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Persian Empire, Satrapy Cilicia, Mazaios, Stater

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Persian Empire, Satrapy Cilicia, Mazaios, Stater (obverse) Persian Empire, Satrapy Cilicia, Mazaios, Stater (reverse)

The issuer of this stater was Mazaois, governor of Cilicia (361-334 BC) for the Persian Great King Darius III. It is one of the coins made to finance the defense against Alexander the Great, whose armies were on their advance towards Persia in 334 BC. The obverse depicts the god Baal in full strength and attributed with an eagle, a grapevine, a spike and a scepter all symbols of power and fertility. As the same symbols were often used as attributes of the Greek god Zeus, this coin declares, "Baal is a match for Zeus and master of the situation." The same statement can be found on the reverse, where the lion of the East beats the bull of the West the bull, the emblem of Zeus, who carried, according to Greek legend, the princess Europa in the guise of a bull on his back.

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