Stater – Lysimachus, Kingdom of Thrace 305-281 B.C.AV Stater (8.59 gms) NGC MS. Struck at the Ainos Mint. The obverse features the diademed head of Alexander the Great facing right wearing horn of Ammon. The reverse features Athena seated, facing left on a prow, resting arm on shield decorated with a lions head. A transverse spear is resting against Athena’s right side, with the letters ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ (BASILEWS) to the right and ΛΥΣΙMΑXOY (LUSIMACOU) to the left. Anyone who has considered adding this Stater type to a collection will easily recognize this specimen is struck in beautiful style, is well-centered and is really overall superb! NGC assesses the Strike to be a 5/5; the surface is 3/5.
Lysimachos, Born in 323 and died in 281 B.C. as one of the most remarkable of the ‘Successors’ of Alexander. He was of Thessalian stock and was a bodyguard of the great Macedonian King.
The website www.historyofmacedonia.org has an excellent and brief summary of Lysimachus: “Lysimachus (c. 361-281 B.C.) was a member of Alexander’s Companion cavalry who particularly distinguished himself in India. Following Alexander’s death he became governor of Thrace. After Perdiccas had rejected the hand of Antipater‘s daughter Nicaea, Lysimachus married her and in 315 he joined the coalition of Ptolemy,Seleucus, and Cassander against Antigonus. For many years he was obliged to occupy himself in pacifying his territory in Thrace against the rebellious Thracian tribes and the coastal Greek cities, and consolidating his authority. But in 301 he launched a perfectly timed surprise invasion of Asia Minor, and in the following year effected a junction of his forces with Seleucus to defeat and kill Antigonus at Ipsus. Lysimachus was the principal beneficiary of the partition of Antigonus’ territories which followed the battle. His newly acquired dominions stretched from north to south of Asia Minor, shut out Seleucus from the western seaboard and thus sowed the seeds of future conflict. In the last years of his reign Lysimachus’ autocratic and extortionate methods of government became intensely unpopular, and when Seleucus invaded his territory in 282, he met little resistance. Lysimachus made a stand at Corupedium near Magnesia in Asia Minor and was killed in the battle.”
Here is a link to a map of his kingdom after the death of Alexander the Great MAP.
With no mass media, ancient coins functioned as powerful tools for propaganda due to their portability and potential to circulate widely. Rulers would carefully choose their types and each element of the designs of their coinage to convey a specific message to their subjects, allies, and enemies.
Alexander the Great understood this concept and carefully planned the specific details of his portraits on sculptures as well as coins. Alexander is represented most famously as Herakles on his tetradrachms. He aspired to be a hero himself and Herakles was the premier embodiment of strength, determination, and willpower in Greek mythology, traits central to Alexander’s mission of global dominance. Lysimachus and Phillip II both imitated the coinage of Alexander. The present piece is such evidence.