Typical Argead features?

Discuss Philip's achievements and Macedonia pre-Alexander

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Pezhetairos (foot soldier)
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Typical Argead features?

Post by delos13 »

One of my Google alerts pointed to the coin of Amyntas III, grandfather of Alexander. I followed the link, curious to see how the Macedonian pre-Alexander coins looked like. Here is the link http://www.ebay.ca/itm/231637490981?rmvSB=true (please scroll down for the images of both sides of the coin). It was a complete surprise for me. Amynta's coin, with the image of Heracles, looked exactly like Alexander's coins.

Now I wonder if this similarity of images is due to some typical Argead features (family features) or maybe I am just imagining things. Heracles on this coin of Amynta looks so much as the similar coins of Alexander as Heracles. Am I seeing something that is not there or some others also see common familial features?
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Re: Typical Argead features?

Post by agesilaos »

Have you considered that the coin portrait served as the model for subsequent issues, i.e. the portrait is not intended as that of the ruler but only of Herakles, who would not change being an immutable God. This is the normal view these days I think. Against it, one has to wonder why Herakles acquires a beard under Perdikkas III ?

https://www.ngccoin.com/news/article/26 ... an-Empire/
Alexander II
Alexander II
Perdikkas III_tb.jpg (42.31 KiB) Viewed 3257 times
Amyntas III
Amyntas III
Triton V_tb.jpg (45.22 KiB) Viewed 3258 times
(my error mis-labelled Perdikkas as Alex II)

I thought it was Philip II at first glance so there seem two options, they are portraits and the resemblances are genetic, or there was just a stereotype bearded man. In the absence of sculptural evidence for the early Argaeads it is a coin flip, all I would say is that the Greeks of this era do not seem to have placed any human portraits on their coins, somewhat earlier Perikles and Pheidias were arraigned for the one sneaking the other's likeness onto the Parthenon sculptures Plut Perikles 31 iv
4 But the reputation of his works nevertheless brought a burden of jealous hatred upon Pheidias, and especially the fact that when he wrought the battle of the Amazons on the shield of the goddess, he carved out a figure that suggested himself as a bald old man lifting on high a stone with both hands, and also inserted a very fine likeness of Pericles fighting with an Amazon. And the attitude of the hand, which holds out a spear in front of the face of Pericles, is cunningly contrived as it were with a desire to conceal the resemblance, which is, however, plain to be seen from either side.
About 380 BC, however the western satraps had begun to introduce their portraits upon the coinage, which way the idea spread is moot, since the fact of portraiture on the Macedonian issues is not established and the dates of the satrapal issues elastic.

edited for mis-attribution
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