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    Rare Spithridates Portrait

    Ionia. Achaemenid Period. Spithridates, Satrap of Lydia and Ionia, under Darius III. c. 335/4 BC. Tetrobol, 2.25g (8h). Obv: Head of satrap left, wearing Persian headdress. Rx: Forepart of Pegasus right, ΣΠI - ΘPI behind and below. BMC 18. Traité II 2, pl. LXXXIX, 1-3. L. Mildenberg, Vestigia Leonis, p. 9, pl. III, 26. W. Wroth, NC (1900), pp. 289-90, no. 23. H.A. Cahn, Revue des études anciennes 91 (1989), pp. 97-105. C. Harrison in: Oikistes. Studies in Honor of A.J. Graham (Leiden, 2002), pp. 301-319. J. Bodzek, Israel Numismatic Review 3 (2008), pp. 4-6. Extremely rare portrait of satrap. They are rarely seen in this quality. Portrait struck in high relief. Flan crack from striking at 9h. EF.

    Spithridates was one of the Persian commanders at the battle of the River Granicus, the first engagement after Alexander the Great's invasion of Asia. Spithridates was killed in this battle, as he was poised to strike down Alexander himself. The Spithridates coins have always been interpreted as money minted to pay Spithridates' army when he defended Western Asia Minor against Alexander. The Lampsacene reverse (Pegasus rather than a horse) might point instead to a date in early spring 334, when or shortly before Alexander crossed the Hellespont.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    14th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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