Coin, silver tetradrachm, Antiochus VIII; Late 2nd to early 1st Century BC; 180....


Coin, silver tetradrachm, Antiochus VIII

About this object

King Antiochus VIII was the ruler of the Seleucid Empire in Syria from 125 to 96 BC. He was nicknamed Grypos, meaning “hook-nose”, which is clearly evident on the obverse image of this tetradrachm. Grypos, and his Egyptian contemporary, King Ptolemy X, intentionally accentuated their unattractive and overweight features on their coins. Contrary to the military might that previous kings had promoted in their portraits, Grypos wished to promote the concept of Tryphê, meaning to live a good life of pleasure and peace, across his kingdom.

The reverse side of the coin depicts the reasonably conventional image of an enthroned Zeus, holding a statuette of the victory goddess Nike in one hand and a sceptre in the other, with a thunderbolt placed overhead. The inscriptions down either side of Zeus read BASILEŌS ANTIOCHOU / EPIPHANOUS, meaning “King Antiochus, the glorious”. This title and the imagery here ultimately promote Grypos’ power.

Date Made

Late 2nd to early 1st Century BC



Place Made


Medium and Materials

Metal; Silver

Inscription and Marks

Inscriptions on reverse side: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΝΤΙΟΧΟΥ / ΕΠΙΦΑΝΟΥΣ (BASILEŌS ANTIOCHOU / EPIPHANOUS). Small monograph beneath Zeus' throne.


Weight 16.16g
Diameter ca. 27mm

Subject and Association Keywords

Gods in art

Subject and Association Keywords

Goddesses in art

Subject and Association Keywords

Inscriptions, Greek

Subject and Association Keywords

Kings and rulers in art

Named Collection

The James Logie Memorial Collection, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Credit Line

Donated by M.K. Steven

Object Type

Exchange Media

Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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