Philip II of Macedonia, AE18, 5.91 gr, 17.7 mm. Uncertain mint. 359-336 BC.
OBVERSE – Head of Apollo right, wearing taenia
REVERSE – ΦIΛIΠΠOY (PHILIPPOU), Naked youth on horse prancing right, Δ (DELTA) below.
SNG Cop 581 - 616 (unsure)
OLYMPIC CHAMPION IN 356 BC, 352 BC & 348 BC
This coin was designed to immortalize Philip's own victory in the equestrian events at the Olympic games in 356 BC, the year of Alexander the Great’s birth. Philip II was an Olympic champion three times.
• In the 106th Olympics, in 356 BC, Philip II won the race, riding his horse.
• In the 107th Olympics, in 352 BC, Philip II won the four-horse chariot race.
• In the 108th Olympics, in 348 BC, Philip II was the winner of the two colt chariot race.
(This info came with the coin description)
According to the Greek historian Theopompus of Chios, Europe had never seen a man like king Philip of Macedonia, and he called his history of the mid-fourth century BC the Philippic History. Theopompus had a point.
Not even his better known son Alexander has done so much to change the course of Greek history. Philip reorganized his kingdom, gave it access to the sea, expanded its power so that it could defeat the Achaemenid Empire, and subdued the Greek city-states, which never regained their independence again.
To achieve this, he modernized the Macedonian economy, improved the army, and concluded several marital alliances. The result was a superpower with one weakness: it was as strong as its king. When Philip's son Alexander died, the institutions were too weak, and Macedonia never recovered.