From:Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities
Name/TitleCoin, silver tetradrachm, Antiochus VIII
About this objectKing Antiochus VIII was the ruler of the Seleucid Empire in Syria from 125 to 96 BC. He was nicknamed Grypos, meaning “hook-nose”, which is clearly evident on the obverse image of this tetradrachm. Grypos, and his Egyptian contemporary, King Ptolemy X, intentionally accentuated their unattractive and overweight features on their coins. Contrary to the military might that previous kings had promoted in their portraits, Grypos wished to promote the concept of Tryphê, meaning to live a good life of pleasure and peace, across his kingdom.
The reverse side of the coin depicts the reasonably conventional image of an enthroned Zeus, holding a statuette of the victory goddess Nike in one hand and a sceptre in the other, with a thunderbolt placed overhead. The inscriptions down either side of Zeus read BASILEŌS ANTIOCHOU / EPIPHANOUS, meaning “King Antiochus, the glorious”. This title and the imagery here ultimately promote Grypos’ power.
Date MadeLate 2nd to early 1st Century BC
Medium and MaterialsMetal; Silver
Inscription and MarksInscriptions on reverse side: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ / ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ (BASILEŌS ANTIOCHOU / EPIPHANOUS). Small monograph beneath Zeus' throne.
Diameter ca. 27mm
Subject and Association KeywordsGods in art
Subject and Association KeywordsGoddesses in art
Subject and Association KeywordsInscriptions, Greek
Subject and Association KeywordsKings and rulers in art
Named CollectionThe James Logie Memorial Collection, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Credit LineDonated by M.K. Steven
Object TypeExchange Media
Copyright LicenceAll rights reserved