Seleukos I Nikator, 312-281 BC

AE14. 2.35g, 14.3mm
MINTED: Sardes mint, circa 312-281 BC
REF: SC 6.1; HGC 9, 107a
OBVERSE: Winged head of the gorgon Medusa, with features of Alexander the Great, right. 

REVERSE: BAΣIΛEΩΣ / ΣΕΛΕΥΚOY. Bull butting right; ΣΙ between hind legs.



Very Fine. Attractive green patina with scattered hard earthen deposits. 

This series of bronzes, amongst the first issued by Seleukos, shows the bust of a "beautiful Medusa" that bears more than a passing resemblance to Alexander the Great.  The bull on the reverse alludes to the great physical strength Seleukos was said to have possessed.  According to one story, a sacrificial bull that was once brought to Alexander broke free of its restraints, and it was Seleukos who stepped forward and with his bare hands wrestled the animal under control.  


Historical Notes:

Seleukos was a general of Alexander the Great and one of the most powerful and long-lived of the Diadochi, the Hellenistic rulers who succeeded Alexander and divided his massive empire into their own kingdoms.  Seleukos was the founder of the Seleukid dynasty, which would itself grow into an immense empire, at its peak stretching from Thrace in Europe to the western borders of India.  Both before and after he declared himself King in 305 BC, Seleukos waged numerous wars against his fellow Diadochi, and he in time succeeded in conquering most of Alexander's former territories, with the notable exception of Egypt, which remained firmly under the rule of Ptolemy I.  He was assassinated in 281 BC at the age of 77 by Ptolemy Keraunos, a son of Ptolemy I whom Seleukos had given refuge to at his court.    

SELEUKID KINGDOM . Seleukos I Nikator, 312-281 BC . AE14 . Medusa or Alexander?

SKU: 474
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