Drachm Of Lysimachus

Of all the successors of Alexander the Great, the coins of Lysimachus are the most interesting from the standpoint of variety and artistic endeavour. Lysimachus reigned from 323 to 282 B.C.1 When Alexander’s empire was divided among the Diadochi, Lysimachus was entrusted with the governorship of Thrace. This area included the peninsula of the Chersonese, which commanded the Hellespont, over which passed the land route between Asia and Europe. This region was also

important for communications of the Macedonian armies in the East with their homeland, as well as serving as a route through which Attica and other populous districts drew their principal food supplies.2 As of 310 B.C., Lysimachus did not have any mints to strike coins.

With the help of Cassander in Macedonia the initial coins he issued consisted of

Philip II, with Philip’s name and AY (for Lysimachus). The second issue of coins consisted of the same types with-out Philip’s name and was inscribed AY or BAZIAES2E AY. The symbol of the forepart of a lion appeared on all these coins, which were struck at his new capital, Lysimachia, between 306/305 and The acquisition of western Asia Minor after the defeat of Anti-gonas at Ipsus, with its many important mints, enabled Lysimachus to increase his output of coins.

He continued to issue Alexander-type drachms from Lysimachia in Europe, and from his new mints in Asia Minor: Lampsacus, Abydus, Teos, Colophon, and Magnesia. Colophon, Magnesia and Sardis also struck a few tetradrachms, while Sestus and Aby-dus issued some gold staters. These coins were struck in the name of Alexander, with the symbol on the reverse of Lysimachus’ personal badge, the forepart of an attacking lion. From 299/298 to 297/296 these mints continued to issue the same denominations, but the legend was changed to BAEIAESIE AYEI-MAXOY.

Figure 1 Reverses of the two coins (enlarged). Left: Price #L-12. Right: Variant.


Drachms of this type were also issued at Teos, Lampsacus, and Mytilene on Leshos.4 In 297 B.C. Lysimachus started to issue his own types of gold and silver coins, which were characterized on the obverse by the deified head of Alexander (with. the royal diadem and the horn 01 Ammon) facing right. On the reverse

Athena appears enthroned, facing left, her left arm resting on a shield, while with her outstretched right arm she holds a small winged victory, who crowns the king’s name with a laurel wreath (reference to his part in the victory at Ipsus).5 The subject of this paper is a variation of an Alexander type drachm of Lysimachus minted in Lampsacus. The coins of Lampsacus are highly artistic and rather consistent as to images and legends. On the obverse they depict the head of a young Hercules, clad in a lion skin, facing right.

The reverse shows Zeus enthroned, facing left, holding an eagle in his right hand and a sceptre in his left hand. The reported symbols depicted on the reverses of the coins of Lampsacus can feature any of the following on the left: the forepart of Pegasus over the forepart of a lion, a dolphin over the forepart of a lion, various monograms over the forepart of a lion, or just the forepart of a lion. Under the throne, all the coins have a long torch.63,8 The legends on these coins, up until now, were always the same. The title BAEIAEQE is on the right reading down, and the inverted name AYEIMAXOY reads right to left under the throne.



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