Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Greek Baktrian Kingdom - Eukratides I Megas

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Antik Sikkeler

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Eukratides I Megas - BAΣIΛEΩΣ MEΓAΛOY EYKPATIΔOY

This remarkable tetradrachm of Eukratides I represents a pinnacle of Hellenistic numismatic portraiture. Depicting him in an unprecedented way as a helmeted warrior with a nude and muscular back, diadem ties flowing down it, and in a posture of preparing to strike with a spear or javelin.

This image succeeds marvellously in evoking the romantic spirit of the by-gone golden age of Greek glory as embodied by heroes such as Leonidas and Epaminondas, who as tradition dictated, would fight in the front rank alongside their soldiers to lead and inspire by example.

Such a posture was well known in Greek art and sculpture, being not only the typical stance of the Greek hoplite warrior, but also of the gods Zeus, Poseidon and Athena, most famously preserved in the form of the Artemision Bronze statue now in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

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Eukratides' stance is also reminiscent of the coins of Demetrios Poliorketes and Diodotos I, who both issued tetradrachms featuring a naked #Poseidon and Zeus, respectively, wielding their weapons in a similar overarm stance; there however, the whole bodies were shown.

Eukratides' use of this classic form to depict himself was an innovation that clearly made a lasting impression - the portrait type would be copied by successive Greek kings in India, and would later be adopted by several Roman emperors from the time of Septimius Severus onwards, as the role of the emperor became increasingly militarized in nature.

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