Kingdom of Thrace, Lysimachos (306-281 BC).
Silver Tetradrachm, mint of Lysimacheia, AD 297-281 BC.
Obverse: Diademed head of the deified Alexander the Great facing right, wearing the horn of Ammon.
Reverse: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΛYΣIMAXOY, Athena seated left, holding Nike and transverse sceptre, and resting her arm on shield, spear in background; lion’s head in exergue.
The coinage of Lysimachus paid homage to the renowned king Alexander, even decades after his death. The coins struck during Alexander’s lifetime (and many posthumous issues) don’t actually depict the portrait of the king, but rather the iconic head of Herakles. Whether or not these portraits of Herakles bear the facial features of Alexander himself is still a topic of debate.
The coins of Lysimachus, who ruled the Kingdom of Thrace (once part of Alexander’s great Macedonian empire) portray Alexander himself. Lysimachus was one of Alexander the Great’s most trusted generals, and choosing the portrait of the deified king for his coinage was a means of publically associating himself with not just Alexander, but all of the feats he had accomplished.
Alexander is depicted in beautiful hellenistic style, wearing the horn of Ammon. This is a connection to Alexander’s claim that he was the son of the Egyptian God, Ammon, which was supposedly revealed to him by the oracle at the sanctuary of the deity. His eyes are wide open, gazing upwards towards the heavens. An iconic coin of the Greeks, the Lysimachus tetradrachm is not to be missed by collectors of classical coinage.