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Coin Detail
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ID:     76003086
Type:     Greek
Issuer:     Timarchus
Date Ruled:     Usurper, 164-161 BC
Metal:     Bronze
Diameter:     32 mm
Weight:     36.16 g
Die Axis:     3 h
Obverse Description:     Diademed head right
Reverse Description:     Nike advancing left, holding wreath and palm frond
Mint:     Ekbatana
Primary Reference:     SNG Spaer 1391
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     VF, dark brown patina, adjustment marks on reverse
Notes:     Sale: CNG 76, Lot: 3086 Very rare. From the John A. Seeger Collection.Timarchos was a close adherent of Antiochos IV, who appointed him as the Seleucid ambassador to Rome, and later as satrap of Media (or Babylonia). His brother, Herakleidas, was also an associate of the king, who appointed him as royal treasurer. Upon the death of Antiochos IV, his nephew, Demetrios (I), who was a hostage at Rome, appealed to the Romans to be made the new king. The Romans, however, looked for a weaker ruler, and supported the accession of Antiochos' child, Antiochos V. Demetrios soon escaped from Rome, and recruited a powerful army to back his bid for the Seleucid throne. Upon entering Syria, Demetrios easily took control, ordering the death of the young king, and removed Herakleidas from his position. One may assume Timarchos was also slated for removal. In late 162 or 161 BC, Timarchos appealed to the Romans for help, and they recognized him as king (though likely only over an independent Media). He quickly consolidated his rule in Media, and took the title Great King, apparently appealing to the sentiments of the native Persians to support his rule. Soon Timarchos had an army to challenge Demetrios, and he took control of Seleucia on the Tigris. Nonetheless, Demetrios' support was too strong, and Timarchos was defeated and killed in battle, probably somewhere near Babylon.Although previous research had suggested his power base was Babylon, more recent discoveries, including the numismatic evidence, support the contention that Ekbatana was his capital. The numismatic evidence also suggests that Timarchos may have begun his revolt during the reign of Antiochos V, perhaps recognizing that the Roman candidate would obviously be unable to keep control of the kingdom while threats abounded on many fronts, including especially the ascendant Parthian kingdom of Mithridates I, to the east.