Hercules' weapons, bow in bow-case and club, Î'Î>Î. This celebrated of mythological romance was at first called Alcides, but received the name of Hercules, or Heracles, from the Pythia of Delphos. Feigned by the poets of antiquity to have been a son of "the Thunderer, " but born of an earthly mother, he was exposed, through Juno's implacable hatred to him as the offspring of Alemena, to a course of perils, which commenced whilst he was yet in his cradle, and under each of which he seemed to perish, but as constantly proved victorious.At length finishing his allotted career with native valor and generosity, though too frequently the submissive agent of the meanness and injustice of others, he perished self-devotedly on the funeral pile, which was lighted on Mount Oeta. Jupiter raised his heroic progeny to the skies; and Hercules was honored by the pagan world, as the most illustrious of deified mortals. The extraordinary enterprises cruelly imposed upon, but gloriously achieved, by this famous demigod, are to be found depicted, not only on Greek coins, but also on the Roman series both consular and imperial. The first, and one of the most dangerous, of undertakings, well-known under the name of the twelve labors of Hercules, was that of killing the huge lion of Nemea; on which account the intrepid warrior is represented, clothes in the skin of that forest monarch; he also bears uniformly a massive club, sometimes without any other arms, but at others with a bow and quiver of arrows. On a denarius of the Antia gens he is represented walking with trophy and club.
When his head alone is typified, as in Mucia gens, it is covered with the lion's spoils, in which distinctive decoration he was imitated by many princes, and especially by those who claimed descent from him - as for example, the kings of Macedonia, and the successors of Alexander the Great. Among the Roman emperors Trajan is the first whose coins exhibit the figure and attributes of Hercules. The immense issues of coinage made in the name of Alexander the Great for a topic which could occupy the pages of a large volume. Obviously it is not possible, in a work of this scope, to do justice to such a subject. As in the case of Philip II, coinage in the name of Alexander continued long after the king's death.
No doubt this was largely due to the lack of an effective successor to the imperial throne. Almost two decades were to elapse before Alexander's generals, his true successors, felt sufficiently secure to take the title of'king' and to issue coinage in their own names. Although he began his career as King of Macedon, Alexander spent only the first two years of his reign in his native kingdom, and by the time of his death, at the age of thirty three, he ruled a vast empire stretching from Greece to India.
Consequently, his coinage was on an imperial scale, unlike those of his predecessors, and was struck at a multitude of mints in many lands, often replacing an existing autonomous series. Nevertheless, the Macedonian mint of Amphipolis remained one of the principal sources of currency.
In later ages 3rd-2nd century B. The types of Alexander's silver coinage were revived by various cities as they regained a measure of autonomy from the declining Hellenistic Monarchies. Born in 356 BC, Alexander succeeded his father Philip II of Macedon to the throne in 336 BC, and died in Bablyon in 323 BC at the age of 32. Alexander was one of the most successful military commanders of all time and it is presumed that he was undefeated in battle.By the time of his death, he had conquered the Achaemenid Persian Empire , adding it to Macedon's European territories; according to some modern writers, this was much of the world then known to the ancient Greeks (the' Ecumene'). His father, Philip, had unified most of the city-states of mainland Greece under Macedonian hegemony in the League of Corinth. As well as inheriting hegemony over the Greeks, Alexander also inherited the Greeks' long-running feud with the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. After reconfirming Macedonian rule by quashing a rebellion of southern Greek city-states, Alexander launched a short but successful campaign against Macedon's northern neighbours. He was then able to turn his attention towards the east and the Persians.
In a series of campaigns lasting 10 years, Alexander's armies repeatedly defeated the Persians in battle, in the process conquering the entirety of the Empire. He then, following his desire to reach the'ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea', invaded India, but was eventually forced to turn back by the near-mutiny of his troops. Alexander died after twelve years of constant military campaigning, possibly a result of malaria , poisoning , typhoid fever , viral encephalitis or the consequences of alcoholism.His legacy and conquests lived on long after him and ushered in centuries of Greek settlement and cultural influence over distant areas. This period is known as the Hellenistic period , which featured a combination of Greek , Middle Eastern and Indian culture.
Alexander himself featured prominently in the history and myth of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. His exploits inspired a literary tradition in which he appeared as a legendary hero in the tradition of Achilles. Alexander fighting Persian king Darius III. From Alexander Mosaic, from Pompeii, Naples, Naples National.
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