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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Rare Tetradrachm with Athena Magarsia
Referenced in SC

Triton XXII, Lot: 329. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $4250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SELEUKID EMPIRE. Antiochos VII Euergetes (Sidetes). 138-129 BC. AR Tetradrachm (30.5mm, 15.92 g, 12h). Mallos mint. Diademed head right; M to left / BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIOXOY EYEPΓETOY, Cult statue of Athena Magarsia, wearing aegis, standing facing on basis; monogram below left legend, M with incurved sides below right legend. SC 2059.1a (this coin referenced); Houghton, Mallus –; HGC 9, 1072. Good VF, toned, slightly off center on obverse. Extremely rare with this monogram.

From the MNL Collection. Ex Gorny & Mosch 244 (13 October 2014), lot 351; Gorny & Mosch 159 (8 October 2007), lot 251; Gorny & Mosch 107 (2 April 2001), lot 264.

The Temple of Athena at Magarsos, near Mallos, was an important cult sanctuary in the Hellenistic period. The central statue of Athena Magarsia is known only from the handful of coins that have survived, which show a blending of Greek and eastern motifs. The town of Margasos is thought to have been founded in the Hittite era, and R. Lane Fox has recently analyzed the cult site in his book Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer (pp. 82ff). He believes that the site was established by Sennacherib, king of Assyria, in the aftermath of a naval victory at the mouth of the Pyramos river that flows through the town, who dedicated the shrine to the goddess Anat or Ishtar. The identification of the statue as Athena is thought to have been made by Alexander the Great, who made a sacrifice at the temple just prior to the Battle of Issos in 333 BC.