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Help with Alexander iii Tet attribution


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Howdy!

First post and my first alexander tetradrachm in several years. I picked it up off eBay and using acsearch was able to find where it was sold from heritage auctions. 
 

Before it arrived, I was struggling to figure out the monogram, thinking it could either be an “AP” (price monogram 121) or a Δ. In hand, it does appear that there is a remnant of the P, see the attached picture. If it is truly an AP, then I was thinking it was a Price 3424 (based on comparisons on wildwinds and pella). This is what Heritage called it in their auction description. 

But this is where I’d get confused. Here is their full description:

MACEDONIAN KINGDOM. Alexander III the Great (336-323 BC). AR tetradrachm (25mm, 17.15 gm, 11h). NGC Choice VF 4/5 - 4/5. Late lifetime-early posthumous issue of Aradus, under Ptolemy I as satrap, ca. 330-320 BC. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin headdress, paws tied before neck / AΛEΞANΔPOY, Zeus enthroned left, left leg drawn back, feet on stool, eagle in right hand, scepter in left; AP monogram in left field. Price 3424 (Byblus).”

 

So my confusion is this part: “issue of Aradus, under Ptolemy I as satrap.” If it is a Price 3424, isn’t the mint Byblus (as they also seem to indicate), not Aradus? Also, I’m not sure what Ptolemy I has to do with either mint? Wasn’t he a satrap later, after Alexander’s death? And satrap of Egypt, not the area where Aradus or Byblus is?

Sorry for the not great pics. I appreciate any help you can give!

Heritage auction link: 

https://coins.ha.com/itm/greek/ancient-coins/ancients-macedonian-kingdom-alexander-iii-the-great-336-323-bc-ar-tetradrachm-25mm-1715-gm-11h-ngc-choice-vf-4-5-4-5/a/232248-61021.s?ic4=GalleryView-ShortDescription-071515

170D3562-379A-440A-A8C8-E7E9162172C9.jpeg.772d0a5753032ec9b469fb11735df7a1.jpegE127B2D1-267B-4E7C-B2D4-06EAD72BC993.jpeg.9d08bcf8e2544fb7f8a2b7748bc177c3.jpeg56483B78-41C8-4805-A93B-7A6A077AA151.jpeg.77006f84c1856e46e2bee85c3f532197.jpeg

Edited by gustophersmob
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1 hour ago, gustophersmob said:

So my confusion is this part: “issue of Aradus, under Ptolemy I as satrap.” If it is a Price 3424, isn’t the mint Byblus (as they also seem to indicate), not Aradus? Also, I’m not sure what Ptolemy I has to do with either mint? Wasn’t he a satrap later, after Alexander’s death? And satrap of Egypt, not the area where Aradus or Byblus is?

 

I'm not a great expert, but I agree with the Price 3424 attribution. Several issues of Byblos were reattributed to Arados from this paper:

L. W. H. Taylor, 'On the Reattribution of some Byblos Alexanders to Arados II', AJN vol. 32 (2020), pp. 31-92

In terms of Ptolemy I as satrap, I believe he controlled both Egypt and Phoenicia for some time. I believe it was only lost when Perdikkas invaded as retribution for the theft of Alexander's body.

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21 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

I'm not a great expert, but I agree with the Price 3424 attribution. Several issues of Byblos were reattributed to Arados from this paper:

L. W. H. Taylor, 'On the Reattribution of some Byblos Alexanders to Arados II', AJN vol. 32 (2020), pp. 31-92

In terms of Ptolemy I as satrap, I believe he controlled both Egypt and Phoenicia for some time. I believe it was only lost when Perdikkas invaded as retribution for the theft of Alexander's body.

Very interesting, thanks! I found a pdf of the paper online so I’m off to read that. 
 

also thanks for the info on Ptolemy. If he was satrap, would that indicate this is a posthumous issue? Or was he satrap prior to Alexander’s death? I had assumed that happened after Alexander’s death, but maybe I’m mistaken there as well. 

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I finally had a chance to ready the paper by LWH Taylor.  Very interesting.

Based on what it presents, and taking it at face-value as I am in no way qualified to judge, mine is what he calls an early series 3, which he dates tentatively around 327/6-326/5 BC.  So it looks like the Heritage auction listing may have gotten the Arados part correct (Arados II per Taylor), but not the Ptolemy I aspect.  Actually, if I understand Taylor's paper correctly, Ptolemy I was not over that region ever (which is what I had thought originally), so I'm still unsure if I'm confused or what is going on with that.

Thanks for alerting me to that paper, it really shed light on this piece for me!

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21 hours ago, gustophersmob said:

So it looks like the Heritage auction listing may have gotten the Arados part correct (Arados II per Taylor), but not the Ptolemy I aspect.  Actually, if I understand Taylor's paper correctly, Ptolemy I was not over that region ever (which is what I had thought originally), so I'm still unsure if I'm confused or what is going on with that.

The Ptolemy I attribution that auction houses are still using is, IMO, very lazy and likely just because it makes the coin a bit more interesting. As Taylor says, it's likely wrong and even if it were correct, only for some examples of the type 3426, definitely not 3424. The date range for the 3426 type is quite broad according to Taylor's study, spanning over a decade if I remember correctly. Ptolemy I didn't have control of Arados for very long in that timeframe so it's unlikely that he initiated the issue, that the issue had anything to do with him, or that most coins of Price 3426 were struck during his rule of Arados.

Edited by Kaleun96
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  • 2 weeks later...

I know the advice is to buy the book before the coin, but in this case my excuses are that it’s technically a paper, and I didn’t know it existed beforehand 😉

But seriously, I found a copy of vol 32 of the American Journal of Numismatics that contains Taylor’s paper and couldn’t resist picking it up. 
 

A9951B3D-2EC6-4BFC-9D32-9E9E16086AC5.jpeg.d5dc8e9ff877590c8ab204e2dee1279d.jpeg253D6150-E87A-4D29-91BD-416AEC4C3D74.jpeg.06b074191868b4318e13f6802ee61c03.jpeg

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