PTOLEMAIC KINGS OF EGYPT. Ptolemy V Epiphanes, 205-180 BC. Hemiobol (?) (Bronze, 18 mm, 5.19 g, 10 h), Alexandria, circa 204-202. Ram standing right. Rev. ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΠΤΟΛΕΜΑΙΟΥ Eagle with closed wings standing left on thunderbolt; to left, six-rayed star. SNG Copenhagen 456 ('Barce'). Svoronos 1243. Weiser 100. Extremely rare and in exceptional condition for the issue. Very fine.
From the Rhakotis Collection, formed in the 1960s and 1970s (with collector’s ticket).
This fascinating piece replaces the ubiquitous head of Zeus Ammon on the obverse with a ram, his sacred animal. While the motivation behind this is unclear, Ptolemy V certainly could make good use of the god's protection, as the Thebaid (the southern part of Egypt) had risen in revolt under the rebel pharaohs Haronnophris and his successor, Chaonnophris. Only in 186 was the revolt finally put down. Ammon was strongly venerated in the Thebaid, the clearest example of this being Karnak, the magnificant temple complex built for the worship of Ammon, his consort Mut, and their son Khonsu.