Jump to content

Tryphon Diodotus: And you thought your usurper was tough


Ryro
 Share

Recommended Posts

Posted · Supporter

Perfect face, wild rebelliously long hair, and a highly detailed Spiked horned helmet. Enough about me later tonight. Let's take a look at the new coin and let me chat you up on Tryphon:

3035459_1656241550.l-removebg-preview.png.0b4c0211cac775712fdf3b052fcbf68e.png

Tryphon, Diodotus

Antioch, 141 BCE, AE 18mm, 5.66g

Obvs: Head of Tryphon right diademed.

Revs: BAΣΙΛEΩΣ TPYФΩNOΣ AYTOKPATOPOΣ, Spiked Macedonian helmet. Grain to left. Ex:Savoca

To tell the story without going all the way back to Alexander the Great will take some short cutting. So here goes! Cue the 1980's montage music:

After the Diadochi (Alexander's successors) split up the empire, Seleucus I Nicator "the conqueror" (reign 305-281 BCE) took the largest slice of the pie when he snatched up Syria and most of the Eastern land of the empire, ie. Babylon, Persia, Media, India etc.

maxresdefault.jpg.f0205bdc3ccb45a4b3174cb1155d2afe.jpg

(Nobody, especially Alexander, would've guessed that after the Great man's demise Seleucus, a second class general, would end up running the largest empire of all the Diadochi)
IMG_5763(1).jpg.0121df0234f1bdc9ce2698ee59acf624.jpg

Seleucus I

AR Hemiobol, Antioch on the Orotnes 300-281 BCE 0.49 gr 8MM

OBV: Omphalos on Macedonian Shield.

Rev: BA έE, elephant head right. Dotted border. Left field N

Ref: SC 14

Ex: Ares

Fast forward through lots of brother/cousin/nephew killing and sister/cousin/aunt marrying ad nauseam, and we find ourselves in the middle of the 140s-130s BCE.
Demetruis II (reign 145–138 BC) and Cleopatra Thea (reign 150 BC–126 BCE) were the King and Queen of Syria. However, due to the heavy handed ruling style and outrageous taxes there was no love loss between them and the peoples they ruled.

94706B58-D54E-415E-80DD-B2BA2BA64051.png

Demetrius II
AE19. Diademed bust
right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ
ΔHMHTPIOY, galley right, Phoenician inscription below

Headquartered in Chalcis and taking advantage of the people's discontent with the current regime a former general turned usurper named Diodotus (reign 142–138 BCE) had a surprise up his sleeve.

sneaky_spanky.jpg.b7aa01d1008942bce1436690693ae403.jpg

Diodotus just so happened to have Cleopatra Thea's son from her previous marriage to Alexander Balas , Antiochus VI Dionysius, and swiftly elevated the boy to king. This was a power play that would have long lasting repercussions. This gave Diodotus the ability to take the large cities of Apamea and Antioch, in 144 BCE, with ease as Demetrius II and Cleo Thea fled.

6260B594-DD68-4138-BBCC-D5A4D9AECFB2.png

SYRIA, Seleukis and Pieria. Apameia. Dated year Delta 0T left (year 304). = 49-48 BC. Litra. Head of Dionysos right, wearing ivy wreath, “ME” monogram in left field. / Thyrsos; date to inner left. RPC I 4347. 21 mm, 7,96 g good very fine. scarce


Quickly other major cities like Cilicia and Palestine came under Diodotus and Antiochus VI. Judea was on board with reports that Babylon would follow suit soon...then, in 142 BCE, tragedy struck! The young new King Antiochus VI died, reportedly during a surgery that had gone wrong, though there were certainly accusations leveled that the power hungry Diodotus was the "surgeon" in charge.

doc-satan.gif.c2a5f666a492ef60cd4712100c941ced.gif

It was at this critical juncture that Diodotus gave himself the nickname "Tryphon" and pronounced himself King. The usual translation for Tryphon is "soft or delicate". Though the assumption here is that he was going with the less used translation of "magnificent", or so one would hope.
Despite the set back the new king was in the driver's seat with much of the empire now backing him. There were now only 2 key Phoenician cities still under Demetrius II's control, Ptolemais and Tyre.
Sit back and enjoy, as the stage is set for one of the ALL TIME GREAT bad luck epic ancient history fails:
After Tryphon's army had routed some of Demetrius II's soldiers and were chasing them along the coast, a MASSIVE TIDAL WAVE swept Tryphon's army and all of his dreams of being a unified Seleucid King into the ocean.

giphy-8.gif.3a305952241155cbbbdfe4edfb7b6f18.gif

Though, Tryphon wasn't swept out to sea, he may as well have been. That mishap triggered a chain reaction causing his dreams of taking over to come crashing down on him.

200w-3.gif.35266afd94d726de8b0ade593915da73.gif

After this how could anyone not believe that the usurper had done something to anger the gods. He had the people, the power and momentum and now he was just all wet.

Demetruis II, being viewed as in a weakened position, had to quickly head out to face the Parthians. While away his brother Antiochos VII Euegretes moved in and took over as king. Even going so far as to marry his brothers wife, Cleopatra Thea (yeah, that's her third husband/king. don't judge)!

9AA82A93-CC09-4941-ADDF-534963CB1CB3.jpeg
 

Antiochos VII Euergetes Sidetes 138-129 BC. Æ (17mm, 6.35 g, 3h). Contemporary imitation. Uncertain mint, imitating Antioch. Lion's head right / Vertical club downward. SC 2073 (this coin referenced and illustrated); HGC 9, 1097. very fine
 
In 138 BCE Antiochos VII moved quickly and defeated an on the ropes Tryphon. And while on the run back to his home base, Apamea, Tryphon was either killed or committed suicide.
And so ends one of the strangest rags to riches usurper stories you are likely to hear.
 
IMG_2660(1).PNG.bf037ddc010210e72f7901fabb8c0750.PNG
Tryphon, Diodotus
Mint: Antioch
141 BC
Obvs: Head of Tryphon right diademed.
Revs: BAΣΙΛEΩΣ TPYФΩNOΣ AYTOKPATOPOΣ, Spiked Macedonian helmet. Grain to left
AE 18mm, 4.7g
Order # G 139
Ref: SC 2034.2b
Ex-@David@PCC Coin talk
IMG_5072.jpg.309fce3b2eba6d9e3e270cac2dfa4505.jpg
Tryphon, Diodotus
Antioch, 141 BCE, AE 18mm, 4.7g
Obvs: Head of Tryphon right diademed.
Revs: BAΣΙΛEΩΣ TPYФΩNOΣ AYTOKPATOPOΣ, Spiked Macedonian helmet. Grain to left
Order # G 139
SC 2034.2b Ex:Savoca
 
382205183_2450255_1640514179.l-removebg-preview(1).png.0fc0686e0d2e1d3486f8d66ba3cf0dfb.png
Seleukid Kingdom. Antioch. Antiochos VI Dionysos 144-142 BC. Drachm AR
16 mm, 3,21 g, very fine
 
Please post any coins of the players in this story, Seleucids, cool helmets, epic ancient fails or anything else you feel!
  • Like 8
  • Smile 1
  • Popcorn 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a cool coin, @Ryro! Very detailed reverse and I 💗 that heart-shaped flan. Of course, in numismatics, you gotta use neo-classical terminology so I'll call it a "cardioid flan"! 😉

That's an interesting bit of history. I confess that because of all the incest among the Seleucid royalty, I can't keep any of the Antiochuses or Demetriuses straight.

I DO have a coin of Cleopatra Thea. I like it a lot and never pass up an opportunity to post it!

[IMG]
Cleopatra Thea, Queen of Syria, with son Antiochus VIII.
AR tetradrachm; 15.85 gm, 27 mm.
Antioch mint, 125-121 BC.
Obv: Jugate busts, right.
Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΚΛΕΟΠΑΤΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ, Zeus Nikephoros seated l., holding lotus-tipped scepter; IE outer left, A under throne.
Refs: SNG Spaer 2437; c.f. Sear 7135.
Notes: Ex-Henry Clay Lindgren.

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
  • Clap 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted · Supporter
5 hours ago, Roman Collector said:

What a cool coin, @Ryro! Very detailed reverse and I 💗 that heart-shaped flan. Of course, in numismatics, you gotta use neo-classical terminology so I'll call it a "cardioid flan"! 😉

That's an interesting bit of history. I confess that because of all the incest among the Seleucid royalty, I can't keep any of the Antiochuses or Demetriuses straight.

I DO have a coin of Cleopatra Thea. I like it a lot and never pass up an opportunity to post it!

[IMG]
Cleopatra Thea, Queen of Syria, with son Antiochus VIII.
AR tetradrachm; 15.85 gm, 27 mm.
Antioch mint, 125-121 BC.
Obv: Jugate busts, right.
Rev: ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΚΛΕΟΠΑΤΡΑΣ ΚΑΙ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ, Zeus Nikephoros seated l., holding lotus-tipped scepter; IE outer left, A under throne.
Refs: SNG Spaer 2437; c.f. Sear 7135.
Notes: Ex-Henry Clay Lindgren.

Thanks RC! Beauuuuuutiful portraits on that Cleopatra Thea😍

Ha! I was wondering if anyone would mention the Great shape flan:

giphy-33.gif.c1666b9da3d4a973c7269be9b09dba22.gif

Can't get anything by you.

Good call on the, there's only so many times you can hear about incest before it becomes less shocking and just gross 😝 Same thing goes for my interest in the later Ptolemies.

Here's a tiny bronze of Cleopatra Thea and VIII:

IMG_5073.jpg.f97c4b0ed4d79910ab9de54454ec4bdd.jpg

 

Cleopatra Thea and Antiochos VIII Epiphanes
125-121 BCE Ake-Ptolemaïs mint, Dated S.E. 188 (125/4 B.C.) Jugate heads of the Dioscuri right, star above each / ΒΑΣΙΛΙΣΣΗΣ ΚΛΕΟΠΑΤΠΑΣ KAI ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ, cornucopia. SC -; SNG Spaer -; Kadman 17. Very Rare.

 

Ps, you've got me there @dougsmit. Would I love Tryphon's coins without that gnarly helmet. Probably not. But with such a rad helmet and back story about his army being swept away be a tidal wave?! I've bought more than a few.

Stellar example BTW. Is hard to get such a sweet helmet and still an nice portrait. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...