PTOLEMAIC KINGS OF EGYPT. Ptolemy I Soter. As satrap (323-305 B.C.) or king (305-282 B.C.) AR tetradrachm. 15.68 gm. 28 mm. In the name of Alexander III 'the Great' of Macedon. First reduced standard. Uncertain mint 3, probably Memphis. Struck circa 306-303 B.C. Diademed head of the deified Alexander right, wearing elephant skin headdress, aegis around neck / Athena Alkidemos advancing right, left breast bare, holding shield and spear; monograms to left and right; eagle standing on thunderbolt to right, ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ to left. CPE 89. Svoronos 139. Good Extremely Fine; lovely cabinet toning; exquisite style; perfectly centered; fresh surfaces; banker's mark in field at 9' on reverse. Rare "bare breast" variety.
Purchased from Edward J. Waddell (tag included).
Ptolemy I Soter "(Savior"), son of the Macedonian nobleman Lagus, was a friend and intimate of Alexander III the Great from boyhood and accompanied him on his conquests in 333-323 B.C. Upon Alexander's death in 323 B.C. Ptolemy was granted the prized satrapy of Egypt, richest of the Persian provinces. Ptolemy's early coinage carries Alexander's image and name, as seen on this remarkable tetradrachm, which depicts the great conqueror wearing an elaborate elephant-skin headdress in honor of his victories in India. Ptolemy declared his own kingship in 306 B.C. and was the only one of the Diadochi ("successors") to die peacefully, in his bed. His dynasty ruled Egypt until the fall of Cleopatra VII in 30 B.C.
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