Description:This Alexander the Great coin was minted during his lifetime in Sardes, an ancient city of great importance, located at a strategic road junction in the Hermos Valley in present day Turkey. Tutored by Aristotle in his youth, Alexander succeeded his murdered father, King Philip II, in 336 BC and during this time, Greek Asia Minor was under Persian control. Here 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.
By the time of his death, Alexander had overthrown the Persian King Darius III and conquered the entirety of his Empire. Alexander's own Empire in 323 BC, stretched from the Adriatic Sea to Egypt and as far east as the Indus River in India. Undefeated in battle, Alexander was one of history's most successful military commanders. 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 with a kantharos cup to the left. 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.