Description:This Alexander the Great coin was minted during his lifetime in the ancient city of Tarsos, located near the Mediterranean Sea in present day southern Turkey. Alexander succeeded his father Philip II in 336 BC and during this time Greek Asia Minor was under Persian control. In 334 BC, Alexander attacked and defeated the Persian forces at the Battle of the Granicus and then marched his army south along the coast, liberating this region from the Persians. Alexander entered the city of Tarsos in the spring of 333 BC without a struggle, but nearly died here of sickness. He eventually recovered and in November 333 BC, Alexander led his Macedonian troops to a decisive victory over King Darius and the Persians in the Battle of Issos.
By the time of his death, Alexander had overthrown Darius and conquered the entirety of his Empire. In 323 BC, Alexander's own Empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to Egypt and as far east as the Indus River in India. His legacy lived on long after him, ushering in centuries of Greek settlement and Hellenistic culture over distant areas.
The obverse of this coin, shows the Greek hero Hercules wearing a lionís skin of armor. This was important to Alexander's hereditary line as he claimed to be descended from the mythological hero. The reverse shows Zeus, the King of the Greek Gods, seated on a throne, holding an eagle, with a plough below. Zeus was the most powerful of all the Greek Gods and his appearance on Alexander's coinage symbolizes Alexander's status as leader of all the Greeks.