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PHILIP II OF MACEDON
GREECE
by Mariangela Piziali

The great production of gold coins in Greece starts in the second half of the 4th century, thanks to Philip II of Macedon (359-336 B.C.). This king, during a phase of expansionism of his kingdom, conquers Crenides (357/6 B.C.) - later called Philippi - where Thasians had already started the gold and silver mines of Mount Pangaion. Philip thus starts to issue - from 352 or 348 - great quantities of gold and silver coins.

The former are called "philippi" and are staters weighing as much as Attic didrachm (8.6 grams), and fractions. The main denomination bears Apollo's head on the obverse; a racing two-horsed chariot and the king's name in the genitive is on the reverse: ΦΙΛΙΠΠΟΥ (= [coin] of Philip). The presence of a chariot with horses has been linked to what Plutarch (Alex. 4) wrote about a series of coins on which Philip "took care to have the victories of his chariots at Olympia engraved". The mints involved were located at Pella - the capital of Philip's kingdom - at Amphipolis, and probably at Aegae.



Click on the images of the coins to enlarge them

Statere di Filippo II
Statere di Filippo II
1/12 di statere di Filippo II
1/12 di statere di Filippo II
© 2008 UCSC Milano