|Lot 62. Ionia, Miletos. Late 6th-early 5th centuries B.C. AR diobol (8 mm, 1.13 g, 12 h). Forepart of lion left, head turned to look back / Stellate design within incuse square. SNG Kayhan 462-7. Good very fine.
This coinage may have been struck around the time that Aristagoras, the tyrant of Miletos, incited the Ionian Revolt (499-493 B.C.) against the Persian Empire. While the revolt began well and the rebels even burned the Persian capital at Sardes, it soon turned against them. Miletos was recaptured by the Persians and as punishment all of the men were killed, the women and children sold into the slavery, and all the young men were made into eunuchs. When Phrynichos produced a tragedy about these events a few years later he was fined by the Athenian demos for reminding them of the terrible punishment meted out to their Ionian allies.
The lion with head reverted and star of these early coins were the emblems of Miletos, as they still appear together much later on Milesian civic coins of the Hellenistic period.
Estimate: US$ 50