KINGS of MACEDON. Antigonos II Gonatas.
KINGS of MACEDON. Antigonos II Gonatas. 277/6-239 BC. AR Tetradrachm (31mm, 17.07 g, 11h). Amphipolis mint. Struck circa 274/1-260/55 BC. Horned head of Pan left, lagobolon behind, in the center of a Macedonian shield / Athena Alkidemos, seen from behind, advancing left, shield decorated with aegis on left arm, preparing to cast thunderbolt held aloft in right hand; crested Macedonian helmet to inner left, HP monogram to inner right. Panagopoulou Period II, 2 and 4 thru 8 var. (O2/R unlisted rev. die); Touratsoglou 18 (same obv. die); SNG Copenhagen 1200; Hermitage Sale II 781. EF, lustrous. Well struck from fresh dies.
From the Friend of a Scholar Collection, purchased from Maison Platt, September 1980.
CNG 100 Lot 1338 Oct 7 2015
Antiogonos Gonatas was the son of Demetrios Poliorketes and grandson of Antigonos Monophthalmos. During the later years of the Diadoch Wars, he participated with his father on campaign in Greece and Macedon. In 288 BC, Demetrios was forced from Macedon by a joint attack by Lysimachos and Pyrrhos. He then took his army east to attack Lysimachos' cities in Asia Minor in 288 BC, leaving Antigonos behind to continue campaigning in Greece. Thus, Antigonos was absent from the field when Demetrios was defeated and captured by Seleukos I later that year. Although he resolved to free his father from captivity, Antigonos was never able to leave his territories in Greece before Demetrios died in 283 BC. Upon his father's death, Antigonos assumed the royal title and resolved to retake the Macedonian throne. Before he was able to invade Macedonia, in 279 BC, a huge wave of Galatians moved into the region from the north, killing Ptolemy Keraunos, the then king of Macedon, and advanced as far south as Delphi, ravaging the countryside and defeating any resistance that was raised against them. In 277 BC, Antigonos took his army north and decisively defeated the Celts in a victory that brought him recognition and acclaim across the Aegaean. Angtigonos was now able to take the empty Macedonian throne. In 274 BC, Pyrrhos invaded and occupied Thessaly and western Macedon, but his death in 272 BC ended this threat to Antigonos' rule. He was able to spend the subsequent few years securing his position before the outbreak of the Chrmonidean War in 267 BC. Up to that time, the Greek cities of Chalkis, Corinth, Demetrias, and Piraios had been long-standing naval bases for the Antigonids, set up duirng the Diadoch Wars by his father, Demetrios. This cities were staunch allies to Antigonos, and were advocates for his foreign policy. Athens and Sparta viewed them as a threat, and joined with other cities and Ptolemy II in an attempt to remove the Macedonian garrisons. The conflict was indecisive until 263 BC, when Antigonos was able to capture Athens, though the war dragged on for another two years. The end of this conflict in 261 marked the end of significant external threats to Antigonos' rule in Macedon. A long time ally of the Seleukids, Antigonos supported Antiochos II in the Second Syrian War against Ptolemy II, and defeated the Egyptian king's navy near Kos in 255 BC. At home, Antigonos did much to restore the kingdom finanacially, culturally, and militarily, resulting in a sort of renaissance that flourished in the newfound stability that Macedon had not enjoyed since the time of Kassander some 40 years earlier. Antigonos died of old age in 239 BC, passing the throne to his son, Demetrios II.
Mathisen, in his study of the coinage of Gonatas, contends that the fighting Athena was a traditional symbol of Pyrrhos, Antigonos vanquished enemy, and it was adopted to emphasize the Macedonian kings victory over his Epeirote challenger. Similarly, Mathisen believes Pan symbolizes Antigonos victory over the Gauls, whose invasions had terrorized Macedon and Thrace for decades.