Octadrachm. Reverse: Jugate Portrait Ptolemy I and Berenice I
Gold; Diam. 2.9 cm; 27.81 g
Minted in Alexandria; 260–240 BCE
American Numismatic Society: 1977.158.112
© Courtesy of the American Numismatic Society


Ptolemy II promoted substantial innovations in the portraiture types so that the focus moved from the current ruler to include the king’s immediate family, an interest that resided obviously in the fact that intermarriage among family members became one of clearest trends in the dynasty. Characteristic of this new tendency in coin production is this gold octadrachm, presenting on the obverse Ptolemy II and the sister-wife Arsinoe II, both wearing diadems and surmounted by the legend Adelphon (Siblings). On the reverse is a jugate portrait of Ptolemy I and Berenice I, nearly identical to the obverse, with the couple defined as Theon (Gods); their deification as Theoi Soteres having already been formalized in 279 BCE).

Svorōnos, Iōannēs N. Ta nomismata tou kratous tōn Ptolemaiōn. 4 vols. Athens: Sakellarios. 1904–8, cat. 603, pl. XIVb, no. 16.