Description:These Alexander the Great coins were minted during his lifetime in the ancient cities of Miletos (shown left) and Sardes (shown right). Both of these ancient cities were located in present-day western Turkey. Tutored by Aristotle in his youth, Alexander succeeded his murdered father, King Philip II, in 336 BC, inheriting a strong kingdom and an experienced army. He took full advantage and in 334 BC, Alexander attacked and defeated the Persian forces at the Battle of the Granicus. Alexander then marched his army south along the coast, liberating this Greek Asia Minor 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 side of these coins show 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.