< Back  |   Home  |   Next >
The Coin Galleries: Bactria: Demetrios I

Demetrios I was the son of Euthydemos I and ruled (c. 200-185 BCE) after his father. He must have been a very capable man. Apparently he negotiated the peace between Euthydemos and the Seleucid king Antiochos III, and there is also evidence that he made inroads into conquering parts of India south of the Hindu Kush. His basic coin type, wearing an elephant scalp, symbolizes this as the elephant represented India to the Greeks.

Demetrios I

Bactria: Demetrios I, Silver tetradrachm, c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 17.03 gm., Diam: 35 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of king facing right, wearing elephant scalp head-dress /
Nude Herakles standing facing, holding club and lion skin in left hand,
     and crowning himself with his right hand,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY
      monogram in lower left field
This coin has an enormous 35 mm flan. Note the continued use of Herakles as the reverse deity; Herakles was the chosen deity of Euthydemos I. A statue of Herakles in exactly this pose (but without the lion skin) was found in the excavations at Ai-Khanoum.

Bactria: Demetrios I, Silver tetradrachm, c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 15.79 gm., Diam: 33 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of king facing right, wearing elephant scalp head-dress /
Nude Herakles standing facing, holding club and lion skin in left hand,
     and crowning himself with his right hand,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY
      monogram in lower left field
Extremely rare variety in which there is a bead and reel border on the reverse. Almost no Bactrian coins have reverse borders and there are fewer than 5 examples of this type known. It is not listed in any of the standard catalogs such as MIG, Bopearachchi, ANS, etc.

Bactria: Demetrios I, Silver drachm, c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 4.17 gm., Diam: 21 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of king facing right, wearing elephant scalp head-dress /
Nude Herakles standing facing, holding club and lion skin in left hand,
     and crowning himself with his right hand,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY
      monogram in lower left field

Bactria: Demetrios I, Silver obol, c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 0.70 gm., Diam: 13 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of king facing right, wearing elephant scalp head-dress /
Nude Herakles standing facing, holding club and lion skin in left hand,
     and crowning himself with his right hand,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY
      monogram in lower left field

Bactria: Demetrios I, Silver obol, c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 0.64 gm., Diam: 12 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of king facing right, wearing elephant scalp head-dress /
Nude Herakles standing facing, holding club and lion skin in left hand,
     and crowning himself with his right hand,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY
      monogram in lower left field

Bactria: Demetrios I, Copper hexa-chalkon (sextuple unit), c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 20.81 gm., Diam: 33 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Shield with gorgon's head in the center/
Trident, monogram at left,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY

Bactria: Demetrios I, Copper tri-chalkon (triple unit), c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 11.80 gm., Diam: 28 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Elephant head right, trunk raised and bell around neck/
Caduceus, monogram at left,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY

Bactria: Demetrios I, Copper dichalkon (double unit), c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 6.54 gm., Diam: 25 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Head of Herakles facing right, club over his shoulder /
Artemis standing facing, holding bow in left hand,
     drawing arow from quiver on back with right hand
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY
      monogram in lower right field

Bactria: Demetrios I, Copper dichalkon (double unit), c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 6.78 gm., Diam: 24 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Head of Herakles facing right, club over his shoulder /
Artemis standing facing, holding bow in left hand,
     drawing arow from quiver on back with right hand
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY
      monogram in lower right field

Bactria: Demetrios I, Clay ! tetradrachm, c. 200-185 BCE
Weight: 4.13 gm., Diam: 25 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed head of king facing right, wearing elephant scalp head-dress /
Nude Herakles standing facing, holding club and lion skin in left hand,
     and crowning himself with his right hand,
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ ΔHMHTPIOY
This is a very unusual piece, made of baked clay and imitating the tetradrachm. Either it is a very bad fake intended to fool the most ignorant tourists, or it is a token of some kind, perhaps made as a substitute for coinage in an emergency situation. Your comments are invited.
© CoinIndia
All Rights Reserved Copyright Policy
< Back  |   Home  |   Next >