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515971

Impressive Poseidon

515971. SOLD $9750

KINGS of MACEDON. Antigonos III Doson. 229-221 BC. AR Tetradrachm (32mm, 17.15 g, 12h). 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 Group 37, 153–7 var. (O27/R– [unlisted rev. die]); EHC 436; Touratsoglou 52–3; HGC 3, 1051; SNG Fitzwilliam 2309 (same obv. die). Attractively toned, slight die wear. EF.


Ex Lanz 36 (21 April 1986), lot 246.

Antigonos III Doson was the son of the ill-fated Demetrios the Fair, a Macedonian nobleman who briefly served as king of Cyrene in 250 BC before falling into a love affair with his mother-in-law and being murdered by his jealous bride. His sobriquet Doson means “prone to giving” in Greek, but it is unclear how it applies to him. Although he stood outside the direct line of Macedonian royal succession, he grew into a capable soldier and was asked to serve as regent for the five-year-old Philip V after the death in battle of the boy's father, Demetrios II Aetolicos, in 229 BC. Facing a chaotic situation caused by successive defeats and the misrule of his predecessor, Antigonos ably restored Macedonia's military and financial position as the major power in mainland Greece. He proved so successful that the gentry of Macedon confirmed him as king, although he gave all due honors to Philip V, who eventually succeeded him after his reign was cut short by a burst blood vessel in 221 BC. His beautiful coinage bears a nautical theme, depicting an impressive head of Poseidon on the obverse and Apollo astride a ship's prow on the reverse.