KINGS OF MACEDON. Alexander III ‘the Great’, 336-323 BC. Weight of 1 Mna (Bronze, 51x26x25 mm, 383.70 g). A conical weight with truncated top, decorated with a swastika on the top and inscribed ΑΛΕΞANΔPOY on the edge. Istanbul -. Pera -. Silifke -. A very interesting and and highly important weight. Very fine.
One of the problems associated with Greek weights is that their weights can vary quite significantly. Generally, the weight of the Mna (gr. μνᾶ) or Mina increased over time, starting from 70 drachms in Classical to 100 in early Hellenistic and 150 in late Hellenistic or early Roman times (for Mna of 150 drachms, see the following lot 878), but there were regional differences in this trend and a great variety of local Mnai weight units have been recorded (even such unusual ones as 105, 112 or 138 drachms). The weight of the present piece roughly corresponds to a Mna of 90 drachms of Attic weight, which, together with the unusual conical form (Hellenistic and Roman weights were almost always flat), supports an early dating. It is thus likely that the weight does in fact name Alexander III 'the Great', in the plain form ΑΛΕΞANΔPOY ('of Alexander') and without any Royal title, as we know it from his early western coinage.