A few days ago, it was Queen's day in the Netherlands, and it's tradition to visit flea markets during that time. Naturally, I partook, and besides a statue of Hades and Persephone in need of some TLC I picked up for fifty cents, I also discovered a replica of an old Hellenic coin. As it was not a coin I was familiar with, I had to do a fair bit of searching before I found out what it was.

The original coins were minted between 229 - 221 BC, and named after the king of Macedonia they were created for: Antigonos III Donos (Ἀντίγονος Γ΄ Δώσων). Antigonos III Doson was a half-cousin of his predecessor, Demetrius II Aetolicus. Doson's father was Demetrius the Fair, who had briefly reign as king of Cyrene. According to Eusebius, Doson's mother was a Thessalian noblewoman, Olympias, daughter of Pauliclitus of Larissa.

When Demetrius II died in battle in 229 BC, his son and would-be successor--the later Philip V--was only nine years old. Plutarch describes that both the Macedonian army and nobility thought the political situation too volatile to wait for Philip V to mature enough to assume command. In his own words:

"Antigonos, the most powerful amongst the captains and successors of Alexander, having obtained for himself and his posterity the title of king, had a son named Demetrius, father to Antigonos, called Gonatas, and he had a son Demetrius, who, reigning some short time, died and left a young son called Philip. The chief men of Macedon, fearing great confusion might arise in his minority, called in Antigonos, cousin-german to the late king, and married him to the widow, the mother of Philip. At first they only styled him regent and general, but when they found by experience that he governed the kingdom with moderation and to general advantage, gave him the title of king. This was he that was surnamed Doson, as if he was a great promiser and a bad performer. To him succeeded Philip, who in his youth gave great hopes of equalling the best of kings, and that he one day would restore Macedon to its former state and dignity, and prove himself the one man able to check the power of the Romans, now rising and extending over the whole world."

Under Antigonos III, Macedon was reestablished as the dominant power in the region. He formed lliances with  Epirus and the Achaean League, preventing many wars and skermishes. Antigonos III helped rebuke Sparta from Peloponnese in the battle of Sellasia, where the Spartans were so outmatched by the better equipped Macedonian army what only a few horsemen manged to escape to Egypt. When his soldiers turned to plundering, however, Antigonos intervened and most famously stated that it was Kleomenes, king of Sparta, not Sparta, that was his enemy. King Antigonos III died shortly after, as he became sick during the battle against the Illyian army.

The coin was minted during his reign and depicts the wreathed head of Poseidon
on the one side, and Apollon Aktios sitting on he prow of a galley, holding a bow in His outstretched arm on the reverse. The text on the reverse reads 'ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΓΟΝΟΥ' ('Basileus Antigonous'--'King Antigonos').

According to the 'Brill's companion to ancient Macedon', the coin was not minted by Antigonos III, but by Antigonos Antigonus I Monophthalmus (Ἀντίγονος ὁ Μονόφθαλμος) himself around 268/7 BC, who first created tetradrachms which bore the head of Pan with a Macedonian shield and Athena Alcidemus (warrior) on the reverse. Pan was the protector of Antigonos I, the God who helped him save Hellas from the Gauls. The coin I now have a replica of was most likely minted near the end of his reign around 246/7--according to the companion--and became known as 'Poseidon tetradrachms', distributed mostly in the Balkans. The iconography refers to Antigonos' naval aspirations in the Aegean, and his rivalry with the Ptolomies. The companion goes on to say that Antigonos III did not mint coins of his own during his reign. Several other sources counter these facts, but the interpretation of the design seems valid.

My coin comes with a small hole near the top, allowing me to wear it as a pendant, which I have been gratefully doing. It's a wonderful coin, and a great twenty cent find at the flea market.