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Philip Alexander and Diadochi coin #97: Derdas II


kirispupis
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I spend a great deal of time researching people for my Philip II, Alexander III, and the Age of the Diadochi collection, so it now surprises me when I find a coin from someone who clearly belongs in the collection, but about whom I'd previously had no clue. Such is the case for the coin below.

derdasII.jpg.101092f6cae311be856e2c57ebca6d9f.jpg

Derdas II, Dynasts of Elimiotis
circa 380BC
AE 5.0g 16mm
Ox: Laureate head of young Apollo right
Rx: Rider on horse prancing right wearing petasos and chlamys; DERDA below
Ex BCD collection
Ex Bargain Bin Ancients

Derdas II was intimately wound within the Macedonian family tree.

  • His daughter Phila was Philip II's first or second wife. It's uncertain whether she bore him children. Some accounts say she didn't, while others hint that she gave him a son, who was roughly two years old at Philip II's death, and who was subsequently murdered by Olympias.
  • Another son Machatas joined Philip's court. He was the father of Harpalos, who managed finances for Alexander and caused considerable ruckus when he was twice forgiven by Alexander, then sentenced and fled to Athens and eventually put to death on Crete.
  • His other son Derdas III remained ruler in Elimiotis, which by then was defacto part of Macedonia

Elimiotis itself was a longtime ally of Macedonia and was allowed self-government through the time of Philip II, Alexander III, and the Antigonid kings afterwards. All coinage of Derdas is rare, but two types exist. There is a dichalkon with spear and club, and this type with the horse + rider. This type most often exists as a chalkous, with the name above the horse, but this is a far rarer dichalkon with the name below. For comparison, ACSearch lists 23 coins of Derdas II with the following breakdown: spear + club dichalkon (13), horse + rider chalkous (9), horse+rider dichalkon (1). 

 

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