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The Coin Galleries: Bactria: Antimachus I

Antimachus I is a king known to us only from his coins. He is dated to roughly 174-165 BCE, mainly on the strngth of the fact that he placed the word ΘEOY on his coins, calling himself god, which was a practice initiated by the Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV around 176 BCE. Antimachus also issued a series of "Pedigree" coins honoring his predecessors on the Bactrian throne, like Agathocles before him. So far, coins commemorating only two kings are known: Diodotus and Euthydemus I.

Antimachus I

Bactria: Antimachus I, Silver tetradrachm, c. 174-165 BCE
Weight: 16.88 gm., Diam: 34 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of king facing right, wearing kausia, pearled border around /
Poseidon standing facing, holding trident with his right hand
     and palm branch in his left arm,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΘEOY ANTIMAXOY
      monogram in lower right field
Another of the great masterpieces of portaiture of the Bactrian series. The enigmatic smile on the king's face has been likened to that on the Mona Lisa. Note the unusual cap worn by the king. This is a Macedonian hat called the kausia and this hat probably was the one that evolved into the pakol, worn today in Afghanistan.

Bactria: Antimachus I, Silver drachm, c. 174-165 BCE
Weight: 4.13 gm., Diam: 18 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of king facing right, wearing kausia, pearled border around /
Poseidon standing facing, holding trident with his right hand
     and palm branch in his left arm,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΘEOY ANTIMAXOY
      monogram in lower right field

Bactria: Antimachus I, Silver obol, c. 174-165 BCE
Weight: 0.70 gm., Diam: 11 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of king facing right, wearing kausia, pearled border around /
Poseiden standing facing, holding trident with his right hand
     and palm branch in his left arm,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΘEOY ANTIMAXOY
      monogram in lower right field

Bactria: Antimachus I, Copper di-chalkon, c. 174-165 BCE
Weight: 6.54 gm., Diam: 24 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Elephant walking right /
Winged Nike walking left, holding palm branch in left hand
     and wreath in outstretched right hand,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIMAXOY
      monogram in lower right field

Bactria: Antimachus I, Copper tri-chalkon, c. 174-165 BCE
Weight: 12.60 gm., Dim: 20 x 19 mm., Die axis: 2 h
Elephant walking right /
Thunderbolt
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIMAXOY
Ref: MIG 132, Bop 7
A very rare triple unit; this example appears to be nicer than the plate coin in Mitchiner and Bopearachchi's catalogues.

Bactria: Antimachus I, Copper half chalkous, c. 174-165 BCE
Weight: 2.72 gm., Dim: 20 x 14 mm., Die axis: 2 h
Elephant walking right /
Thunderbolt
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ANTIMAXOY
This coin and the previous one, with their square shapes reflecting Indian taste, may have been issued south of the Hindu Kush in Arachosia, what is now southern Afghanistan.
The Pedigree Series

Bactria: Antimachus I, Silver tetradrachm, c. 174-165 BCE
     commemorating Diodotos I or II, as King

Weight: 16.79 gm., Diam: 33 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of Diodotos facing right, pearled border around
     Greek legend: ΔIOΔOTOY ΣΩTHPOΣ /
Nude Zeus standing left, holding aegis over his outstretched left arm
     and hurling thunderbolt with his right hand,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEYONTOΣ ΘEOY ANTIMAXOY
      monogram in lower right field, wreath and eagle in left field

Bactria: Antimachus I, Silver tetradrachm, c. 174-165 BCE
     commemorating Euthydemos I

Weight: 16.67 gm., Diam: 33 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of Euthydemos facing right
     Greek legend: EYΘΔHMOY ΘEOY /
Nude Herakles seated left on a pile of rocks,
     holding club in right hand which he rests on another pile of rocks,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEYONTOΣ ΘEOY ANTIMAXOY
      monogram in lower right field
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