Mysia, Pergamum (Pergamon), Gold Stater, After 336 BC
8.61g. Gulbenkian - 699, Jameson-2580 (Same Coin). Only three examples recorded. This historically highly significant coin was a piece presumably of Herakles, illegitimate son of Alexander, who grew up in Pergamon. It is very likely that he commissioned the emission before his assassination in 309.
Obverse: Alexander III as Herakles, wearing lion skin, facing right. Reverse: Archaistic Palladion standing figure with chlamys over shoulder, spear in raised right hand, shield w/ star in left hand. Crested Corinthian helmet in lower left field. Struck in extremely high relief, a few microscopic handling marks are confined mostly to the reverse field which are a very minor issue when one considers the extreme rarity of this outstanding specimen.
The Kingdom of Pergamum, situated in modern-day Turkey approximately 85 kilometers north of Izmir and 25 kilometers east of the Aegean Sea, played a significant role in the Ancient Mediterranean stage. The ancient city of Pergamon (or Pergamum, today's Bergama) was created by the newly-founded royal dynasty in the mid-third century BCE. It became one of the classic late-Hellenistic cities, on a dramatically steep site, with imaginative solutions to the urban design problems created by the site, wonderfully embellished by the generous attention of its royal (and other) patrons. The site divides into two main sections, the steep upper town and the flat lower town. Though today's Bergama is entirely in the lower areas, a number of important remains have survived even there: the Asklepieion, one of the major healing centers of antiquity, the Red Hall (Serapeum), the stadium, a Roman Bridge and tunnel. But it is the upper town that captures the imagination, with its extensive remains, innovations, and drama.