Kingdom of Macedon - Balakros, Governor of Cilicia

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Prior to Alexander's arrival at Tarsos there was already a well established Persian coinage produced from that city by the satrapal governors of Cilicia, whose silver staters displayed the figure of Baal, seated and holding his lotus-tipped sceptre. Indeed, the depiction of this deity is in some cases so similar to the Zeus of Alexander's imperial coinage that O. Zervos and F. de Callataÿ suggested that Alexander's tetradrachms could not have been issued until after his arrival at Tarsos – that the Baal of Tarsos was the model for his enthroned Zeus. Though shown to be an improbable notion by Price, what is certain is that the engravers working at Tarsos were immediately re-tasked to producing Alexandrine coinage without any great break in production.

Price demonstrates conclusively that the dies produced at Tarsos bearing BA as well as simply B refer to Balakros, son of Nikanor, who was one of Alexander's somatophylakes (bodyguards) and was appointed satrap of Cilicia after the Battle of Issos in 333 BC. His initial appears on a great many issues from Tarsos, and his name appears in full on one very rare issue of staters (Price pl. CLVIII.k). He enacted many new fiscal measures in Alexander's name, and served Alexander loyally until his death in circa 324 BC while leading an expedition against a revolt in Pisidia. In adulthood his three sons all served Antigonos Monophthalmos and his son Demetrios afterwards, and were honoured with dedications at the Sanctuary of Delos.

Kingdom of Macedon. Alexander III 'the Great' AR Tetradrachm. Tarsos, circa 333-327 BC. Struck under Balakros, governor of Cilicia. Head of Herakles to right, wearing lion skin headdress, B below / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left, holding sceptre, ΒAΣΙΛEΩΣ AΛEΞANΔPOY around; in left field, Nike flying to right above B and kerykeion, monogram below throne. Price 3051. 17.22g, 28mm, 9h.

Extremely Fine. Extremely Rare.