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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000049

Atrax

Triton XV, Lot: 49. Estimate $200.
Sold for $1500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Atrax (IACP 395)

Atrax (also known as Atrakia) was located in the Pelasgiotis τετράς of Thessaly, near the modern village of Palaiokastro ("Old Castle"), and was supposedly founded by Atrax, the son of the local river-god, Peneios, and Bura, the daughter of Ion (Steph. Byz. s.v. Atrax). An inscription of about 450 BC (SEG 34 560) calls Atrax a polis (in the political sense of that word). An inscription, dated to 316-293 BC (IG IV 617.7), records that the city donated money for the Argive theoroi (θεωροί [envoys sent to consult an oracle or be present at festivals]) sent to announce the celebration of the Nemean Games and the Heraia. The surrounding area shows evidence of iron mining, and the city site itself is dotted with the remains of sanctuaries. Although it is impossible to be certain of which divinity occupied which sanctuary, inscriptions attest to the presence of the cults of Apollo Hebdomaios, Athena Agoraia, Themis Agoraia, Zeus Kataibates, Zeus Thaulios, Zeus Homoloios, and Zeus Tritodios. Remains also include a public theater, and walls; the walls of the lower city were almost completely reused for a Turkish aqueduct. The coinage of Atrax primarily dates to the 4th century BC, beginning circa 370 BC and continuing on until the 340s; then comes a series dating to the earlier 3rd century BC with at least an issue or two struck towards the end of the 3rd or even in the 2nd century BC.

THESSALY, Atrax. Early 4th century BC. AR Trihemiobol (16mm, 1.26 g, 8h). Horseman wearing kausia advancing r. / ΑΤΡΑ-ΓΙΩΝ, bull standing l. on ground line; legend above and below. Unpublished except for an appearance (as a hemidrachm) in Peus 340 (2 November 1994) 193 (same dies). Good VF, flan split from striking at obv. 10 o’clock. A great rarity, missing from all major references and collections.

The obverse is from the same die as the obv. of lot 50 below.