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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: Triton VII, Lot: 318. Estimate $1500. 
Closing Date: Monday, 12 January 2004. 
Sold For $3250. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

CILICIA, Tarsos. Datames, Satrap of Cilicia and Cappadocia. 384-362 BC. AR Stater (10.82 gm). Struck 378-372 BC. Female head facing slightly left, wearing single-pendant earring and necklace / 'TRDMW' in Aramaic right, bearded and helmeted male head (Ares?) right, wearing crested Athenian helmet. SNG Levante 78; SNG France 258; BMC Lycaonia pg. 167, 29 var. (AM on helmet); SNG Copenhagen 278; SNG von Aulock 5939. EF, attractively toned. ($1500)

From the Bellaria Collection.

Datames, the son of Kamisares and a Scythian mother, served as a member of the Persian king's bodyguard before he became satrap of Cilicia and Cappadocia upon his father's death in 384 BC. Throughout his early career, he put down a revolt in Lydia, defeated the rebel governor Thyos in Paphlagonia, and briefly occupied the city of Sinope. Because of these successes, the Persian king placed him in charge of the second war against Egypt, along with Pharnabazos and Tithraustes, satrap of Caria. Datames was first, however, detained by a local revolt in Kataonia, a territory within his satrapy. This time, his success incurred the king's jealousy, and he was removed both from his command of the Egyptian expedition as well as the rule of his satrapy. Refusing to relinquish his authority, Datames himself revolted and became a virtually independent ruler. His initial success in this endeavor prompted the revolt of other satraps across the empire. Datames' success, however, was short-lived. Distrust among the satraps disintegrated their rebellion and Datames himself was assassinated by Mithradates, the son of Ariobarzanes, satrap of Phrygia, in 362 BC.