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Thracian Tribes, The Derrones AR Dodekadrachm 480-465 BC Ancient Greek Silver Coin Triskeles Museum Reproduction CSGDO0012

114,00 

Enigmatic Derrones Dodekadrachm (35.8mm, 40.21g.), struck 480-465 B.C. Unpublished type with eagle flying right holding a lizard in its beak, instead of the typical Corinthian helmet on obverse.

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The present piece is an example of this RARE, large denomination that equated to 12 Drachms. The Derrones (or Deroni, Derroni) were a Thracian or a Paionian tribe. Our knowledge of them comes from coins bearing variations of the legend of DERRONIKON (ΔΕΡΡΟΝΙΚΟΝ) – DERR (ΔΕΡΡ). The letters used in the coins are Greek, although this does not prove that the Derrones spoke the same language as their southern neighbours. These coins, which were perhaps made for export as much as for internal trade, are traditionally dated to 500-450 BC. Based on numismatic evidence, and especially coin hoards, there are two theories regarding the geographic position of the tribe. The first theory claims that they should be placed in the central Balkans, in the northern part of North Macedonia (at the Upper Strymon valley), while the second theory considers that this tribe, at least at the time of the striking of the inscribed coins (i.e. early 5th century), was based in an area further to the south.

While the precise location of the Derrones has been a source of much debate, current scholarship tends to see them as an inland tribe of Paeonia, north of Macedonia. The source of their silver may well have been the rich mine near Lake Prasias, which, according to Herodotus, was subsequently taken over by Alexander I of Macedon. It seems likely that the Derrones roughly coined the silver they mined for export. If this is true, the greatly variable weights for this series is puzzling. “Dodekadrachms” can be anywhere from slightly over 30 to nearly 40 grams. It has been argued that this merely indicates the lack of sophistication or ineptitude of the Derrones. In any case, this imprecision would seem to negate whatever value coining the silver would have served in the first place. Perhaps different weight standards were employed by the Derrones depending upon the requirements of the intended recipient. While this might suggest an unrealistic complexity for the time period or geographical location, we frequently err in underestimating the sophistication, or at the very least shrewdness, of the ancients. As noted below, Thracian and Thraco-Macedonian silver was part of an involved trading pattern in which the silver was conveyed by Ionian and island traders to Egypt in exchange for grain and, undoubtedly, other commodities.
DESIGN:
Obverse side
Driver, holding goad, driving ox cart to right; above, eagle flying right, lizard in beak; a plant below
Legend:
ΔΕRRONIKON (retrograde)

Reverse side
Triskeles right within incuse square
Legend:
Anepigraphic

A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.

Weight 40,21 g
Dimensions 35,8 mm

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