Heritage World Coin Auctions > CSNS Signature Sale 3099Auction date: 5 May 2022
Lot number: 31263

Price realized: 875 USD   (Approx. 831 EUR)   Note: Prices do not include buyer's fees.
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Lot description:

BACTRIAN KINGDOM. Agathocles (ca. 185-180/170 BC). AR tetradrachm (30mm, 17.06 gm, 11h). NGC VF 5/5 - 3/5. Attic standard. "Pedigree issue" commemorating Diodotus I (ca. 256-235 BC). ΔΙΟΔΟΤΟΥ / ΣΩΤΗΡΟΣ, diademed head of Diodotus I right / BAΣIΛEΥONTOΣ-AΓAΘOKΛEOYΣ-ΔIKAIOY, Zeus striding left, seen from behind, nude but for aegis over left arm, brandishing thunderbolt with right hand; eagle with raised wings standing left to left at feet; wreath in inner left field, ΦΩ monogram in inner right field. HCG 12, 85. Bopearachchi Série 14a. Scarce series.

Numismatic evidence indicates the reign of Agathocles followed upon that of Demetrius I, who extended Greek rule deep into northern India, and likely overlapped and coincided with the reigns of Euthydemus II (son of Demetrius?), Pantaleon, Antimachus I, and Eucratides I "the Great," who seems to have conquered his realm about 171-170 BC. Agathocles struck a remarkable "pedigree" coinage naming as his antecedents Alexander III "the Great," Antiochus "Nicator" (Antiochus II?), Diodotus I and II, Euthydemus I, and Demetrius I. Only the last four of these rulers had any blood relation to each other; in fact, they were in some cases deadly enemies. In honoring them on his coinage, Agathocles seems to be claiming legitimacy based on the authority inherent in their names and titles, rather than any personal blood relationship. This rare tetradrachm type has both the portrait and name of Diodotus I, here named as Soter or "Savior," who founded the Bactrian Kingdom by breaking away from Seleucid rule in the mid third century BC.



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