems with a resurgent Achaean League, but overall Antigonos’s policies were successful. The unusual obverse type of this coin, a Macedonian shield ornamented with a head of Pan, commemorates Antigonos’s victories over the Celts, which were believed to have been aided by the terror unleashed by the god.
Grading/Status: Very attractively toned and very well struck. Good extremely fine.
Nomos Fixed Price List 2008, 25.
Triton VI, 14 January 2003, 189.
Collection of N. B. Hunt II, Sotheby’s 21 June 1990, 391.
Collection of S. Weintraub.