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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
1550094
155, Lot: 94. Estimate $400.
Sold for $550. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

PERSIA, Alexandrine Empire. Uncertain satraps of Babylon. Circa 328-311 BC. AR Double Shekel (21mm, 17.18 g). Babylon mint. Baal seated left, holding sceptre; cap of a Dioskouros before / Lion walking left; G above. Nicolet-Pierre pg. 292, 8.8. VF, toned.



Upon finishing his expeditions to the outer limits of Asia Minor, Alexander the Great led his army westward late in 331 BC. The metropolis of Babylon was surrendered by its satrap, Mazaios, whom Alexander rewarded with the local governorship. Alexander made Babylon his royal seat, and there established one of his most important mints, from which a large quantity of regular ‘Alexandrine’ or 'imperial' coinages were struck, including the impressive decadrachms of circa 327/6 BC. In addition to the ‘imperial' coinages, Babylon also produced a substantial group of local coinages, some of which initially bore the name of Mazaios, but which continued without the name of a satrap after his death in 328 BC. Silver is represented by ‘lion staters’ and at least three smaller denominations, all bearing a seated Baal on the obverse and a standing lion on the reverse. The staters initially were struck to the weight of the Attic tetradrachm, but eventually were reduced to the lighter Persic standard of the Babylonian shekel. Though initiated under Mazaios, silver coinages were produced for decades, with the final silver coins probably being struck circa 288/7 BC under Seleukos I.