Syria, Tetradrachm, Antiochos VI Dionysus 145 - 142 B.C.
Obv.: head of Antiochos with ray crown to the right
Rev.: Riding Dioscuri
Antiochos VI. Epiphanes Dionysos (148 - 138 BC) was king of the Seleucid Empire. Son of the usurper Alexandros I Balas and the Egyptian princess Cleopatra Thea, he was hidden by his father with an Arab chieftain. After the death of Alexander the Great (146 B.C.), his former strategist Diodotos, called Tryphon, persuaded this chieftain to entrust the child to him, so that he could win him his father's dominion. Tryphon was in opposition to the reigning Macedonian king Demetrios II Nicator. After his victory over Demetrios II and his escape, Tryphon crowned Antiochos king. However, Antiochos VI never ruled himself. In 142 B.C. Diodotos deposed him and took his place. In 138 BC he killed him.
The Dioscuri (sons of Zeus) refer to the brothers Castor and Polydeukes (Roman Castor and Pollux). Their mother Leda, the wife of King Tyndareos of Sparta, had been seduced by Zeus in the guise of a swan. Castor was a horse tamer, Polydeukes was a pugilist. Thus he measured himself on the journey of Iason and the Argonauts with the Bebrycian king Amykos in the fist fight. Both brothers wanted to rob the daughters of Leukippos, Hilaeira and Phoibe. In the process, they came into conflict with their betrothed Idas and Lynceus. While Polydeukes killed Lynceus, Kastor was killed by Idas. Because of their inseparability Zeus allowed them to stay together in Olympus and in the underworld.