Featured Antiochus II Theos Tetradrachm Redux

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Magnus Maximus, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    I purchased a tetradrachm of Antiochus II several months ago when I was just dipping my toes into Seleucid coinage. The coin is nice and shows healthy wear consistent with a large demonation that circulated in Asia minor and the Middle East. However, I did not delve much into Antiochus II's reign as King. Initially I thought he was a mediocre King who had no notable achievements in life. However I was wrong. Sources are notoriously difficult to find for the time period, hence why so much of his life's achievements can be written on a postcard, but it seems Antiochus II was a strong ruler who along with Antigonus II managed to successfully check Ptolemaic power.
    Here is what we know of Antiochus II Theos
    • Born in 287 BCE to Antiochus I Soter and Stratonice I
    • 268/7 BCE-Became heir apparent after Antiochus I had his older son, Seleucus, put to death for treason.
    • Became King in 261 BCE after the death of his father Antiochus I, he begins making plans to avenge his fathers losses from the First Syrian War.
    • Allied himself with the Macedonian King Antigonus II Gonatas against Ptolemy II Philadelphus between 261/0 BCE
    • 260-253 BCE -The Second Syrian War:
    • Antigonus wins several victories against Ptolemy in the Aegean, most notably the decisive naval victory at Cos between 261 and 255.
    • 257 BCE Ptolemy II launches an invasion of Syria but almost nothing is known about this campaign; at best it was a status quo for Ptolemy II's forces.
    • 257-253 BCE Antiochus II makes large gains in Asia minor against the forces of Ptolemy II. He liberates Miletus and deposes of the tyrant Timarchus, in gratitude the people of Miletus bestow Antiochus II the title of Theos (God).
    • 257-253 BCE Antiochus II possibly invades Thrace or has some sort of presence in Europe.
    • 253/2 BCE Ptolemy II negotiates for peace with Antiochus II and cedes large amounts of territory in Asia Minor to him. Antiochus II marries Ptolemy II's daughter Berenice. Antiochus receives a large payment as a dowry.
    • 253-247 BCE Antiochus II divorces his first wife Laodice in favor of Berenice. He has a child with Berenice named Antiochus.
    • 246 BCE Antiochus leaves his wife Berenice in Antioch with their son, confusingly named Antiochus, and heads to Asia Minor to visit his first wife and his two sons by her. Antiochus II is either posioned by Laodice or dies of natural causes at the age of 40 in July of 246. His remains are interred in the Belevi mausoleum in Ephesus.
    • Mid to late 246/5 BCE Berenice and her son are murdered by partisans of Laodice, immediately starting a war with her brother Ptolemy III Euergetes. Seleucus II Callinicus, age 19, succeeds his father as King.
    • Disputed- Parthia and Bactria declare independence in either 246 or more likely in 245 after the death of Antiochus II and amid the Third Syrian War.
    • Unknown- Antiochus II receives numerous envoys from the pious buddhist King Ashoka of the Maurya empire concerning spiritual and medicinal tenants.
    So, after getting one coin of the man I had to get a spare. I absolutely love the facial expression and features of this coin and had to have it once I saw it.

    Antiochus II Theos Tetradrachm
    Struck 261-246 BCE at Seleucia on the Tigris
    16.87 grams
    28mm in diameter.
    Obverse depicts Antiochus II's father, Antiochus I Soter.


    The Belevi mausoleum where Antiochus II's remains were laid to rest.
    Antiochus II's sarcophagus

    A possible bust of Antiochus II Theos

    The Seleucid Empire in 250 BCE under the reign of Antiochus II


    https://web.archive.org/web/20140307220332/http://www.historystudies.net/Makaleler/1269663898_12-Jordan Ilıev..pdf


    Feel free to post your coins.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
    Puckles, DonnaML, Ajax and 19 others like this.
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  3. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Smiles, everyone! Supporter

    That’s a beautiful Antiochus tetradrachm, @Magnus Maximus ! I love that characteristic, “Thousand-yard stare” on the Antiochus I portrait.

    These are not tetradrachms but they are attributed to Antiochus II.


  4. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    @Deacon Ray
    Thanks Deacon!
    Yeah, his stare perfectly sums up my horror to the COVID-19 outbreak. :confused:

    Here is the first Antiochus II Tetradrachm
    Puckles, Andres2, ominus1 and 8 others like this.
  5. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Very nice @Magnus Maximus, I like his facial expression as well. I see you did some research as well :)
    Looking forward seeing your Seleukid tetradrachm set completed.

    A coin from his father:
    Antiochos I Soter (281 - 261 B.C.) Æ Denomination C, Antioch mint, struck ca. 268-261 B.C.
    Diademed head of Antiochus I right.
    Reverse: BAΣΙΛΕΩΣ ANTIOXΟΥ (“of King Antiochos”). Apollo seated left on omphalos, testing arrow and resting left hand on grounded bow.
    Reference: SC 351.
    3.60g; 14mm
    Puckles, ominus1, Alegandron and 7 others like this.
  6. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    BFF0D243-72C8-436E-B062-C7CE6B1AE823.jpeg That really is a nice coin, @Pavlos.
    Here is Antiochus I Soter, as he appears in Total War Rome 2, next to a coin of his. It really is amazing that 2200 years after this man died, people in a different continent, speaking a different language in the future made him a character in a real time strategy game.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
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  7. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    It is a really nice game with same great artwork as well.



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  8. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    One of my favorite games despite an initial rocky start.
    Anyone with a decent computer who likes ancient history should definitely check it out.
  9. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    Looks like fun wish I had time to play games like that. Recieved this one a couple of weeks ago.
    Antiochus I
    Mint: Ai Khanoum
    AR Hemidrachm
    281 to 261 BC
    Obvs: Diademed head of Antiochus I right with elderly features. Dotted border.
    Revs: BAΣIΛEΩΣ on left ANTIOXOY in exergue, horned and bridled horse head right with flame like forelock. Δ in circle upper right before horse's forehead.
    12mm, 2.09g
    Ref: cf. SC 433.1; HGC 9, --
    Note: Unpublished with control before horse's forehead.
  10. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    Does anyone have coins of Ptolemy II Philadelphus or Antigonus II? I know coins of Ptolemy are not rare, but I have not seen very many of Antigonus.
  11. TheRed

    TheRed Supporter! Supporter

    Here are a few of the AE coins of Ptolemy II that I've collected.

    And a couple from Antiochus II
    Antiochus II Theos A.png

    The tetradrachms of Antigonos II Gonatas are downright attractive, but way beyond my budget. CNG was selling them with some regularity a few years ago. This is not my coin.
    Puckles, Deacon Ray, Pavlos and 6 others like this.
  12. TheRed

    TheRed Supporter! Supporter

    What a great pickup David. I love the horned horse that frequents many Seleucid coins. If I'm remembering my first volume of SC the silver issues are mostly from the reign off Antiochus I. Is that correct?
  13. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    It does appear that way from this search and in numerous denominations.

    I think Seleucus I/II also have that type but on the obverse.
  14. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Smiles, everyone! Supporter

    I hear you! The CoinTalk forums give me a great place to escape to for a while :singing:

  15. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Smiles, everyone! Supporter

    That’s a great portrait of Antiochos I—and the first I’ve seen on a bronze coin that shows his rather haunting facial expression. Great website also!

    Pavlos likes this.
  16. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    @TheRed that’s crazys about his Tetradrachms being so rare/expensive considering the fact that Antigonus II reigned for quite a while.
  17. 7Calbrey

    7Calbrey Well-Known Member

    This bronze one was struck under Antiochos I and shows the Macedonian shield. Reverse shows an elephant. Sc 339.3a.

    AntioAnchr.JPG AnchTio R.JPG
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  18. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    Antiochus II portrait drachm:
    Seleucid Kingdom. Seleucid Kings of Syria
    Antiochus II Theos, (261 - 246 B.C.)
    AR Drachm, 4.2 gr.; 18mm.
    Uncertain Mint 30, probably in Northern Mesopotamia.
    Obv. Diademed head, Antiochus II, right.
    Rev.: Apollo on omphalos, testing arrow, hand on bow; monogram in outer left field, and monogram in outer right field (only partially visible on this example).
    Attribution: SC_581
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
  19. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    Nice coin. Yours is 581, that entry only has left and right(missing similar to yours) controls. C581 has 2 controls in left field.
    philologus_1 likes this.
  20. philologus_1

    philologus_1 Well-Known Member

    The outer right monogram is cited in SC only as: "?" and noted as being off flan. (See SC Part 1, Vol. 1, pg.205).

    Below on the far right is another example of this drachm type on which the outer right monogram is more complete. It appears to be a Delta with some marking(s) within. Below on the far left is my example, on which the Delta is partially visible. The center picture below is of course my example with the delta outlined.

    Thanks kindly!
  21. David@PCC

    David@PCC allcoinage.com

    That solves that mystery. That would make it a Ω within a Δ, and most likely a retrograde P connected to the left side of the Δ. Also seen on 580.6b from the same mint.
    philologus_1 likes this.
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