Persian Empire, Satrapy of Cilicia, Mazaios, Stater

The spread of Greek-style coinage shows many interesting features of cultural admixture. At Tarsus, for instance, several Persian satraps during the 4th century minted coins for their military expenses. One of them was Mazaios (361-334 BC), the minting prerogative of this stater. While on Greek coins Zeus sits on the obverse, it is the god of fertility Baal Tars on this stater. This is suggested by the Aramaic legend "baal tarz" (Baal of Tarsos). The vine and the corn also allude to a vegetation deity. The eagle, on the other hand, is a typical attribute of Zeus. The reverse depicts a lion slaying a bull. This motif went back to an astrological symbolism and was common in Persian art.