THRACE. Abdera. Circa 375/3-365/0 BC.
Stater (Silver, 25 mm, 11.16 g, 7 h), Pausanias, magistrate. ΕΠΙ / [Π]ΑΥΣΑΝΙΩ Griffin seated to left, raising his right forepaw. Rev.
ΑΒΔΗΡΙ-ΤΕΩΝ Laureate head of Apollo to right. AMNG II, 139. May, Abdera, 471 var. (-/P375). SNG Ashmolean 3490. SNG Fitzwilliam 1642. A lovely, well centered and beautifully toned piece of excellent style. Very minor doubling on the obverse and with a few tiny marks, otherwise,
nearly extremely fine.
From a Bavarian Collection, formed in the early 2000s.
The city of Abdera on the Thracian mainland was refounded in 544 on the site of an earlier Greek settlement, which had been destroyed by native tribes half a century before. The new colonists were refugees from Teos, where a considerable part of the population refused to subject to the new Achaemenid superpower and embarked on their ships to seek greener pastures in new lands. However, Thrace was contested between the numerous savage inland tribes and the various Greek coastal colonies, most notably Thasos and its peraia to the west and Maroneia to the east, and the Teians hence had to squeeze their new city into a less than ideal position. Still, Abdera quickly prospered, not least due to the export of the rich natural resources of its Thracian hinterland overseas. The city in particular acquired a leading role in the trade in silver bullion, which was exploited in large quantities in the nearby Thracian mines and coined by the Greek settlers for export to oriental and Egyptian markets. Inscriptions show that the Abderitans retained close relationships with Teos: they adopted many of the religious and political institutions of their mother city, and their coins show the Teian griffin on the obverse, albeit facing to the left.