AR Hekte or Diobol (Milesian standard). 1.93g, 12.2mm
MINTED: CARIA, Halikarnassos, circa 510-480 BC
REF: Kagan & Kritt 1; SNG von Aulock 2340 (uncertain mint); SNG Kayhan 810
OBVERSE: Head of Ketos left.
REVERSE: Incuse geometric pattern.
Attractively toned, with some earthen deposits in reverse. Some cleaning scratches on obverse.
Until recently, this enigmatic and fascinating type was attributed either to an uncertain mint, or (tenuously) to the Carian city of Kindya. It has now been established that they were struck at Halikarnassos.
The ketos (or cetus in Latin) was known to the ancients as a sea monster, and was often depicted in art as a great serpentine fish with a wolf-like head. The sea monster slain by the hero Perseus was a ketos.
Historical Notes:The city of Halikarnassos, which commanded the sea route between mainland Caria and the island of Kos, was founded by Dorian colonists around 900 BC. It was an important port in the region in ancient times and was famous as the site of the Mausoleum of Halikarnassos, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Between 484-460 BC, the city was ruled by Artemisia I, a Carian queen who had gained the respect of Persian king Xerxes I and served as one of his naval commanders at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC. Artemisia was portrayed as the main antagonist in the 2014 movie 300: Rise of an Empire.
CARIA, Halikarnassos . 510-480 BC . AR Tetrobol . Head of the monstrous Ketos
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