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Gold ‘Olympic’ Medal

This medallion was bought by Colonel Leake during the Napoleonic wars (1799-1815) at Serres in northern Greece. He had been sent there to help the Turkish government organise the defence of Greece in case the French invaded. The style and subject of the medallion – the head of Athena and Alexander the Great on horseback hunting a lion – recall early Greek designs. But this example was probably struck in AD 242, to mark the ‘Olympic’ games celebrated in that year in Macedonia, in honour of Alexander the Great.

Collection