Thrace. Maroneia. c. 386/385-348/347 BC

Thrace. Maroneia. c. 386/385-348/347 BC


AR Stater, 11.30g (22mm, 9h). Horse galloping left with trailing rein. ΜΑRΩ below / EPI IKESIO, grape arbor in linear square, caduceus to left.

Pedigree: Ex Hess Divo 317 (2010), lot 97

References: Schönert-Geiss 425 (V9/R14). SNG Lockett 1200 (same dies). BMC Thrace pg. 126, 24 (same dies)

Grade: High relief and beautifully struck horse. Complete legend visible. Wear on the grapes on reverse. Toned EF/VF+] (gk1270)

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Maroneia, located in northern Greece, was one of the most important cities in Western Thrace. The reason for this was its optimal placement near the Rhodopes mountain chain and an entry point for those wishing to access the hinterland for commercial trade. Prior to Macedonian domination by Philip II, Maroneia functioned as a trading city. The area was well known for its wine production and horse breeding as evidenced by its coinage. Maroneia was the city where the Athenians and the tribes of the Odrysian could interact. The Odrysian tribes were made up of 40 Thracian tribes and 22 kingdoms. Eventually over time the number of tribes diminished to three but because of its excellent barriers to invaders it managed to maintain independence from outsiders much longer than any of its neighbors.

Maroneia, which was said to be founded by Maron, a son of Dionysus, hence the mythological ties to wine and its god. The city is also associated with Homer’s Odyssey when Odysseus visits Ismaros and spares Maron. In his gratitude Maron gives Odysseus a gift of wine which is then used to lull the cyclops Polyphemus to sleep.