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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Caria| ▸ |Persian Caria||View 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, Pixodarus, c. 340 - 335 B.C.

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Lustrous, with light rosy iridescence. A spectacular coin struck from dies of finest style on a broad flan.
SH27863. 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, Choice EF, weight 6.914 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 0o, Halikarnassos (Bodrum, Turkey) mint, c. 340 - 335 B.C.; obverse head of Apollo facing slightly right; reverse ΠIΞΩ∆APOY, Zeus Labraundos standing right holding scepter and double-axe; SOLD


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Maussolos, c. 377 - 353 B.C.

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Mausolus (Maussollos) is best known because his elaborate tomb, the Mausoleum, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In 357, Mausolus helped Rhodes and other Athenian allies (Chios, Kos, and Byzantium) revolt against Athens. These cities then became federates of Mausolus.
SH46855. Silver tetradrachm, BMC Caria p. 181, 8, SNG Kayhan 873, SNG Cop 59 var. (no monogram), VF, weight 15.075 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, Halikarnassos (Bodrum, Turkey) mint, c. 377 - 353 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo, facing slightly right; reverse MAYΣΣΩΛΛO, Zeus Labraundos standing right, labrys in right over shoulder, spear vertical in left, ME monogram in left field under elbow; fantastic high relief head of Apollo; SOLD


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Satrapy of Lydia (Uncertain City in Caria), c. 515 - 475 B.C.

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A lion head or forepart was a popular type, and most popular in Caria, but none of the published examples are similar enough to indicate a close relationship to this coin or provide a clue to its origin more specific than Caria, c. early 5th century. There is significant wear on the dies, so apparently many examples of this type were struck, but this is the only example we know to exist today.
GS71615. Silver stater, Unpublished; SNG Kayhan -, cf. 930 ('Mylasa?' probably unrelated); SNGvA -; SNG Cop -; SNG Keckman -; SNG München -; Rosen -; Dewing -; Asyut -, VF, weight 10.848 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, probably Mylasa (Milas, Turkey) mint, c. 515 - 475 B.C.; obverse lion's head right with gaping jaws, protruding tongue, foreleg below; reverse quadripartite incuse square, divided diagonally by one thick and one thin band; ex Numismatik Lanz München, auction 144 (24 Nov 2008), lot 255; unique?; SOLD


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.
SH53258. 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, Nice VF, toned, attractive style, bold strike, weight 6.270 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 0o, Halikarnassos (Bodrum, 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; SOLD


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Hekatomnos, c. 392 - 377 B.C.

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Hecatomnus was a native of Mylasa, which he made his capital and the seat of his government. His coins depict Zeus Labrandenos from the celebrated temple of that name near Mylasa. The Persian emperor appointed Hecatomnus to command naval forces in the war against Evagoras of Cyprus, but he not only took no part in support of the Emperor, but secretly supplied Evagoras with money for mercenaries. The disorganized Persian monarchy took no action against Hecatomnus and he continued to rule Caria until his death. He left three sons, Mausolus, Idrieus and Pixodarus - all of whom - in their turn, succeeded him in the sovereignty.
SH63978. Silver tetradrachm, SNG Kayhan 868 - 869, SNGvA 2354, Traité II 83, SNG Cop -, VF, minor scratches, weight 14.383 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 90o, Mylasa (Milas, Turkey) mint, c. 390 - 385 A.D.; obverse Zeus Labraundos marching right, wearing chiton and himation, labrys in right, spear in left; reverse EKATOMNΩ, lion crouching right; ex Heritage Long Beach Signature Sale 3020 (6 Sep 2012, est. $2,000 - 3,000, unsold); SOLD


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Hecatomnids, c. 350 - 341 B.C.

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The Pixodarus Hoard included only examples, similar to our coin, 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.

SH63536. Silver tetradrachm, Konuk Influences, group 2, p. 178, pl. XXX, 10; Pixodarus Hoard pp. 210-212; SNG Cop -, SNG Kayhan -, F, weight 14.195 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 0o, Halikarnassos (Bodrum, Turkey) mint, c. 350 - 341 B.C.; obverse Persian king or hero in kneeling-running stance right, drawing bow, quiver on shoulder; reverse Persian satrap on horseback charging right, thrusting downward with spear; rare; SOLD


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Synnesis, c. 425 - 401 B.C.

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Syennesis was a Persian satrap of Cilicia in the late 5th century B.C. In 401 B.C., Cyrus the Younger, marching against Artaxerxes, arrived at the borders of Cilicia. Syennesis was guarding the passes but when he received intelligence that Cyrus' advanced forces under Meno had already entered Cilicia, he withdrew and allowed Cyrus to pass. When Cyrus reached Tarsus, the Cilician capital, he found that Meno's soldiers had already sacked the city. Cyrus commanded Synnesis to appear before him. Syennesis had fled for refuge to a stronghold among the mountains, but he was induced by his wife, Epyaxa, to obey the summons. Synnesis received gifts of honor from the Cyrus, whom he supplied in his turn with a large sum of money and a considerable body of troops under the command of one of his sons. At the same time, however, Syennesis sent his other son to Artaxerxes, to represent his meeting with Cyrus as having been something he'd been forced to do, while his heart all the time was with the king, Artaxerxes. From Xenophon's telling it appears that Syennesis, although a vassal of Persia, affected the tone of an independent sovereign.
GA87789. Silver stater, Hunterian III p. 546, 4 & pl. LX, 7; cf. Casabonne D2, pl. 2, 10; SNG BnF 213; Traité II 523; BMC -; SNGvA -; SNG Cop -; SNG Levante -, aVF, dark toning, well centered, struck with a worn obverse die, light scratches, weight 10.561 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 0o, Cilicia, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, 420 - 410 B.C.; obverse Horseman (Syennesis?) walking horse left, wearing kyrbasia, lotus flower in right hand, reins in left hand, bow in bowcase on saddle, Aramaic TRZ (Tarsos) in exergue (off flan); reverse Archer kneeling right, drawing bow, quiver over shoulder, ankh behind, all within dotted square border within incuse square; very rare; SOLD


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.
SH90963. 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, gVF, some nicks or flan flaws, some pitting, toned, weight 7.000 g, maximum diameter 20.1 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; SOLD


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Hekatomnos, 392 - 377 B.C.

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Hecatomnus was a native of Mylasa, which he made his capital and the seat of his government. His coins depict Zeus Labrandenos from the celebrated temple of that name near Mylasa. The Persian emperor appointed Hecatomnus to command naval forces in the war against Evagoras of Cyprus, but he not only took no part in support of the Emperor, but secretly supplied Evagoras with money for mercenaries. The disorganized Persian monarchy took no action against Hecatomnus and he continued to rule Caria until his death. He left three sons, Mausolus, Idrieus and Pixodarus - all of whom - in their turn, succeeded him in the sovereignty.
SH19457. Silver drachm, SNGvA 2356, gVF, weight 4.227 g, maximum diameter 14.8 mm, Mylasa (Milas, Turkey) mint, 395 - 377 B.C.; obverse lion head left, EKA above; reverse stellate pattern; toned; SOLD


Persian Achaemenid Empire, Carian Satrapy, Hekatomnos, c. 392 - 377 B.C.

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Hecatomnus was a native of Mylasa, which he made his capital and the seat of his government. His coins depict Zeus Labrandenos from the celebrated temple of that name near Mylasa. The Persian emperor appointed Hecatomnus to command naval forces in the war against Evagoras of Cyprus, but he not only took no part in support of the Emperor, but secretly supplied Evagoras with money for mercenaries. The disorganized Persian monarchy took no action against Hecatomnus and he continued to rule Caria until his death. He left three sons, Mausolus, Idrieus and Pixodarus - all of whom - in their turn, succeeded him in the sovereignty.
GA80409. Silver diobol, Winzer 13.1 (3 specimens recorded), Traité 2494 (as Pergamon), BMC -, SNG Cop -, SNGvA -, aVF, weight 1.279 g, maximum diameter 9.7 mm, die axis 90o, Mylasa (Milas, Turkey) mint, c. 395 - 377 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Hekatomnos right; reverse forepart of bull left, retrograde E on shoulder; nice metal, little wear, perfect centering on obverse, strike a little flat and reverse a little off-center; extremely rare; 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 Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
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Persian Caria