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840849. Sold For $19500

THRACO-MACEDONIAN TRIBES, Bisaltai. Circa 475-465 BC. AR Oktodrachm (35mm, 28.61 g). Horse walking right, bridle held by nude warrior, wearing petasos, standing right in background; CIΣ-AΛ-T-I-KΩN around / Quadripartite incuse square. Topalov 33 var. (ethnic); HPM pl. XI, 6 var. (same); cf. AMNG III/2 4. EF, minor die rust. Great metal quality.

Ex Gemini II (10 January 2006), lot 45.

The Bisaltai were a tribe of Pelasgian or Thracian origin and occupied the territory between the rivers Echedoros and Strymon, including the metalliferous mountains which separate the territory of the Bisaltai from the territory of the Krestonioi and Mygonia on the west (Herodotos 7, 115). At the time of the invasion of Xerxes in 480 BC the Bisaltai were governed by a Thracian ruler who was independent of Macedonian influence, and refused to assist the Great King of Persia when his army crossed Thrace to invade mainland Greece. At some point after the Persian retreat, Alexander I of Macedon, who was in the service of Persians as early as 492 BC, annexed the territory as far as the Strymon valley. Capturing its rich silver-mines, he issued the first regal Macedonian coinage, which is indistinguishable from the Bisaltian but for the placing of his own name. The absence of Bisaltai oktadrachms in the Asyut hoard led Price and Waggoner to suggest a mintage date of circa 475-465 BC. This coinage was terminated after the disaster at Drabeskos in 465/4 BC, in which the Athenian colonists of Ennea Hodoi (later Amphipolis) were exterminated by the native Thracians.