Tetradrachm: Head of Young Herakles (obverse); Zeus (reverse)

336–323 BCE
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

Alexander the Great claimed descent from Herakles and Zeus, picturing them both on his coinage.


On this coin, the head of a youthful Herakles, wearing his lion-skin, appears on the obverse, with his father Zeus, king of the gods, seated on the reverse. For Alexander III (the Great), coins like this one projected power. Thus, while their attributes (lion-skin, eagle, scepter) identify hero and god, the inscription ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΥ (of Alexander) identifies the leader.
Tetradrachm: Head of Young Herakles (obverse); Zeus (reverse)

Tetradrachm: Head of Young Herakles (obverse); Zeus (reverse)

336–323 BCE

Greek, Macedonian, minted at Amphipolis (Macedonia), reign of Alexander III [The Great]

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