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    Description

    Comely Croesus Light Stater

    LYDIAN KINGDOM. Croesus and later (ca. 561-546 BC). AV stater (17mm, 8.09 gm). NGC MS 5/5 - 3/5, marks. "Light series," Sardes, late Dynastic and early Persian periods, ca. 553-539 BC. Confronted foreparts of lion (on left, facing right), with extended right foreleg, and bull (on right, facing left) / Double incuse square punches of unequal size. Carradice 8. BMFA 2073. SNG von Aulock 2875. Minor edge marks at bottom and top, otherwise crisply struck on a lozenge-shaped flan and fully lustrous.

    Once Croesus commenced his revolutionary bimetallic coinage in gold and silver, the prestige and power of the Lydian kingdom grew immensely. Perhaps because of his association with gold and silver, Croesus became legendary for his wealth, and there are several almost mythical accounts of his interactions with another quasi-legendary Greek, the sage Solon, in which they discuss whether wealth and possessions can truly buy happiness.  The most famous ancient account of Croesus occurred at the end of his reign, when he questioned the Delphic Oracle as to whether he should make war on the rising Persian kingdom; the oracle answered, with typical ambiguity, that if he attacked the Persians he would destroy a great empire. In the event he did move to confront the Persian King Cyrus, and, after an inconclusive battle, was besieged and captured at his capital city of Sardes in 546 BC, thus destroying his own "great empire." His eventual fate is uncertain; some accounts suggest he continued as an advisor to Cyrus after the Persians absorbed Lydia, but more likely he was executed. His "light standard" coinage was adopted, in simplified form, by the Persians, who retained the lion-bull motif for a few decades before replacing it with their own unique design, the gold daric. 




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2017
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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