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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Greece| ▸ |Epirus||View Options:  |  |  |   

Epiros, Greece

Epirus, in the western Balkans, was bordered by the Aetolian League to the south, Thessaly and Macedonia to the east, and Illyrian tribes to the north. Epirus had a far greater religious significance than might have been expected given its geographical remoteness, due to the shrine and oracle at Dodona - regarded as second only to the more famous oracle at Delphi. For a brief period, 280 - 275 B.C., the Epirote leader Pyrrhus managed to make Epirus the most powerful state in the Greek world, and his armies marched against Rome during an unsuccessful campaign in Italy. In 232 B.C. the tribes formed the Epirote League transforming the kingdom into a Republic. Over the next half century it was caught between the warring powers, Rome and Macedonia. In the Third Macedonian War, the Molossians split with the rest of Epirus and sided with the Macedonians. The outcome was disastrous; Molossia fell to Rome in 167 B.C., 150,000 of its inhabitants were enslaved and the region was so thoroughly plundered that it took 500 years to fully recover. Under Rome, the coastal regions of Epirus grew wealthy from trade routes, and construction of the Via Egnatia provided a further boost to prosperity.Epirus Map


Epirote Republic, Epirus, Greece, 238 - 168 B.C.

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In 232 B.C. the tribes of Epiros formed the Epirote League transforming the kingdom into a Republic. Over the next half century it was caught between the warring powers, Rome and Macedonia. In the Third Macedonian War, the Molossians split with the rest of Epirus and sided with the Macedonians. The outcome was disastrous; Molossia fell to Rome in 167 B.C., 150,000 of its inhabitants were enslaved, and the region was so thoroughly plundered that it took 500 years to fully recover.
SH30351. Silver victoriatus, BMC Thessaly p. 90, 42; SNG Cop 126, gVF, weight 3.203 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Phoenice mint, 238 - 168 B.C.; obverse jugate heads of Dodonaean Zeus and Dione, monograms behind; reverse thunderbolt, AΠEI/PΩTAN above and below in two lines, all within oak wreath; ex Tom Cederlind; rare; SOLD


Ambrakia, Epirus, Greece, c. 360 - 338 B.C.

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Ambracia was founded as a Corinthian colony 650 - 625 B.C. It was besieged by Philip II and forced to accept a Macedonian garrison in 338. In 294, Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, made it his capital, and adorned it with palace, temples and theaters. It was captured and plundered by Rome in 189 B.C., after which it gradually fell into insignificance.
GS54019. Silver stater, Pegasi II 89/2 (same dies), Ravel 138, aVF, weight 8.016 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Ambrakia (Arta, Greece) mint, c. 360 - 338 B.C.; obverse Pegasos with pointed wing walking right, A below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, head of Achelous right; SOLD


Ambrakia, Epirus, Greece, c. 360 - 338 B.C.

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Ambracia (modern Arta) was founded as a Corinthian colony 650 - 625 B.C. Its economy was based on farmlands, fishing, timber for shipbuilding, and the exporting the produce of Epirus. In 433, Ambracia fought with Corinth at the Battle of Sybota, against the rebellious Corinthian colony of Corcyra (modern Corfu). Ambracia was besieged by Philip II and forced to accept a Macedonian garrison in 338. In 294, after 43 years of semi-autonomy, Ambracia was given by the son of Cassander to Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who made it his capital, and adorned it with palace, temples and theaters. In the wars of Philip V of Macedon and the Epirotes against the Aetolian league (220-205) it changed sides and ultimately joined the Aetolians. Against Rome, it stood a stubborn siege, including the first known use of poison gas, against Roman siege tunnels. It was captured and plundered by Marcus Fulvius Nobilior in 189 B.C., after which it gradually fell into insignificance.Epirus and Environs
SH19463. Silver stater, BMC Corinth p. 105, 14; Ravel 70, gVF, toned, weight 8.544 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 270o, Ambrakia (Arta, Greece) mint, c. 360 - 338 B.C.; obverse Pegasos with pointed wing flying right, A below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, owl behind; ex CNG auction 9/94, lot 202; SOLD


Korkyra (Corfu), Island off Epirus, Greece, c. 350 - 270 B.C.

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Corfu is a picturesque island near the coasts of Albania and Greece. The advantageous trade position allowed Corcyra to play an important role in Greek history.
GS68904. Silver stater, SNG Cop 157 (same obv die); HGC 6, 37 (same); BMC Thessaly p. 122, 126, VF, areas of light corrosion, weight 10.186 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 315o, Korkyra (Corfu) mint, obverse cow standing right, looking back at suckling calf standing left below, star above; reverse double linear bordered square divided into two compartments with a stellate pattern in each, K-O-P around, spear head left below, all within a linear circle; very rare; SOLD


Korkyra (Corfu), Island off Epirus, Greece, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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Corfu is a picturesque island near the coasts of Albania and Greece. The advantageous trade position allowed Corcyra to play an important role in Greek history. After the Byzantine Empire gradually collapsed it was ruled by Venice from 1401 to 1797, during which time the Turks laid several sieges against its impregnable Byzantine castle.
GS48886. Silver stater, cf. SNG Cop 150 and BMC Thessaly p. 118, 59 ff. var. (all with various placements of ethnic K or KOP), Pozzi -, VF, flat strike areas, weight 10.575 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, Korkyra (Corfu) mint, obverse cow left, head turned back toward suckling calf right; reverse double stellate pattern within linear frame, no trace of ethnic; rare; SOLD


Ambrakia, Epirus, Greece, c. 360 - 338 B.C.

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This coin was struck near the end of Corinthian type series at Ambrakia, within the two decades before the mint was closed by the Macedonian occupation, c. 338 B.C.
SH54407. Silver stater, Pegasi II 90, SNG Cop -, BMC Corinth -, VF, weight 8.423 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, Ambrakia (Arta, Greece) mint, c. 360 - 338 B.C.; obverse Pegasos with pointed wing flying right, A below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, profile of Achelous right behind; attractive style; SOLD


Ambrakia, Epirus, Greece, c. 360 - 338 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
Ambracia (modern Arta) was founded as a Corinthian colony 650 - 625 B.C. Its economy was based on farmlands, fishing, timber for shipbuilding, and the exporting the produce of Epirus. In 433, Ambracia fought with Corinth at the Battle of Sybota, against the rebellious Corinthian colony of Corcyra (modern Corfu). Ambracia was besieged by Philip II and forced to accept a Macedonian garrison in 338. In 294, after 43 years of semi-autonomy, Ambracia was given by the son of Cassander to Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who made it his capital, and adorned it with palace, temples and theaters. In the wars of Philip V of Macedon and the Epirotes against the Aetolian league (220-205) it changed sides and ultimately joined the Aetolians. Against Rome, it stood a stubborn siege, including the first known use of poison gas, against Roman siege tunnels. It was captured and plundered by Marcus Fulvius Nobilior in 189 B.C., after which it gradually fell into insignificance.Epirus and Environs
GS66793. Silver stater, cf. SGCV I 1962, VF, edge marks, scratches, weight 8.292 g, maximum diameter 20.6 mm, die axis 180o, Ambrakia (Arta, Greece) mint, c. 360 - 338 B.C.; obverse Pegasos with pointed wing flying right, A below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, uncertain control symbol behind (mostly off flan), all in round incuse; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Pyrrhus of Epirus, 287 - 285 B.C. and 274 - 273 B.C.

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In 279 B.C., Pyrrhus' forces, supporting the Greek cities of southern Italy, met and defeated the Romans at the battle of Asculum in Apulia. Pyrrhus, however, lost many men, several close associates, and all of his baggage. When one of his soldiers congratulated him on his victory, he famously replied: "Another such victory and we are ruined!" From this we have the term Pyrrhic victory, a victory achieved at ruinous cost.
GB69894. Bronze AE 17, SNG Alpha Bank 970, SNG Cop -, SNG München -, SNG Saroglos -, SNG Dreer -, AMNG III -, BMC Macedonia -, VF, weight 3.652 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 135o, uncertain Macedonian mint, obverse Macedonian shield with ΠYP (Pyrrhus) monogram in boss; reverse Macedonian helmet without crest, BAΣI below, all within oak wreath; very rare; SOLD


Korkyra (Corfu), Island off Epirus, Greece, c. 500 - 450 B.C.

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Korkyra was an ancient Greek city on the island of Corfu in the Ionian sea, adjacent to Epirus. It was a colony of Corinth, founded in the archaic period. According to Thucydides, the earliest recorded naval battle took place between Korkyra and Corinth, roughly 260 years before he was writing - and thus in the middle of the seventh century B.C. He also writes that Korkyra was one of the three great naval powers in fifth century B.C. Greece, along with Athens and Corinth.
SH57470. Silver obol, SNG Cop 148 - 149; BMC Thessaly p. 116, 27 ff.; SGCV I 1770; HGC 6 57, VF, weight 0.781 g, maximum diameter 9.1 mm, Corcyra mint, obverse scallop shell; reverse four pointed star of five pellets in incuse punch; SOLD


Ambrakia, Epeiros, Greece, c. 456 - 426 B.C.

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Ambracia (modern Arta) was founded as a Corinthian colony 650 - 625 B.C. Its economy was based on farmlands, fishing, timber for shipbuilding, and the exporting the produce of Epirus. In 433, Ambracia fought with Corinth at the Battle of Sybota, against the rebellious Corinthian colony of Corcyra (modern Corfu). Ambracia was besieged by Philip II and forced to accept a Macedonian garrison in 338. In 294, after 43 years of semi-autonomy, Ambracia was given by the son of Cassander to Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who made it his capital, and adorned it with palace, temples and theaters. In the wars of Philip V of Macedon and the Epirotes against the Aetolian league (220-205) it changed sides and ultimately joined the Aetolians. Against Rome, it stood a stubborn siege, including the first known use of poison gas, against Roman siege tunnels. It was captured and plundered by Marcus Fulvius Nobilior in 189 B.C., after which it gradually fell into insignificance.Epirus and Environs
GS93836. Silver stater, Pegasi 22 (same dies), SNG Cop -, VF, slightly off center on an irregular flan generally favoring the types, reverse double struck, light etching, weight 8.036 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 180o, Ambrakia (Arta, Greece) mint, c. 456 - 426 B.C.; obverse Pegasos flying left, straight wings; reverse helmeted head of Athena (or Aphrodite) right, crowned by Nike above flying left, A behind, all within an incuse square; ex Savoca blue auction 5 (24 Feb 18), lot 302; ON LAYAWAY




  




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REFERENCES|

Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - )
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Ravel, O. Les "Poulains" de Corinthe, I - II. (Basel, 1936; London, 1948).
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Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 3: Greece: Thessaly to Aegean Islands. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 12: Thessalien-Illyrien-Epirus-Korkyra. (Berlin, 2007).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 1, Collection Réna H. Evelpidis, Part 2: Macédoine - Thessalie - Illyrie - Epire - Corcyre. (Athens, 1975).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 6, The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection, From Thessaly to Euboea. (Athens, 2011).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
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Epiros