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Research Coins: Printed Auction

Triton XXII, Lot: 448. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $5500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BAKTRIA, Greco-Baktrian Kingdom. Diodotos I Soter. Circa 255-235 BC. AV Stater (19mm, 8.33 g, 6h). In the name of Antiochos II of Syria. Mint A (near Aï Khanoum). Diademed head right / BAΣIΛEΩΣ down right, ANTIOXOY down left, Zeus Bremetes, seen from behind, advancing left, aegis draped over outstretched left arm, and brandishing thunderbolt in right hand; in inner left field, wreath above eagle standing left. Holt Series A, Group 8; Bopearachchi 1A; SC 630; HGC 9, 234 (Antiochos II). Near EF. Rare without the typical test cut.

From the Menlo Park Collection, purchased from Freeman & Sear, 2002.

The attribution of the Antiochos on this stater has been the subject of much discussion. The name suggests one of the early Seleukid kings of that name, and attempts have been made to associate the Antiochos here with Antiochos II, who is named on the issues of Diodotos I. Jens Jakobsson (“Antiochus Nicator, the Third King of Baktria?”, NC 170 [2010], p. 25), while rightly arguing against Antiochos II as the person commemorated, offered no alternative. Brian Kritt, who recently has revisited the issue (New Discoveries in Bactrian Numismatics, Chapter 5), convincingly suggests Antiochos III as the mostly likely candidate. Antiochos III, whose historical epithet is Megas (the Great), conducted a vigorous series of campaigns in the East, including the subjugation of the Parthians, his victories in Bactria, including the capture of Aï Khanoum, and his subsequent campaigning in India (p. 80). Thus, Antiochos would have been a figure worthy of emulation and with whom Diodotos I would wish to be associated.