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Tetradrachm (Coin) Portraying King Ptolemy II Philadelphos and Queen Arsinoe II

A work made of gold.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gold.


After 270 BCE, issued by King Ptolemy II, reign of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II, 285–247 BCE


Greek, Ptolemaic; Egypt

About this artwork

The front (obverse) of this coin portrays the heads of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II, facing to the right. The back (reverse) portrays the head of Ptolemy I and Berenice I, facing to the right.

The son and daughter of Ptolemy I inherited the crown of Egypt jointly. Following the customs of Egyptian pharaohs, Ptolemy II (reigned 285–246 BCE) and Arsinoe II (reigned 276–270 BCE) married and ruled as both siblings and spouses. To celebrate their partnership they commissioned this remarkable coin. On his coins, Ptolemy I presented himself as a Greek, and specifically a Macedonian, king.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Tetradrachm (Coin) Portraying King Ptolemy II Philadelphos and Queen Arsinoe II


Egypt (Minted in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

285 BCE–247 BCE




Obverse: A°E°ØΩN [of the siblings] Reverse: _ EΩN [of the gods]


Diam.: 2.1 cm (7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of William F. Dunham

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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