CILICIA, Tarsos. Pharnabazos.
|Sale: Triton X, Lot: 381. Estimate $1000.
Closing Date: Monday, 8 January 2007.
Sold For $1200. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
Persian military commander, circa 380-374/3 BC. AR Stater (10.74 g, 6h). Struck circa 378/7-374/3 BC. Female head facing slightly left, hair in ampyx, wearing necklace / ‘Datames’ in Aramaic, bearded male head left (Ares?), wearing crested Attic helmet. Moysey Issue 3; SNG France 276-7; SNG Levante 80; SNG von Aulock 5934-5. EF, attractively toned with traces of iridescence.
From the David Herman Collection.
Pharnabazos was a member of the Persian nobility with close connections to the Persian king and satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia. In 399 BC, war broke out between Sparta and Persia, and Agesilaus, one of the Spartan kings, attacked his satrapy. Pharnabazos was able to destroy the Spartan fleet at Knidos in 394 BC, but the land campaign was less successful, and the war dragged on. The arrival of a Spartan delegation at the Persian capital resulted in a peace treaty and, contrary to the wishes of Pharnabazos, a renewed alliance. For all of his work, Pharnabazos was recalled from his satrapy. The weakness of Persia during this period prompted Egypt to declare its independence. Two successive attempts by the Persians to recover Egypt were unsuccessful, and Pharnabazos was one of the many Persian commanders in the second of these, in 380 BC. In 377, the Persians prepared to attack again; this time with Pharnabazos as sole commander. Moysey connects this issue of coinage with this military venture. Gathering a large navy at Akko and reinforcing his army with Greek mercenaries, Pharnabazos tried to take the Egyptian capital at Memphis. A disagreement between himself and the Greek commander, Iphicrates, caused the Persians to bog down in the Delta and the recovery of Egypt once again failed. The ultimate fate of Pharnabazos is unknown, as he disappears from the historical record thereafter.