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Kings of Epeiros, Thrace, Pyrrhos AR Tetradrachm Circa 278 BC Ancient Greek Silver Coin Museum Reproduction CSGT0064


Silver Greek Tetradrachm Kings of Epeiros, Pyrrhos, Lokroi Epizephyrioi mint, struck circa 278 B.C. References: Babelon, Roi pl. VII, 1 = de Luynes 1898; SNG Copenhagen -; BMC 6 = AGC 392; Jameson 1127; Gulbenkian 914; Hirsch 1186.

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Pyrrhos was one of the greatest generals of antiquity. He spent much of his reign campaigning outside his kingdom. He achieved notable victories against the Romans in Italy and against the Carthaginians in Sicily though he was eventually worsted by the former. For brief period he also ruled in Macedonian kingdom.

This beautiful coin is a majestic example of early Hellenistic artwork, as noted by G.K. Jenkins: “It is at once apparent that in one important respect Pyrrhos’ practice is closely akin to that of the Macedonian kings of this time, in that nowhere does his portrait appear. Much as we may regret this, the splendid and exuberant types of Pyrrhos’ Lokrian coins go far to compensate for it. The tetradrachm has for the obverse the head of Dodonean Zeus, whose sanctuary lay in Pyrrhos’ homeland; this head, crowned with oak leaves and with restless flowing hair and beard, makes a strong contrast with the restrained and classical head of the same god minted for Alexander of Epeiros at Tarentum, and even with the more concentrated style of Antigonos Doson’s Poseidon, but the Pyrrhos coin is masterly in its different way. Its exciting and dynamic quality is well matched by the calm majesty of the reverse type, Dione seated on a high-backed throne and swathed in the complex drapery so typical of Hellenistic sculpture….The impressive style of these coins is quite different from anything we might have expected at an Italian mint at this time, and it may well be that the artist responsible was not a local one, but may have come from mainland Greece or Macedonia.” (G.K. Jenkins, Ancient Greek Coins [New York: Putnam, 1972], pp. 247-8.)
Obverse side
Head of Zeus left, wearing oak wreath

Reverse side
Dione seated left, holding staff in right hand and lifting her veil with her left

A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.

Weight 17,14 g
Dimensions 30 mm


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