Lysimachos was one of the more successful diadochi, largely keeping out of the wars between the other successors and adding Macedon and areas of Asia Minor to his territories. Perhaps one of his most notable achievements though is the legacy left by his beautiful coinage. Lysimachos took the bold and innovative step of showing the image of the now deified Alexander on his silver drachms, tetradrachms and gold staters. The intended message is clear; through association to the now godlike Alexander, Lysimachos’ legitimacy to rule is unquestionable!
Lysimachos’ father served in the court of Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander III, the Great). It is assumed that Lysimachos and Alexander knew each other and studied together at the same time. In any case, Lysimachos became deeply connected with Alexander and eventually served as one of his bodyguards. After Alexander’s death, Lysimachos was given the title of ‘strategos’ or army leader/general for the area of Thrace. Aside from difficulties with the surrounding tribal people of northern Thrace, the Odrysians, Lysimachos held this post without issue.
In 315 BC, along with some of the other Diadochi, Lysimachus helped to murder Antigonus Monophthalmus (‘the one-eyed’) who held most of Asia Minor and Syria. With this murder, a marked increase in power for Lysimachus was realized. Before that time he really was just a defender of the northern border of the Graeco-Macedonian world. After the death of Antigonus he acquired more land in Asia Minor and took the name of King.
This coin was struck in the town of Alexandreia Troas. Prior to being named Alexandreia Troas, the town was called Antigonia Troas due to its re-founding by Antigonus I in 306 BC (the original name was Sigeia). After Antigonus’ death, Lysimachos took the northern coastal Turkish city and honoring his friend and former leader Alexander the Great, renamed the city.
Diademed head of deified Alexander the Great right, with horn of Ammon curling over his ear
Athena Nikephoros seated left, wearing crested Corinthian helmet, left arm resting on large grounded shield decorated with face of a lion, holding Nike on extended right hand crowning the king’s name, transverse spear in background; MTΛ monogram in circle above arm in upper left field, ΔTI monogram in lower left field
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.