KINGS OF THRACE. Celtic. Kabyle. Kavaros. Circa 230-218 B.C. AR tetradrachm. 16.23 gm. 26 mm. In the name and types of Alexander III the Great of Macedon. Kabyle mint. Head of Herakles right, wearing lion skin / Zeus Aëtophoros seated left; Artemis Phosphoros standing facing in left field. Draganov 881 (O5/R18). Price 882. Peykov F2010. HGC 3.2, 1355. Extremely Fine; obverse struck from worn die as is typical; lightly toned, with touch of aqua blue iridescence; particularly choice and crisply struck reverse. Rare.
In 279 B.C. the Celtic Gauls swept down into Thrace and Asia Minor defeating the Greek armies trying to stop them. They occupied Thrace for the next five decades, ruling with a succession of kings. The Gallic chieftain Kavaros was the only Gallic king of Thrace to strike coinage in his own name. He used the types of Alexander the Great tetradrachms. He was the last ruler of the Galatian kingdom of Tylis in eastern Thrace, where he industriously extorted the surrounding Greek cities. He is known for helping negotiate peace in 220 B.C. between Byzantion, Rhodes, and Bithynia. His capital was Kabyle, and all his coins portray Artemis Phosphoros its badge, confirming they were all minted there. The obverse die for this issue was also used for earlier tetradrachms with reverses naming Kavaros in place of Alexander. His rule was ended when he was killed during a Thracian revolt against the Gauls around 218 B.C.
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