Lycia. Local dynasts under Achaemenid Persian rule. Mithrapata (c.390-380 BC). AR diobol (1.6 g, 14 mm). Obverse: Facing lion's scalp. Reverse: Triskeles with astragalus to left, surrounded by "Mithrapata" in Lycian script. SNG von Aulock 4246, Sear Greek Coins 5228. This coin: @John Anthony auction (2021). Lycia is a region in southwestern Anatolia, and has been inhabited for a long time. The early history is unclear, but they are apparently mentioned in Egyptian records as allies of the Hittites. Around 540 BC, Lycia was conquered by Cyrus the Great and incorporated into the Achaemenid Persian empire. Rather than appoint a satrap, the Persians instead ruled through local quasi-independent kings known to modern scholars as "dynasts". Lycia was persuaded to join the Athenian-led Delian League against the Persians about 470 BC, but dropped out during the Peloponnesian War, and soon came under Persian rule again, though still under local dynasts rather than a satrap. Mithrapata ruled around 390-380 BC, near the end of the Dynastic period. His name is of Persian origin, but it isn't known whether he was of Persian descent or if he just adopted a Persian name. His rule seems to have been based in the eastern part of Lycia, and he competed with another ruler called Arttumpara. In the 360s BC Lycia was assigned to the Satrapy of Caria, ending the Dynastic period. Persian rule in the region ended with Alexander III of Macedon's invasion of the region in 334 BC, as part of his successful conquest of the entire Achaemenid Empire. This coin is definitely interesting historically, and it fits into my collection of coins from Achaemenid satrapies and other Achaemenid-ruled lands under the "Greater Persia" rubric. But what most interested me about the coin is its use of an extinct script, which ties into a whole extinct language family. The Lycian script is derived from the Greek alphabet, but if you look at the above specimen and try to read it as Greek you can see it is not quite the same- the first vowel is written as E instead of I, the "Theta" is strange, etc. The local language of Lycian, which utilized the script, was a later development of the Luwian language family, a branch of Indo-European that was once widespread in Anatolia. Texts in the Lycian language are mainly found carved into stone (starting in the 5th century BC) as well as on coin inscriptions of the Lycian dynasts. With apologies to any actual linguists reading this, here's a sample text, borrowed from a Wikipedia article ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycian_language ) : ebenne prnnawa meti prnnawate xisteriya xzzbazeh tideimi hrppi ladi ehbi se tideime this building, [it was] he who built it: Qisteria, Qtsbatse's son, for his wife and for the sons Unfortunately, the use of Lycian declined after the conquest by Alexander, as more Greek-speakers moved into the region and Greek became the language of government. Lycian became extinct by the 1st century BC, and it was only in the 20th century that archaeologists and linguists were able to figure out the language again. Please post your coins of the Lycian Dynasts, or other coins featuring extinct languages.