Tetradrachm of Seleucus I Nicator

312 – 281 BC


This piece belongs to the series from the Babylonian mint promulgated by Seleucus I. After the death of Alexander the Great the territories conquered by the Macedonian king were divided up amongst the generals who had followed him. Seleucus founded the Seleucid Kingdom that ruled over Syria and Mesopotamia in the East. The type of coins seen here, implies the right to rule through the image of Alexander the Great, dressed as Hercules in a lion skin on the obverse of the coin. On the reverse, Zeus the Father of Gods is enthroned with an eagle in his right hand and a sceptre in his left as symbols of his power. The inscription ‘Alexandros’ on the right associates the deified sovereign with Zeus, King of Olympus.