Patraus (Greek Πατράος; 340 BC – 315 BC) was an ancient Paeonian king preceded by Lycceius and succeeded by Audoleon. It has been proposed that Ariston, who notably served as a cavalry general to Alexander the Great, was Patraus’ brother.
The exact original boundaries of Paeonia, like the early history of its inhabitants, are obscure, but it is known that it was located immediately north of ancient Macedonia; in the Iliad, the Paeonians are reported as allies of the Trojans. During the Persian invasion of Greece the then-powerful Paeonians were conquered by the armies of Darios I and deported from their homelands to Asia.
At some point after the Greco-Persian Wars, the Paeonian princedoms coalesced into a kingdom centred in the central and upper reaches of the Axios and Strymon rivers, corresponding with today’s northern part of North Macedonia and western Bulgaria, and joined with the Illyrians in attacking the northern areas of the kingdom of Macedon.
Philip II reformed the Macedonian armies and put a stop to both the Illyrian and Paeonian raids, and campaigned deep into Paeonian territory, reducing their kingdom (then ruled by Agis) to a vassal state, which led to a process of gradual Hellenisation including the striking of coins with Greek legends.
Later, a Paeonian cavalry contingent, led by Ariston (a member of the Paionian royal house, possibly brother of Patraos and father of the later king Audoleon – see Heckel, W. Prosopography of Alexander’s Empire, 2006), was attached to Alexander the Great’s army. At the Battle of Gaugamela the Paionian cavalry were placed with the sarissophoroi on the right flank, the position of honour, and in 331 BC they routed a large force of Persian cavalry near the Tigris; Ariston personally slew the Persian leader Satropates; he then presented Alexander with the Persian’s severed head. He asked Alexander for a gold cup as a reward for his feat, and the king publicly saluted him and drank to his health.
Laureate head of Apollo right
Paeonian horseman, wearing crested helmet and full armor, rearing right, spearing enemy who defends with shield and spear
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors