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KINGS of MACEDON. Philip III Arrhidaios. 323-317 BC. AR Tetradrachm (26mm, 17.09 g, 6h). In the types of Alexander III. Susa mint. Struck under Koinos, circa 322-320 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; star in left field, ΛA below throne. Price P215. Good VF. High relief portrait.

Arrhidaios was the illegitimate son of Philip II, king of Macedon, by a Thessalian dancer named Philinna. His half-brother Alexander III “the Great” apparently was quite fond of him and took him on all of his campaigns. When Alexander died in Babylon in June, 323 BC, a council of generals hammered out a compromise by which Arrhidaios would be crowned as Philip III, and would reign jointly with the infant son of the conqueror, Alexander IV. However, neither had any real power, this being held by a succession of regents. The new king proved as compliant and simple-minded as the generals had hoped, but in 320 BC, Arrhidaios married a niece of Philip II's, Eurydike, who had enough ambition for the both of them. Eurydike plunged into the complex and deadly politics of the Diadochi, although all too frequently choosing the losing side. In 317 BC, she threw her support behind Kassander's successful bid to become regent. Kassander left her and Arrhidaios in charge of Macedon while he went on campaign in Asia. However, Alexander's mother, Olympias, raised her own army and invaded Macedon. Arrhidaios and Eurydike were captured; after holding them hostage, Olympias finally ordered Arrhidaios executed and compelled Eurydike to commit suicide. The coinage of Philip is clearly based on that of Alexander, showing no innovations except for the name.