About this artwork
The Hellenistic period spans the nearly three hundred years between the death of Alexander the Great of Macedonia (323 BC) and that of Cleopatra VII of Egypt (30 BC), a descendant of one of Alexander’s generals. The term Hellenistic is derived from Hellas, an ancient Greek word for Greece. It is used to describe both chronologically and culturally the era following Alexander’s conquest of Egypt and Asia, which resulted in the spread of Greek culture across a vast area. The melding of local and Greek artistic styles with the luxurious materials captured in the conquered lands resulted in magnificent artwork, including elegant coinage.
Following Alexander’s death, his empire was divided among his generals, who established independent kingdoms in Egypt; Persia; the eastern coast of the Aegean Sea, including Syria and Palestine; Greece and Macedonia; and Thrace. Almost immediately the generals began to covet each other’s land and power.
Antiochos VII (reigned 139–129 BC) was the last of the Seleucid kings who attempted to reclaim the once-mighty empire. His reign was occupied by fruitless battles and ephemeral victories; by the end, ancient Syria was his only domain. Like his father, Demetrios I Soter (reigned 161–150 BC), he was killed by rivals.
- Ancient Greek
- Tetradrachm (Coin) Portraying King Antiochus VII Euergetes Sidetes
- Ancient Near East
- 138 BCE–129 BCE
- Diam. 2.7 cm; 15.74 g
- Gift of William F. Dunham