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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Triton XVII, Lot: 175. Estimate $3000.
Sold for $3750. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

KINGS of MACEDON. Antigonos III Doson. 229-221 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30mm, 17.10 g, 11h). Amphipolis mint(?). Struck circa 227-225 BC. Head of Poseidon right, wearing wreath of marine plants / Apollo, testing bow in extended right hand, seated left on prow left inscribed BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIΓONOY; monogram below. Panagopoulou 136a (O21/R134 – this coin [erroneously labeled 135 on plate]); EHC 436; Touratsoglou 52–3; SNG Ashmolean 3266 (same obv. die); SNG Saroglos 933. Good VF, toned, a couple scratches under tone on reverse.

From the RAJ Collection. Ex CNG Inventory 717992 (December 1999); Spink America (6 December 1999), lot 527; Hamburger (29 May 1929), lot 206.

When Demetrios II, son of Antigonos II Gonatas, died unexpectedly early in 299 BC, his son and heir, Philip (the future Philip V), was only nine years old. Antigonos III Doson – a member of the royal family, son of Demetrios the Fair and grandson of Demetrios I Poliorketes, – was widely viewed as a capable administrator. These traits led him to be appointed as regent for the young Philip. Shortly thereafter, Macedon was invaded by the Dardanians and Aetolians, who were supported by Ptolemy III. Antigonos successfully defeated the invaders and even captured Thessaly, prompting the Macedonians to grant him the royal title. By that time, Antigonos had married Philip's mother and adopted the boy as his own heir, likely in an attempt to circumvent accusations that he was trying to ursurp Philip's inheritance. Over the subsequest years, Macedon was again at relative peace, and flourished under his rule. At the same time, Antigonos used diplomany to restore Macedonian influene in Greece, which had waned under Demetrios II. In 227 BC, with the Seleukids embroiled in a civil war between Seleukos II and Antiochos Hierax, Antigonos intervened in Caria, where he established a pro-Macedonian stance among the cities there. In the Peloponnese, the Spartans were resugent under their king, Kleomenes III, whose power was particularly oppressive to the Achaian League. The Achaians' leader, Aratos appealed to Antigonos for help, and promised to return the Acrocorinth to Macedon in exchange. The Acrocorinth had served as a salient point of pro-Antigonid power in the region since the time of the Diadochs, and its loss to the Achaians in 243 BC was a significant loss, so Antigonos was eager join the fight against the Spartans. In 222 BC, Antigonos decisively defeated Kleomenes and occupied Sparta, which he completely reorganized to mitigate a resurgence of their power for the foreseeable future. The following year, Antigonos was forced to march his army back to Macedonia, where the Dardanians were in revolt. The circumstances are unclear, but Antigonos died during the battle, leaving the 17 year old Philip V to take the throne in the midst of war.