The son of Phillip II, Alexander (356-323 BC) studied under Aristotle until the age of 16. Upon the assassination of his father in 336 BC, Alexander inherited a strong and established kingdom, along with a battle experienced army. Encouraged by his mother, Alexander picked up the mantle of his father’s quest to conquer the Persian Empire. By the time of his death at the age of 32, Alexander’s conquest spanned the Balkans, Syria, Egypt and Babylonia and the initial insurgence into India.
After Alexander’s conquest of Persia, it is believed that he melted down the gold coins of Darius III to provide the bullion for his own gold staters. Among the most popular coins struck during Alexander’s reign were the gold distater and sater, followed by the silver tetradrachm and drachm.
The drachm, containing about 4.5 grams of pure silver, features the head of Heracles (today known as Hercules) facing right on the obverse and wearing a lion skin headdress. The reverse features Zeus seated left, holding an eagle and scepter.
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