Hellenistic Women III: Berenice I of Egypt

To conclude our weeklong celebration of the women from Greek Antiquity, we are looking at another important queen from the Hellenistic period: Berenice I of Egypt. She was the fourth wife of the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty but also the most important one as she was the mother of his successor Ptolemy II Philadelphus …

Greek Kings and Indian Emperors: Diplomacy between the Hellenistic Kingdoms and Mauryan India

To writers like Herodotus and Ctesias, India was on the periphery of the Greek understanding of the inhabited world, drifting the between outright fantasy and the faintest tidbits of reality. Though the invasion of Alexander the Great and the Macedonian army into the Punjab in 327 BC was something of a bloody introduction, it marked …

Numismatics and the legend of horned Bukephalos

In her last post, Michelle simon introduced us to Alexander’s horse bukephalos. One of the most famous horses of the ancient world. Despite his famed beauty and nobility, he had a rather common name, since boukephalous in greek means ‘ox-headed’. According to tradition, there were several explanations for his name, the most interesting of which …

What’s in a name: Bucephalus, Alexander’s Horse

When you mention the Hellenistic period, people immediately think of Alexander the Great. This is no surprise as his military conquests and travels shaped the Hellenistic era in a way which no other individual has done. Yet far fewer people know the name of one of his most trusty companions, his horse Bukephalus. In a …

The Ptolemies

How many Ptolemies were there? Why was Cleopatra number seven? Where did the custom of brother‑sister marriage come from? This guides delves into the Ptolemaic dynasty who ruled over Egypt from the early years after Alexander’s death in 323 BC until the fall of Cleopatra in 31 BC. Distinct aspects of Ptolemaic rule will be …

Numismatics: the silver coinage of the Achaean Koinon

Today’s coins are actually two coins posing as one. These silver hemidrachms were minted in two cities that were members of the Achaean League: Megara and Aegira. Read below to find out more about the coins of this Greek federal state! Silver coins of the Achaean Koinon Aside from the civic coinage used by member …

Numismatics: Athens during the Hellenistic period

It’s time again for another post in our series on numismatics. This coin won the numismatic face-off we did on our Instagram account last week, so let us have a closer look at this coin from Hellenistic Athens. Athenian Coins Coins from Athens are among the most easily recognizable of the coins that were made …

Numismatics: Silver turtles from Aegina

Starting this week each week a specific coin will be put into the spotlight. This way you can learn more about the beautiful and diverse coins of the Greek world. I have been doing this on the Instagram account, so check out some of the pictures there or use the #NumismaticThursdays.    The Silver Coin …