Took me some time: Ptolemy IV

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by cmezner, Jul 1, 2022.

  1. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    sA while ago I attributed one of my coins as a Ptolemy IV Philopator, but I was wrong it is a Ptolemy III. Those Ptolemaic Kings actually look all very similar, don't they?

    So, obviously I "needed" a Ptolemy IV, but as you may have experienced, when you are looking for something, it just doesn't cross your path.

    Philopator means friend of his father, even though Ptolemy IV was accused of poisoning him:jawdrop:
    From wikipedia: 'he is said to have built a giant ship known as the tessarakonteres ("forty-rowed"), a huge galley and possibly the largest human-powered vessel ever built. This showpiece galley was described by Callixenus of Rhodes, writing in the 3rd century BC, and quoted by Athenaeus in the 2nd century AD. Plutarch also mentions that Ptolemy Philopator owned this immense vessel in his "Life of Demetrios". According to these sources, the ship was 128 m long and required 4,000 oarsmen. It is generally agreed that the tessarakonteres served as a pleasure boat, not a military vessel.'

    Guess there is no coin with a tessarakonteres; that must be really something

    Well, back to the topic, this Ptolemy made my day. Surely, the reverse is quite worn, but readable,

    and I just like the Zeus-Ammon head on the obverse:

    Æ Drachm, Alexandria, Series 5D, ca. 219 – 205/204 BC
    42 mm, 65.61 g, 12 h
    CPE B495; Svoronos 1125; SNG Copenhagen 199-200

    Ob.: Diademed head of Zeus-Ammon right with ram's horn and ornament in his hair and over the diadem.
    Rev.: (ΠΤΟ)ΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ Eagle with closed wings standing left on thunderbolt; filleted cornucopia at left, ΔI between legs.

    Please share your Ptolemy IV or anything related :)


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  3. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    Having digested your comments, I am wondering if I don't share your 'confusion' but in the opposite direction.
    My 246-221 B.C. Ptolemy III. Euregetes, EGYPT, SNG Cop. 177 (seller's attribution) looks suspiciously like your (new) Ptolemy IV, (beard and legend), don't you think??

    (4) 246-221 B.C. EGYPT, Ptolemy III Euregetes, SNG Cop. 177.png
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2022
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  4. sand

    sand Well-Known Member

    @cmezner Nice coin. I like it, a lot. I like the portrait style, the shape of the coin, the size of the coin, and the patina.
    I've been looking at the Ptolemy Zeus coins, for a long time. But, I haven't found the right coin, for the right price, yet.
    cmezner likes this.
  5. Broucheion

    Broucheion Supporter! Supporter

    Hi All,

    Nice coins here. Here's a mnaieion weight with an image of Ptolemy IV.

    Ex-Sammlung "G.W.G." Listed at the Pondera Online Project [Last seen 28 Jun 2022]


    - Broucheoin
  6. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Right, it could be Ptolemy IV. As I said, they all look very similar and on top they have the same name. What symbol is on your coin between the eagles legs? Is it an epsilon?

    A very useful site is
    Broucheion likes this.
  7. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    This is really something! Love the square flan and it seems to be a real depiction of Ptolemy IV. Beautiful
    Broucheion likes this.
  8. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    @cmezner It sure is an 'Epsilon'. Has Cornucopia before Eagle, too. Also, AE29mm., and 18,5gm. Why?
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2022
  9. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Just trying to nail down which Ptolemy it is:D

    Since the Ptolemys look all the same on this types, the monograms are important for attribution.
  10. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Doing some research: the E monogram and variants of the E on coins are very plentiful, among the most common types of Ptolemaic bronzes. It was a new style of the monogram E apparently common to the later Egyptian money of Ptolemy III Euergetes (second coinage) and certainly of Ptolemy IV Philopator. It is characterized by the reverse eagle type looking back and holding a cornucopia on his left wing. A similar coinage, issued after this, shows the eagle looking forward with open wings. Can't tell from your picture which way the eagle is looking. If it is looking forward it could be a trihemiobol of this type:

    The classification of many Ptolemaic bronze issues has been highly debated among numismatists, often with researchers publishing divergent attributions. Coins are attributed either to Ptolemy III Euergetes or to Ptolemy IV Philopator. For example, this one is attributed to Ptolemy III but SNG Copenhagen attributes it to Ptolemy IV:
  11. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    Except that the eagle on my coin does not have open wings.
  12. Topcat7

    Topcat7 Still Learning

    I believe that I obtained my attribution from this coin even if the monogram is different. (Courtesy of Acsearch.)

    Magical Snap - 2022.07.04 15.46 - 043.png
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  13. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    I think that attributing some of the Ptolemies is an act of faith :cool:
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  14. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Well-Known Member

    Ptolemy IV Ae Drachm Alexandria 218?-204 BC Obv Head of Zeus Ammon right with rams horn over ear. Rv Eagle standing left on thunderbolt wings folded Svorones 992 CPE B 508 66.80 grms 40 mm Photo by W. Hansen Sv992-3ptIV.jpeg
    Collecting these Ptolemaic cartwheels can be somewhat challenging. However his coinage in all metals can be found in some number. He needed vast amounts of money to pay off the bounty offered to his army after their victory at Raphia and because of the Egyptian revolt which started very soon afterwards a lot got buried.
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