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Octadrachm (Coin) Portraying King Ptolemy III Euergetes

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.

Date:

Ptolemaic Period (221–205 BCE), issued by King Ptolemy IV, reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes (247–222 BCE)

Artist:

Greek, Ptolemaic; minted in Egypt

About this artwork

Under the rule of Ptolemy III, Egypt’s realm reached its greatest geographical limits, stretching from Cyrene in North Africa to Babylon in Mesopotamia. Rather than pursue further conquests, Ptolemy concentrated on developing prosperity within Egypt. His reign marks the apogee of the dynasty’s power. Surprisingly, Ptolemy III never issued a coin with his own portrait, rather this coin was struck by his son Ptolemy IV and presents the dead king with the attributes of three gods: the crown of Helios, the sun god; the armor of Zeus; and the trident of the sea god, Poseidon.

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Ancient and Byzantine Art

Culture

Ancient Greek

Title

Octadrachm (Coin) Portraying King Ptolemy III Euergetes

Origin

Alexandria

Date

221 BCE–205 BCE

Medium

Gold

Inscriptions

Reverse: ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ

Dimensions

Diam. 2.6 cm; 27.78 g

Credit Line

Gift of Martin A. Ryerson

Reference Number

1922.4935

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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