Persian Empire, Achaemenids, Artaxerxes III, Tetradrachm

This teradrachm was minted under Artaxerxes III. The coin was struck in the Greek city of Ephesus in Ionia. The Persian Great King Artaxerxes III ascended the throne in 358 BC. He reconquered Egypt, Syria, Phoenicia and Cyprus which had seceded from the Persian Empire, and successfully consolidated his power until his death by poison in 337 BC. In Egypt and Asia Minor, Artaxerxes had such tetradrachms minted for trade.

The coin's obverse depicted the Great King as an archer with a zagged crown, while the reverse remains an enigma. Some scholars assume that it shows the first map on a coin. If so, it would supposedly be the map of central Ionia, today's western Turkey, with the rivers Hermos and Meander, and Ephesus on the west coast.