This coin was incredibly important in unlocking the mystery of the pedigree coins. Until its discovery, numismatists were having a hard time figuring out what these coins signified, and most thought they meant that Agathocles had been co-ruler with all these different kings. But once the Alexander coin was discovered, it became apparent that these coins were intended to establish Agathocles’s pedigree. Why exactly Agathocles issued these coins is not known for certain, but we can speculate about it. The Bactrian Kingdom was founded when the local Seleucid governor, Diodotus I, broke away from his Seleucid masters and declared himself independent. Around the time of Agathocles, it appears that a scion of the Seleucid royal family, Eucratides, attempted to lay claim to the throne of Bactria, and indeed he did so successfully. Perhaps it was in this context that Agathocles attempted to establish his own pedigree, since he faced a rival who claimed royal descent himself. Eucratides also issued some pedigree coins featuring his mother, who belonged to the Seleucid royal house.
Head of Heracles right wearing a lion skin
AΛEΞANΔPOY TOY ΦIΛIΠΠOY
Zeus seated left holding an eagle and leaning on a scepter; monogram below throne
BAΣIΛEYONTOΣ AΓAΘOKΛEOYΣ ΔIKAIOY
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.