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The Coin Galleries: Bactria: Plato

Plato may have been a son of Eucratides I, but we have no information about him other than his coins, which are very rare. In all likelihood, he had a very short reign in Bactria only. His reverse type is most unusual in that it shows Helios driving a chariot, which was a theme that had not been used by any of Plato's predecessors. Since, as Justin tells us, Eucratides was killed by his own son, who ran his chariot through his father's blood, Frank Holt has speculated that perhaps Plato was this very son, who was boasting of his deed by choosing to depict a chariot on his coinage. A. K. Narain had argued the same thing, suggesting that Plato's use of the title "Epiphanous" (the manifestation ... same root as the English word "epiphany") showed that he was very ambitious and this could explain his paricide in his hurry to become king. The only coins known for Plato so far are tetradrachms, all very rare.

Plato

Bactria: Plato, Silver tetradrachm, c. 145-140 BCE
Weight: 16.92 gm., Diam: na, Die axis: 12 h
Diademed bust of king facing right, bead and reel border around /
Helios, radiate, standing in quadriga facing, holding spear
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ // ΠΛATΩNOΣ
     (photo courtesy CNG)
Ref: MIG 198a, Bop 1A

Bactria: Plato, Silver tetradrachm, c. 145-140 BCE
Weight: 16.65 gm., Diam: 33 mm, Die axis: 11 h
Diademed bust of king facing right, bead and reel border around /
Helios, radiate, standing in quadriga facing, holding spear
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ // ΠΛATΩNOΣ
Ref: MIG 198a, Bop 1A

Bactria: Plato, Silver tetradrachm, c. 145-140 BCE
Weight: 16.70 gm., Diam: na, Die axis: 12 h
Diademed bust of king facing right, bead and reel border around /
Helios, radiate, standing in quadriga moving right
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ ΠΛATΩNOΣ, MN below
     (photo courtesy CNG)
MIG196b, Bop 2B

Bactria: Plato, Silver tetradrachm, c. 145-140 BCE
Weight: 16.32 gm., Diam: 31 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed bust of king facing right, bead and reel border around /
Helios, radiate, standing in quadriga moving right
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ ΠΛATΩNOΣ, MN below
MIG196b, Bop 2B

Bactria: Plato, Silver tetradrachm, c. 145-140 BCE
Weight: 16.14 gm., Diam: 32 mm., Die axis: 12 h
Diademed bust of king facing right, bead and reel border around /
Helios, radiate, standing in quadriga moving right
     Greek legend: BAΣIΛEΩΣ EΠIΦANOYΣ ΠΛATΩNOΣ, MH below
MIG196c, Bop 2A
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