Tetradrachm: Head of Alexander III [The Great] (obverse); Athena (reverse)

306 BCE
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

The image of Alexander the Great in an elephant headdress references his Eastern conquests.


Much like his former commander Alexander III (the Great) showed connections to Herakles and Zeus, Ptolemy I Soter (the Savior) used coins to validate his succession to power. Thus, in place of Herakles with lion-skin, this coin shows Alexander in an elephant headdress, referring to their shared Eastern triumphs. On the reverse is Athena Promachos, striding forward with shield and spear. Before her are a helmet and an eagle, and behind her the inscription ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ, “of Alexander.”
Tetradrachm: Head of Alexander III [The Great] (obverse); Athena (reverse)

Tetradrachm: Head of Alexander III [The Great] (obverse); Athena (reverse)

306 BCE

Egypt, Greco-Roman period (332 BCE–395 CE), reign of Ptolemy I (303–282 BCE), minted at Alexandria

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