Myriandros, Cilicia (Mazaios, satrap)
[B]Myriandros, Cilicia (Mazaios satrap; 361-334 BC.)
[u]Obv[/u]: Baaltars holding lotus-tipped scepter, seated left; thymiaterion with eagle perched on top to left; BLTRZ "Baal tars" Aramaic legend upper right field; solid circular die border.
[u]Rev[/u]: Lion standing left on rough ground; MZDI "Mazaios" Aramaic legend above lion; solid circular die border.
[u]Attribution[/u]: Casabonne Ser5/GrpB; SNG Fr 431; SNG Lev 188; SNG Aul 5463
[u]Provenance[/u]: ex. CNG76(#757), 9.12.07; ex. CNG69(#489), 6.8.05; ex. AlexB Coll.
[u]Weight[/u]: 10.47 gm
[u]Maximal Diameter[/u]: 21 mm
[u]Note[/u]: Mazaios, a Persian nobleman, had a long and distinguished career. He was appointed satrap of Cilicia about 361 BC, and the region known as ‘Across the River’ (modern Syria, Lebanon, and Israel) was later added to his domain. He fought against the Phoenicians of Sidon who revolted with the support of Pharaoh Nektanebo II and the Greek mercenary leader Mentor. Mazaios later served as the satrap of Mesopotamia and married Barsine, the daughter of Darios III. Mazaios’ absence from the first fighting when Alexander invaded Asia has been explained by the likelihood that he was the satrap of Babylonia at the time and was guarding Darios’ back.
In 331 BC, as Alexander marched into the heart of the Persian Empire, Mazaios obstructed his way with a small cavalry contingent and forced Alexander to take a route leading to Gaugamela, where the massive Persian army had assembled in wait for Alexander on the Persians’ chosen battleground. In the battle itself, Mazaios and his Babylonian cavalry nearly broke Alexander’s left wing, but the flight of the Persian king led to the collapse of the Persian army. Mazaios took refuge in Babylon. Alexander, upon his approach to the great metropolis, announced that Babylon would not be plundered, and Mazaios thereupon surrendered the city to him. Alexander rewarded Mazaios by retaining him as governor, a position he held until his death in 328 BC.