EGYPT, Ptolemy VI, 180-145 BC, bronze


EGYPT, Ptolemy VI, 180-145 BC, minor, Obverse: head of Zeus Ammon R, Reverse: 2 eagles L, double cornucopiae L, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ, bronze, 31mm, 26.7g, SG7900, weak spots, crust spots, F

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SKU: 2808029 Categories: ,


Ptolemy VI acceded as a child. He had a complicated reign in which he had to share rule with his sister-wife (Egyptian dynastic tradition) and his brother, Ptolemy VIII, both of whom schemed against him. Meanwhile, there was war with the Seleukids, who generally prevailed. His brother kicked him out of the country for a while, but became unpopular and Ptolemy VI returned to the throne. During his second reign he made military advances and won a great battle against the Seleukids, only to die of his wounds. His brother came back to the throne. What about Ptolemy VII? Son of Ptolemy VI, put in the lineage to demonstrate dynastic continuity, but probably did not reign.

Alexander the Great took Egypt at an early point in his Persian war. When Alexander died his generals fought each other about what to do next. Ptolemy ended up with Egypt, a land of which he was fond. He founded a dynasty that ruled Egypt longer than any other dynasty. For a while Egypt was the most powerful of the Hellenistic states. But the ruling family engaged in the usual succession conflicts, the position of Egypt deteriorated as that of Rome improved. After making the wrong choice who to go with in the Roman Civil War Egypt was conquered and incorporated in the new Roman imperial system as a personal estate of the Emperor.

The big change that Alexander the Great brought about was the union of the Greek spirit of inquiry with the methods of imperial bureaucracy.

“Ancient Coins” includes Greek and Roman coins and those of neighbors and successors, geographically from Morocco and Spain all the way to Afghanistan. Date ranges for these begin with the world’s earliest coins of the 8th century BC to, in an extreme case, the end of Byzantine Empire, 1453 AD.