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Completed my Egyptian satraps collection!


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It hasn't been easy, but I've finally completed my Egyptian satraps collection, which is a subset of my People of Philip II, Alexander III, and the Age of the Diadochi collection. Of course, not all of these were satraps or even minted in Egypt, but I feel I've done the best job possible in representing them. Due to the rarity of several of these issues, I don't believe there are many collectors who have achieved this.

Feel free to show your own Egyptian coins!

Nektanebo II

Okay, this is easily the most controversial because there's absolutely no proof that Nektanebo II minted this coin, nor even that he minted any coins outside of his rare gold issues. However, these owl imitations have been shown to be from Egypt (a die was even found) from before Alexander III. There is some debate whether these were minted by independent warlords but my opinion is that due to the quality and size of the issue that these were likely minted by the government and thus the pharaohs themselves. Whether this was minted by Nektanebo II or an earlier pharaoh is unknown. My guess is that several pharaohs minted them, and either Nektanebo II minted this coin, or he minted similar ones. He certainly had the need for money since many of his forces arrayed against the Persians were mercenaries.


EGYPT, Pharaonic Kingdom. Uncertain pharaoh(s)
Late 5th–mid 4th centuries BCE
AR Tetradrachm 24mm, 17.03 g, 8h
Imitating Athens. Helmeted head of Athena right, with frontal eye / Owl standing right, head facing; olive sprig and crescent to left; all within incuse square. Van Alfen, Mechanisms, Group III.A.1, Fig. 2 = Buttrey Type M. Ex
Ex NGC encapsulation 5872733-112, graded XF, Strike: 5/5, Surface: 3/5.
Ex Ponterio 1985
Ex Robert W. Bartlett Bequest Sold for the Benefit of the American Numismatic Society


Ataxerxes III Okhos

Ataxerxes III, usually called Okhos, occupied Egypt in 340/339 BCE, and ruled both Persia and Egypt until he was poisoned in 338 BCE. During this time, these tets were minted in his name.


EGYPT, Achaemenid Province. Artaxerxes III Okhos. As Pharaoh of Egypt
343/2-338/7 BCE
AR Tetradrachm (26mm, 15.07 g, 9h)
Imitating Athens. Head of Athena right, with frontal eye, wearing earring and crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl
Owl standing right, head facing; olive spray and crescent to left, “Artaxerxes Pharaoh” in two-line Demotic A script to right.
two test cuts on either side, obv. punch.
Van Alfen Type I, 1–5 = Price, More 147–9; O. Mørkholm, “A Coin of Artaxerxes III” in NC 1974, pl. I, 7–8; cf. Meadows, Administration 329; Mildenberg, Münzwesen 124.



While we don't know precisely when Sabakes became satrap of Egypt (it could have been during the reign of Okhos), we do know that he left Egypt with an army and participated in the Battle of Issus against Alexander III, where he was killed.


Egypt, Achaemenid Province. Sabakes, satrap, AR Tetradrachm. Circa 340-333 BCE
16.61g, 25mm, 9h.
Head of Athena to right, wearing earring, necklace, and crested Attic helmet decorated with three olive leaves over visor and a spiral palmette on the bowl / Owl standing to right with head facing, olive sprig with berry and crescent in upper left field; uncertain letters to left, ""Sabakes symbol"" and SWYK (in Aramaic) to right.
Van Alfen Type III, 24-34 var. (O11/R- [unlisted rev. die]); Nicolet-Pierre, Monnaies 18-26 (same obv. die); SNG Copenhagen 4 var. (no letters on left of rev.); BMC 265 var. (same).
Ex Roma



After Sabakes' death, Mazakes became satrap of Egypt. However, all of their forces had been defeated at Issus, so when Alexander stopped by he opened the gates and surrendered. This action was handsomely rewarded by Alexander, as he was made satrap of Mesopotamia, where he ruled until roughly the death of Alexander.

As far as I know, Mazakes didn't have time to mint any coins in Egypt. The coins we have from him were minted as satrap of Mesopatamia. They bear a similar design, though in hand appear very different.


Mazakes as Satrap of Mesopotamia
c. 331-323/2 BCE
AR tetradrachm 19mm, 16.87g
Imitating types of Athens. Head of Athena r., wearing Attic helmet/ Owl stranding r., head facing; to l., crescent; to r., Aramaic legend.
Le Rider, Alexander, pp. 214-9; Van Alfen, Group IVb
Ex Zurqieh

Bonus coin: Ptolemy I


Ptolemy I 311-305 BCE
27.5 mm 14.6g 1h
Sv.162 (37 ex) - Cop.29 - GC.7750 var. - BMC.- - MP.6
Avers : Buste cornu et diadémé d'Alexandre le Grand sous les traits de Zeus-Ammon à droite, coiffé de la dépouille d'éléphant avec l'égide.
Revers : Athéna Promachos ou Alkidemos marchant à droite, brandissant une javeline de la main droite et tenant un bouclier de la gauche ; dans le champ à gauche, un casque corinthien, un monogramme et un aigle sur un foudre tourné à droite.

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