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High Relief Hidrieus

489919. SOLD $3500

SATRAPS of CARIA. Hidrieus. Circa 351/0-344/3 BC. AR Tetradrachm (23mm, 15.25 g, 1h). Halikarnassos mint. . Head of Apollo facing slightly right, wearing laurel wreath / Zeus Labraundos standing right, holding labrys and scepter; I to left, IΔPIEΩΣ to right. Konuk, Identities 28; Babelon, Perses 409; Hurter, Pixodarus, pl. 33, 45; Traité II –; SNG Copenhagen –. Good VF, toned. Struck in sculptural high relief.

Caria was an important region along the coast of south-western Asia Minor, incorporating several populous cities including the capital of Halikarnassos. Peopled by a mixture of Greek settlers and native Anatolians, Caria became a Persian satrapy in 546 BC, but retained a measure of autonomy under the Hekatomnid satraps, who ruled as virtual kings starting in 395 BC. The Hekatomnids were of native Carian descent and practiced brother-sister marriage to keep their bloodlines pure. Most famous of these was Mausolus (377-353 BC), who greatly beautified Halikarnassos and began building a huge family sepulcher, the Mausoleum, that became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Mausoleum was finished by his son, Hidrieus, who struck this coin. Few other details are known about his reign, but Hidreius is reported to have assembled a fleet and 8,000 mercenaries in support of a Persian invasion of Cyprus. He also appears to have expanded his territory to include the islands of Chios, Kos, and Rhodes. Though loyal to the Persian king at first, relations apparently soured later in his brief reign. Hidrieus died of disease in 344 BC and left power to his sister-wife, Ada. The head of Apollo on this coin may reflect Rhodian typological influence, while the figure of Zeus Labraundos on the reverse represents the patron deity of Mylasa, home of the Hekatomnid dynasty.