Following the premature death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, his generals, friends, and heirs engaged in forty years of wars over his empire. Lysimachus one of Alexander's trusted companions and bodyguards, used the king's image on his own coins in order to cast himself in the role of successor and legitimize his claim to the kingdom of Thrace. Alexander, responsible for establishing the conventions of royal portraiture, is depicted in his preferred manner: youthful and clean-shaven, with long locks of hair rising above his forehead and eyes cast upward. Additionally, he is shown with horns curling around his ears. These horns of Ammon symbolize Alexander's claim that he was the son of the Egyptian god Ammon's claim reportedly confirmed by the oracle at the sanctuary of Zeus-Ammon at Siwa, Egypt. On the reverse of the coin, Lysimachus exerts his own royal autonomy by naming himself king. The goddesses Athena and Nike (Greek for Victory) crown his name with laurels, which symbolized victory or honor. The lion on the shield at Athena's side references Lysimachus's famous exploit of killing a lion with his bare hands and reinforces his association with Alexander, who used the skin of the Nemean lion as a symbol of power and courage. Lysimachus was a Macedonian Cavalry General, who served as a personal bodyguard to Alexander the Great during his conquest of Asia. After his death, he would take Thrace as governor (satrap) and later most of Asia Minor as King in 305 BC. Lysimachus would die in battle in 281 BC and would lose his kingdom.