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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

316, Lot: 256. Estimate $300.
Sold for $1300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Antiochos Nikator. Circa 240-225 BC. AR Tetradrachm (25mm, 16.61 g, 6h). Mint A (near Aï Khanoum). Diademed head right / Zeus Bremetes advancing left, brandishing aegis and thunderbolt; to inner left, monogram above eagle standing left. Holt Series A, Group 6; Bopearachchi 2E; SNG ANS 77-8; SC 631.1a (all under Diodotus I or II). VF, lightly toned.

According to the traditional chronology of the early Baktrian kings, Diodotos I attempted to gradually secede from the Seleukids. This stands in stark contrast to all other separatists and usurpers of the time. As a part of his slow transition, he first issued coins bearing a the name of Antiochos, and only later struck in his own name. Jakobsson (”Antiochus Nicator, the Third King of Bactria?,” NC 2010, pp. 17-33) refutes this model and reassigns these “transitional” issues from Diodotos to a new King Antiochos in Baktria. His argument rests on three main points: the existence of a commemorative tetradrachm of Agathokles that names an Antiochos Nikator; a new arrangement of the control marks and links between the coinage of Diodotos II, “Antiochos,” and Euthydemos; and the generally overcomplicated nature of the earlier models of Holt and Kritt.

According to the new chronology, Diodotos I swiftly broke from the Seleukids and struck coinage in his own name. He was succeeded by Diodotos II, then Antiochos Nikator, who both continued with the same dynastic type of Zeus Bremetes.