SELEUKID, Antiochos I, 280-261 BC, bronze minor with countermark


SELEUKID, Antiochos I, 280-261 BC, minor, no date, Antioch mint, Obverse: bust of Athena facing, Reverse: Nike standing L, ΒΑΣΙΛΙΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ, monogram L, bronze, 14mm, 2.22g, double cornucopiae? countermark reverse, SG6883, F

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Antiochos (Antiochus) I was the son of Seleukos I and a Sogdian (Iranic) princess. As was normal at the time, he was pretty much always at war. He paid attention to culture and finance too, We know that from the artistry and availability of his coins. His epithet, Soter, means “savior,” and possibly refers to his miraculous victory over the Gauls with the use of war elephants.

The Seleukid kingdom came into being when Seleukos, a general of Alexander the Great, being in Mesopotamia at the time, just kept it, and went to war with his fellow generals to establish the zones of influence. The Seleukids hung on for a couple of centuries.

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