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Third Macedonian War

784632. Sold For $465

KINGS of MACEDON. Perseus. 179-168 BC. AR Drachm (14mm, 2.76 g, 5h). Third Macedonian War issue. Uncertain mint in Thessaly; Hermias, magistrate. Stuck circa 171/0 BC. Head of Helios facing slightly right / Rose; ERMIAS above. Price, Larissa p. 241; SNG Keckman 795. Superb EF, lightly toned.

In his 1988 article on Rhodian imitations, R. Ashton has argued persuasively that this coinage was struck by Perseus to pay Cretan mercenaries serving in his army (see “A Series of Pseudo-Rhodian Drachms from Mainland Greece,” NC 1988, pp. 29-30). The Rhodian coinage circulated on Crete, where it was a familiar and trusted currency for the Cretans, and it is likely that they would have required payment in that form (see also Ashton, SM 146 (May 1987), p. 34).