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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Anatolia ▸ Caria ▸ Persian CariaView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of the Persian Satrapy of Caria

Croesus briefly incorporated Caria into Lydia before it fell to the Persian advance. Caria was incorporated as a satrapy into the Persian Achaemenid Empire in 545 B.C. The Hecatomnid dynasty or Hecatomnids were the rulers of Caria and surrounding areas from about 395 - 334 B.C. They were nominally satraps (governors) under the Persian Achaeminid Empire, but ruled with considerable autonomy, and established a hereditary dynasty. The dynasty originally had its seat in Mylasa. Mausolus moved it to Halicarnassus. Other major towns were Latmus (later Heracleia), Antiochia, Myndus, Laodicea, Alinda and Alabanda. Caria participated in the Ionian Revolt (499 - 493 B.C.) against Persian rule. During the Second Persian invasion of Greece, the cities of Caria were allies of Xerxes I and they fought at the Battle of Artemisium and the Battle of Salamis. Themistocles, before the battles of Artemisium and Salamis, tried to split the Ionians and Carians from the Persian coalition. He told them to come and be on his side or not to participate at the battles, but if they were bound down by too strong compulsion to be able to make revolt, when the battles begin, to be purposely slack. After the unsuccessful Persian invasion of Greece the cities of Caria became members of the Delian League.


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Pixodaros, c. 340 - 335 B.C.

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Pixodarus was the youngest of the three sons of Hecatomnus, all of whom successively ruled. To secure the friendship of Philip II, king of Macedonia, Pixodarus offered his eldest daughter in marriage to his Philip's son Arrhidaeus. Arrhidaeus' ambitious younger brother, Alexander (later Alexander the Great) offered himself instead. Pixodarus eagerly agreed but Philip put an end to the scheme. Pixodarus died, apparently a natural death, before Alexander landed in Asia in 334 B.C. and was succeeded by his Persian son-in-law Orontobates.
SH63582. Silver didrachm, SNG Cop 597; SNGvA 2375; SNG Keckman 280; SNG Kayhan 891; SNG Lockett 2913; BMC Caria p. 185, 5 ff.; Weber 6608; SGCV II 4966, aVF, porous, weight 6.541 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mylasa (Milas, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo facing slightly right; reverse ΠIΞΩ∆APOY, Zeus Labraundos standing right, labrys (double-headed axe) over shoulder in right, lotus-tipped scepter vertical in left; $360.00 SALE PRICE $324.00
 


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Hidrieus, c. 351 - 344 B.C.

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Hidrieus, like his older brother, Maussollos, showcased his wealth with building projects. Most importantly he built new and improved existing monuments at Labraundus, among the oldest religious centers for the region. The remains of his temple to Zeus Labraundos, where the cult statue depicted on this coin stood, can still be seen there today.
GS55014. Silver tetradrachm, BMC Caria p. 183, 1; SNG Kayhan 880; SNG Fitzwilliam 4746; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -, gVF, weight 15.231 g, maximum diameter 22.0 mm, die axis 0o, Halikarnassos (Bodrum, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 334 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo facing slightly right; reverse I∆ΠIEΩΣ, Zeus Labraundos standing right, labrys in right over shoulder, inverted spear vertical in left, E between leg and spear; SOLD


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Pixodarus, c. 340 - 335 B.C.

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The archer-horseman tetradrachms are one of the most enigmatic Persian coinages struck in Asia Minor prior to the invasion of Alexander the Great. No inscriptions identify the issuer, mint, or purpose of the issue. The Pixodarus Hoard included only examples without symbols or letters in the fields, thus dating the earliest of the type to c. 350 B.C. and dating those with symbols to after the deposit date, 341 B.C. In that period, many possible Satraps could have been the issuer.

The type may have been issued by Memnon, the famous and worthy adversary of Alexander. As a Carian, Greek-style issue, the type was likely issued for the hire of Greek mercenaries. Memnon co-commanded local forces before the defeat at the Granicus and afterward was in charge of all forces in Western Asia Minor. At Granicus he was joined on the left wing (where Alexander charged) by Orontobates, the son-in-law of Pixodaros. Memnon was a 'rebel' Greek (actually Rhodian) commander and a very competent one at that. He sailed away from the siege at Halicaranassos and became a thorn in Alexander's side, threatening his lines of communication and more than once capturing the coastal towns and islands as the conqueror moved South. He fell ill and died before he could more greatly affect the invasion, a great loss to the faltering Persian Empire.

Another possible issuer is Orontobates, the Satrap of Caria after the death of Pixodaros. Orontobates assisted in the defence of Halicarnassos, and was later at Gaugemela, afterward he is not heard of again and we presume he died.
SH22452. Silver tetradrachm, Konuk Influences, group 5 var.; SNG Cop 290-291 var.; Traité II 121 var. (all refs head of Herakles), gVF, weight 15.077 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 0o, Halikarnassos (Bodrum, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; obverse Kneeling-running figure of the Great King right, drawing bow, bearded, crowned, quiver at shoulder; reverse satrap on horseback right, thrusting spear; above left, bearded male head facing right; attractively toned, minor porosity; Ex Gorny & Mosch 117 lot 335; ex CNG 69 lot 449, ex CNG 72 lot 801; unpublished symbol variety of an extremely rare type; SOLD







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REFERENCES

Ashton, R., et al. "The Pixodarus Hoard" in Coin Hoards IX (2002).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol. III, Part 1. (London, 1926).
Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Caria, Cos, Rhodes, etc. (London, 1897).
Klein, D. Sammlung von griechischen Kleinsilbermünzen und Bronzen, Nomismata 3. (Milano, 1999).
Konuk, K. "The Early Coinage of Kaunos" in Essays Price, pp. 197 - 224 and pls. 47 - 50.
Konuk, K. "Influences et Eléments Achéménides dans le monnayage de la Carie" in MIMAA.
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
HNO - Historia Numorum Online Database - http://hno.huma-num.fr/
Price, M. & N. Waggoner. Archaic Greek Silver Coinage, The "Asyut" Hoard. (London, 1975).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 5: Ionia, Caria and Lydia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 22: Caria. (Berlin, 2006).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 5: Karien und Lydien. (Berlin, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia. (Berlin, 1962).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, Part 1: Karia. (Helsinki, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VI, Corpus Christi College Cambridge, The Lewis Collection II: The Greek Imperial Coins. (1992).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey I: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey VIII: Mugla Museum, Vol. 1: Caria. (Istanbul, 2012).
Troxell, H. "Carians in Miniature" in Studies Mildenberg.
Waggoner, N. Early Greek Coins from the Collection of Jonathan P. Rosen. ACNAC 5. (New York, 1983).
Winzer, A. Antike portraitmünzen der Perser und Greichen aus vor-hellenistischer Zeit (Zeitraum ca. 510-322 v.Chr.). (March-Hugstetten, 2005).

Catalog current as of Thursday, November 23, 2017.
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Persian Caria