Detail View: The AMICA Library: Reverse: Athena enthroned holding Nike (Victory)

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Creator Name: 
Lysimachus, King
Creator Nationality: 
European; Southern European; Mediterranean
Creator Dates/Places: 
Greek; reigned 306-281 B.C. Early Western World,Ancient Mediterranean,Ancient
Creator Name-CRT: 
King Lysimachus
Creator Name: 
Creator Nationality: 
European; Southern European; Mediterranean
Creator Dates/Places: 
Ancient Greece Early Western World,Ancient Mediterranean,Ancient
Creator Name-CRT: 
Coin Showing Alexander the Great
Title Type: 
Reverse: Athena enthroned holding Nike (Victory)
Title Type: 
Creation Date: 
Hellenistic Period, 306 - 281 B.C.
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Silver tetradrachm
Classification Term: 
Subject Description: 
The obverse of this coin bears an idealized portrait of Alexander with the mark of his divinity, the horns of Amun. The reverse is more remarkable, if more subtle. At first glance, this image could almost be taken for the enthroned Zeus holding an eagle,which appeared on the reverse of Alexander's silver coinage. But instead Lysimachus replaced the figures with the Athena and Nike from the two sides of Alexander's gold coinage. Thus, Lysimachus managed to advertise both his valuable connection with the divine Alexander and his own royal autonomy, as the little Nike extends a royal diadem over the words 'King Lysimachus.'
Creation Place: 
...,Turkey,Aegean Region,Izmir province,Ephesus
Diam.: 3.1 cm (1-1/4 in.)
AMICA Contributor: 
The Art Institute of Chicago
Owner Location: 
Chicago, Illinois, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Martin A. Ryerson
Inscription [in Greek]: Basileos Lysimachou: '[minted by] King Lysimachus'
Greek (Kingdom of Thrace), minted in Ephesus; issued by King Lysimachus (reigned 306-281 B.C.). After the death of Alexander the Great, his successors scrambled to carve out their spheres of action. Lysimachus, a longtime companion and former bodyguard of Alexander, focused on building a power base in Thrace and extending it to include his native Thessaly. His rare personal courage-he once grappled with a lion-brilliance as a general were more impressive than his lukewarm gifts as an administratorl. As did all of Alexander's successors, Lysimachus profited from the publicity value of his long association with Alexander. Having usurped the title of king in 306 B.C., Lysimachus began to mint coins of his own (not reissues of Alexander's), yet these coins evoked Alexander far more than the new king.
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