Description:This Alexander the Great coin was minted during his lifetime in the ancient city of Arados in Northern Phoenicia, which is located in present day Syria. Arados was an island, but it controlled an extensive area on the mainland as well. Alexander invaded Syria in 332 BC and conquered this region from the Persians.
Born in 356 BC, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until the age of 16 and succeeded his murdered father, King Philip II, in 336 BC, inheriting a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander took full advantage and became one of the most successful military commanders of all time. By the time of his death in 323 BC, Alexander had overthrown the Persian King Darius III and conquered the entirety of his empire. 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 and holding an eagle. Zeus was the most powerful of all the Greek gods and his appearance on Alexander's coinage symbolized Alexander's status as leader of all the Greeks.