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Serapis and Isis Celebrated
Ptolemaic Victory at Battle of Raphia


PTOLEMAIC KINGS of EGYPT. Ptolemy IV Philopator. 222-205/4 BC. AR Tetradrachm (26mm, 14.28 g, 12h). Alexandreia mint. Struck circa 217-215/0 BC. Jugate draped busts right of Serapis and Isis / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΠTOΛEMAIOY, eagle standing left, head right, on thunderbolt; filleted cornucopia over shoulder, ΔI between legs. Svoronos 1124; Landvatter 1-27 (unlisted dies); SNG Copenhagen 197-8; Noeske 139; Boston MFA 2284; SNG Berry 1488; Dewing 2760. EF, toned, minor flan crack.

Ex Dr. Walter Stoecklin Collection.

This type is thought to have been issued in celebration of the Ptolemaic victory over the Seleukids at the battle of Raphia during the Fourth Syrian War. Official propaganda proclaimed that these two deities, Serapis and Isis, had intervened on the behalf of the Egyptians, saving them from defeat (see C. Lorber, “The Ptolemaic Era Coinage Revisited,” NC 2007, p. 116, and L. Bricault, “Serapis et Isis, Sauveurs de Ptolémé IV à Raphia,” Chronique d’Égypte LXXIV (1999), pp. 334-43).