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Paeonian Kingdom
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Historical notes from "The Army of Alexander the Great" by Nick Sekunda et al., p.21-22: Thracian Cavalry - "The four squadrons of the Royal Army were supplemented by further squadrons of auxiliary Thracian cavalry. The Paeonian squadron crossed the Hellespont with the army. The Paeonians seem to be a detachment of cavalry contributed to the expedition by the client kingdom of Paeonia, for they are commanded by a prince of the Paeonian royal house called Ariston. The Odrysian cavalry were probably contributed in a similar way by the king of the Odrysians, but they were under the command of a Macedonian, Agathon, son of Tyrimmas. The Odrysians joined the expedition in time to take part in the battle of Granicus. They were probably two squadrons strong at Gaugamela.

While we may assume that the Paeonian and Odrysian squadrons were equipped in a similar fashion to the regular squadrons of prodromoi, their general appearance and dress could have been markedly different as they were not part of the Royal Army. A Paeonian coin shows a warrior, dressed in a long-sleeved tunic, wearing a crested "Attic" helmet, and equipped with a spear, riding a horse with a pantherskin saddle cloth. He spears a warrior on foot who is shown wearing trousers. Coins of this series have been identified with an incident in the Gaugemela campaign when Ariston, the commander of the Paeonian squadron, speared Satropates through the throat.. The identification, however, is still far from certain.

Alexander was in the process of crossing the Tigris; the infantry were wading across with considerable difficulty, but the king, together with a small advance party of light cavalry, had reached the far bank. Suddenly, a flying column of 1,000 Persian cavalry commanded by Satropates appeared to dispute the crossing. The situation was critical - only the advance party was formed up on the river bank and the unformed infantry, struggling in the water with their packs, would fall easy pray to a quick charge. Alexander immediately ordered forward the Paeonian squadron, with Ariston at its head. From the river, the whole army watched the drama unfolding on the steep riverbank.

Ariston made straight for the Persian colonel Satropates, and promptly ran him through the throat with his spear. The Persian turned and tried to make his way back to safety among his comrades. Ariston overtook his victim, unhorsed him, and, after a brief struggle, severed his head with a sword-cut. The Paeonian prince gathered up Satriopates' head and galloped back to Alexander, to the accompaniment of wild cheering from the army. Throwing his trophy at Alexander's feet, the Paeonian shouted, 'Among us, oh King, such a present is rewarded with a golden drinking-horn!' 'An empty one, I suppose' replied Alexander with a laugh, 'but I promise you one full of untempered wine.'"


Paeonian Kingdom, AR Tetradrachm, c.359-340 BC, Lykkeios
(No legend)
Laureate, bearded head of Zeus right in beaded circle
ΛYKK_EIOY
Young, nude Herakles standing left, strangling Nemean lion with left arm, club raised in right hand, bow and quiver on ground to right
23mm x 25mm, 13.15g
SNG ANS 1019; Paeonian Hoard 63
Ex Harlan Berk; Ex Sotheby's, Auction 16, April 1969


Paeonian Kingdom, AR Tetradrachm, c.335-315 BC, Patraus
(No legend)
Laureate head of Apollo right
[PATR]AO_U
Helmeted horseman charging right, spearing fallen enemy who holds round Macedonian shield ornamented with star surrounded by double crescents
ME monogram behind horse
22mm x 24mm, 11.91g
SNG Oxford 3359 (same dies); Paeonian Hoard 434 (same dies)
Ex Mark Drazak Collection; Ex Gemini, Auction III, Lot 113, January 2007

Note from Gemini Auction: This particular issue, which shows Apollo with an almond-shaped archaic eye, may be reflective of the local die cutters' antiquated artistic outlook. It was issued alongside coins from dies cut by more enlightened artists which show Apollo with the more updated profile eye.