MACEDON (ROMAN PROTECTORATE), Republican period. Roman embassy. Circa 148-147 BC. Tetradrachm (Silver, 30 mm, 16.86 g, 3 h), Attic standard. Diademed and draped bust of Artemis to right, bow and quiver over her shoulder; all at the center of a Macedonian shield ornamented with stars within double crescents, each separated by seven pellets. Rev. LEG - MAKEΔONΩN Club; above, right hand holding olive branch to left; below, monogram; all within oak wreath with thunderbolt to left. AMNG III, 193. BMFA 733 (same dies). MacKay 13a (this coin, O3/R12). Pozzi 999 (same dies). Very rare. A splendid, beautifully toned and very well pedigreed example of this important issue. The reverse struck slightly off center, otherwise, about extremely fine.
From the Kleinkunst Collection and that of W. Cunningham, Esq. J. P., Glendining, 31 January 1951, 116, ex Helbing, 24 October 1927, 2869, and from the collection of Theodor Prowe, Egger XL, 2 May 1912, 468.
This very rare issue is closely linked to Andriskos, a walker and former Seleukid mercenary from Adramytteion, who appeared on the scene in the late 150s BC claiming to be a son of the last Macedonian King Perseus (179-168) named Philip. Enjoying neither the support of his former master Demetrios I nor of the Macedonian population, Andriskos gathered money and troops among Thracian Kings and royalist Macedonian exiles and invaded Macedon in 149. The pretender to the throne was initially quite successful and defeated, first, the small Macedonian army, and secondly, a hastily called up Roman legion. However, despite their military occupations in Spain and Carthage, the Romans were not willing to accept the restoration of a Macedonian Kingdom and sent out a larger force under the praetor Q. Caecilius Metellus, who quickly defeated and captured Philip VI Andriskos in 148. In 148-147, a Roman embassy (legatio) was sent to Macedon to reorganize the four merides, which issued the present coin with a hand holding an olive branch as a symbolic peace offer to the Macedonians in recognition of their efforts in fighting the invasion by Andriskos.