Double Daric, One of Three KnownPERSIA UNDER ALEXANDER. Mazaeus, as Satrap of Babylon (331-328 BC). AV double-daric (21mm, 17.19 gm, 12h). Baaltars seated left, holding scepter in left hand and eagle, wheat stalk and grape wine in right / Lion leaping onto back of bull to left, within linear square frame. Treasures of Ancient Bactria (Miho Museum, 2002), 44 a and b (both ex Mir Zakah II deposit) var. (lion attacking bull to the right). For equivalent silver issues of Cilicia, cf. SNG Levante 100-106 and SNG France 352-353. See CNG Triton X (7 January 2007), lot 412 for an inferior example struck from the same dies. Good Very Fine.
This extraordinary and large gold piece has been provisionally dated to the transition period between the conquest and consolidation of Alexander the Great's great Eastern Empire. During this time Alexander employed many of the same provincial rulers, or satraps, who had previously served the Persian King Darius II in the same capacity. Mazaeus, satrap of Cilicia, was among them. Though uninscribed, the design of this piece is virtually identical to coins struck under Mazaeus while he served under Darius. Other "local" Babylonian coins were struck at this time including double-darics featuring the Persian running archer/ king motif. This is one of only three double-darics known of this type, and only the second with the reverse lion / bull motif facing left.
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