AR Tetradrachm of the Audoleon bird-rider type (3rd-2nd c. BC), Transylvania.
Obv.: Laurelized bust of Zeus r.
Rev.: Rider r. holding branch, behind bird, in front rosette
Zeus is the father of the gods in Greek mythology, as well as the god of heaven, lightning and thunder. He embodied the head of the twelve Olympic gods. His parents are the Titans Kronos and Rhea. His siblings include Hades, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia and Hera. According to legend, since Kronos devoured all of his children immediately after birth, his mother gave birth to him in secret. When Zeus grew up, he fought against the Titans and defeated them. Subsequently, he divided the world into three dominions, he himself occupied the sky and thus became the father of the gods and head of the twelve Olympian gods. Zeus married Hera, with whom he fathered four children Ares, Hebe, Eileithya and Hephaistos. Nevertheless, he entered into numerous other affairs, many of which resulted in children. Among these illegitimate children is also Heracles.
The bird as an epithet occurs frequently on Greek coins. It was very popular in the Surcarpathian coinage, first behind the rider, later sitting on a branch, and finally on the tail of the helmet. Therefore also the designation bird rider originates. The type of Audoleon obverse originated under Western influence.
Audoleon was king of the Paions. According to Diodorus, he was harassed by the Illyrian Autariates around 310 BC and rescued by Cassandros. At the time of the liberation of Athens from the rule of Demetrios Poliorketes, he supported the population by sending grain. For this, Audoleon was given important honorary titles. The end of his reign must have come before the death of Lysimachus. After Audoleon's death, unrest seems to have broken out, as his son Ariston was excluded from the reign. It was precisely this unrest that Lysimachus used to subdue the Paionian land.