The Persian Achaemenid Empire ruled Babylon for about two hundred years. They were the first super power of the ancient world. Their vast empire reached from India down to Egypt and all the way up to the northern border of Greece. The Achaemenids were an unstoppable force until Alexander did the unthinkable. Alexander the Great conquered Babylon and defeated the Achaemenids in 331 BCE. Alexander’s actions change the entire ancient world.
Alexander learned to be a great leader and powerful imperialist from his father Philip II. He also learned to be a battle strategist. Moreover, he knew what the odds would be against an outmatched manpower. But, despite the odds Alexander relied on speed and distraction to achieve victory after victory. Subsequently, Alexander the Great conquered Babylon giving his army a huge decisive victory. A success that gave him the confidence and the momentum to continue marching on towards the east.
Babylon was Alexander the Great’s greatest conquest and “to the victor belong the spoils.” Giving proof to the proverb that the winner is entitled to all of the rewards, bonuses, and benefits of success. Consequently, Alexander’s troops and generals needed to share in those spoils. The spoils that included hoards of gold coins minted by the Persians.
Alexander melted down the Persian coins to re-mint gold double darics. He kept the same Persian features of a kneeling king or hero holding a bow and spear on the front of the coin. This was done in homage and respect of the mighty Persians. However, it was also propaganda to prove that the mighty Macedonian army were not only the victors, but also a generous new leader.
Babylonian Gold Double Daric
Alexander the Great’s gold double daric struck in Babylon is one of the true rarities of the Alexander the Great Series. Upon Alexander’s invasion of central Asia, darics and double darics melted down and recoined as coins of Alexander are quite rare today. To clarify, only a handful of them even exist.
Double darics are far more difficult to find than the regular gold darics. To find a double daric today that commemorated Alexander the Great conquered Babylon is a newsworthy occurrence. This is a very important coin dating back over 2,300 years and is a rare find in any condition.