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Seleukid Kings of Syria, Seleukos I Nikator AR Didrachm (Stater) 305-295 BC Ancient Greek Silver Coin Alexander the Great Museum Reproduction CSGDS0036


Silver Greek Didrachm “Head of Hero”, Seleukid Kings of Syria, Seleukos I Nikator, Susa mint, struck 305-295 B.C. References: Newell, ESM 418; Houghton-Lorber, SC I, 72, 174.5; Kritt, ‘The Early Seleucid Mint of Susa’, Classical Numismatic Studies 2 (1997), 36, S-31.

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SKU: CSGDS0036 Categories: , , Tags: , , , , ,

There is much debate concerning the identity of the hero on the obverse of this type. The most common suggestions are Alexander the Great, Seleukos, or a personification of Dionysos. See O.D. Hoover, “The Identity of the Helmeted Head on the ‘Victory’ Coinage of Susa,” SNR 81 (2002), for the most recent treatment of this debate.

Seleucus I (Nikator), one of the Diadochi and founder of the Seleucid Empire after the death of Alexander the great had several stories of heroism which may or may not be true. The one story that may come closest to historical fact is that of Seleucus and the bull. According to the story, a wild bull was brought before Alexander for sacrifice. The bull broke loose, and Alexander’s general, Seleucus (still in his early twenties) was able to subdue and capture the beast with nothing but his bare hands.
It is possible that this was propaganda to hype up the new king as successor to Alexander, and we cannot rule out this possibility. According to Kuhrt/Sherwin-White, from Samarkhand to Sardis, “the bull appears on Seleukos’ own coinage and the story of Seleukos’ prodigious strength in subduing the bull is probably to be connected with the story generated in Lysimachos’ camp about the overpowering of the lion.” This is also conjecture, and we may never know the veracity of its historicity.
Obverse side
“Head of Hero” Alexander the Great as Dionysos facing right, wearing an Attic helmet covered with panther-skin and adorned with a bull’s ear and horns

Reverse side
Nike standing right, placing wreath on trophy; control marks Η AΧ

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

Weight 8,46 g
Dimensions 20 mm


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