My first (arrived) additions of 2019! Ekbatana was an old city that was refounded in the Hellenistic period. The identification of the monarch who refounded it is unclear. Pliny claimed that King Seleukos I founded Ekbatana as the capital of Media. There was a Seleukid royal mint at Ekbatana that was active as early as when Seleukos I Nikator obtained control of Media and it continued in operation unil atleast mid-2nd century B.C. Ekbatana remained under Seleukid rule (expect for the period ca. 162-160 B.C.) until the Parthian Mithridates I conquered it in Ca. 148/7 B.C. Seleukos I Nikator (312-281 B.C.) AR Tetradrachm (311 B.C. - 295/81 B.C.) In the name and types of Alexander III of Macedon. Obverse: Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress, paws tied beneath chin. Reverse: ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, Zeus seated left on high-backed throne, right leg drawn back, his feet resting on a low foot rest, holding long scepter in his left hand and, in his right, eagle standing right with closed wings, in left field, two monograms above horizontal anchor above forepart of horse grazing left, ΣΩ beneath throne. Mint: Ekbatana. Date Range: 311 B.C. - 295/81 B.C. Alexander tetradrachms were minted by Seleukid kings alongside their own royal issues. This continued well into the 2nd century B.C. and probably represented a substantial proportion of the mint output. The bulk of the silver coinage from Susa and Ekbatana continued to take the form of in the name of Alexander-type tetradrachms down to Ca. 301 B.C. in Susa and Ca. 293 B.C. in Ekbatana, until it gave way to the name of Seleukos. But why 'Alexanders'? The regions bordering on the Mediterranean the Alexander types had become the recognized international means of exchange. However, it may be that the Seleukid kings felt a need to reaffirm themselves to their subject at the start of a reign, or when dynastic conflict or external problems posed a threat. Or in newly conquered territories where issued 'Alexanders' probably received a greater acceptance. 'Alexanders' also helped to develop a primary habit of coinage in areas where such had not circulated before. However, more detailed study is required. Antiochos III (223-187 B.C.) organized large-scale military operations in the East and therefore mints operated in Ekbatana were not only for 'peacetime' coinage but also for the military. Coins from these military mints in Ekbatana were later used for provision money during the Fifth Syrian War. Antiochos III Megas (223 B.C. - 187 B.C.) Bronze Coin. Military mint in Ekbatana ca. 210 B.C. and countermarked in Coele-Syria during Fifth Syrian War Ca. 202-198 B.C. Obverse: Laureate head of Antiochos III as Apollo right, doted border. Reverse: ΒΑΣΙΛEΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ. Elephant right, ridden by mahout, two countermarks: anchor in oblong punch in left field and horse's head in square punch under elephant’s belly. Soldiers received two kinds of pay. Opsonion (regular wages) was due at the end of the month in peacetime, but in wartime could be paid at other established intervals or postponed until the end of the campaign. Sitarchia (provision money) replaced actual rations, allowing the troops to provision themselves in advance, often at specially regulated markets. Sitarchia was payable at the beginning of the month and obviously could not be postponed or allowed to fall in arrears. Opsonion and Sitarchia each average about 3 to 4 obols per day, or 15-20 drachms per month. These payments of 15-20 drachms would most conventiently be rendered in silver. However, there is meager evidence for the circulation of silver coins of Antiochos III in Coele-Syria, leaving bronze as the only medium of payment for the Seleukid army during the Fifth Syrian War. Quite possibly the Opsonion was paid in silver after the army withdrew from Coele-Syria. But Sitarchia, which have to be provided regulary, came in the form of bronze coins. This was certaintly more practical for the soldiers than 15-20 drachms, since prices from both Egypt and Babylonia indicate that a drachm would purchase a month’s supply of Barley for an individual and two drachms about a month’s supply of wheat. Fractions were therefore needed to purchase food to be consumed in lesser quantity. This was obviously also in advantage for military expenses, as bronze had only a low intrinsic value. Such bronze coinage was likely not greeted in a contested region accustomed to Ptolemaic currency. These bronzes with doubtful instrinsic value issued by the Seleukid king would almost certainly be worthless for them. However, it seems inevitable that some degree of coercion was required to ensure acceptance for these Seleukid bronze coins, which was essential for the functioning of the army. The elephant bronzes with mahout of Antiochos III were struck at different times and at different parts in the Seleukid Empire, but all were associated with military operations and soldiers' pay. The earlier types were struck at a military mint associated with Ekbatana around 210 B.C., and the later ones come from a military mint operating of Coele-Syria during the Fifth Syrian War. The horse's head below the elephant and the anchor in the left field indicates this copies the later issues of Coele-Syria. This was to make the older bronzes ‘equalivant’ to subsequent issues with a horse head symbol under the elephant’s belly and a tripod or anchor in the left field. It served to reiterate the basic guarentee of the value of these military bronze coins in the face of local uncertainty. The Seleukid army needed to impose the use of this fiduciary coinage on the population of Ptolemaic Coele-Syria during the Fifth Syrian War in order to ensure provisions for its troops. The Seleukid retreat in spring 200 BC will have created a particular need to revalidate these coins when the Seleukids again advanced after the battle of Pantion. The bronzes were apparently first countermarked with a horse head, and later with an anchor. Example of a subsequent issued coin from military mint during the Fifth Syrian War with an anchor left of the elephant (late issue). Notice the much less circulation wear on the above coin compared to mine. My coin may have circulated 12 years long until the above coin got minted and had most probably touched a lot of soldier's hands. Post your coins from Ekbatana and coins from (military) mints during the 5th Syrian War!