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Research Coins: Feature Auction

Sale: CNG 70, Lot: 295. Estimate $200. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2005. 
Sold For $485. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

SATRAPS of CARIA. Hekatomnos. 395-377 BC. AR Diobol (1.29 g, 6h). Mylasa mint. Bearded head of Hekatomnos right / Forepart of bull left; E on shoulder. Winzer 13.1; SNG Copenhagen -; Traité 2494 (as Pergamon). VF, some porosity. Extremely rare; only three specimens recorded by Winzer. ($200)

As part of the Achaemenid Empire, Caria in the fourth century BC was under the rule of a family of semi-independent satraps known collectively as the Hekatomnids, named after the dynasty's founder, Hekatomnos. Born in Mylasa, Artaxerxes II appointed Hekatomnos satrap of Caria after the fall of Tissaphernes, with orders that he provide forces which would assist the Great King in his recovery of the island of Cyprus. According to Diodorus Siculus (14.98) Hekatomos was placed command of the fleet for this operation. Though there exists some doubt about Hekatomnos' loyalty to the Achaemenids, such doubts did not prevent him being given control of Miletos, one of the most important Ionian cities, certainly his in 386 BC under the terms of the King's Peace. The clear Milesian influence on his coins suggests that Hekatomnos struck these coins there. Interested in Hellenic culture (though, possibly hedging his diplomatic bets), Hekatomnos sent his youngest son Pixodaros to Athens as part of a deputation; his older son was bound by xenia, or guest friendship, with Agesilaus, king of Sparta. When he died in 377 BC, Hekatomnos' son Maussollos succeeded him, soon in turn to be followed by his other sons, Hidreus and Pixodaros.

Koray Konuk is presently preparing his Ph.D. dissertation, a detailed analysis of the coins of the Hekatomnids, for a forthcoming RNS publication, "The Coinage of the Hekatomnids in Caria."