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Boiotia, also spelled Boeotia, was a region of Greece north of Attica and the Gulf of Corinth. The cities formed the Boeotian League in the sixth century B.C. but were usually under the dominance of Thebes. It was the constant ambition of the Thebans to absorb the other towns into a single state, just as Athens had annexed the Attic communities. But the cities successfully resisted, and only allowed a loose federation. Resistance to Thebes led to repeated interference by Athens and Sparta. After Thebes was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 335 B.C., the Boeotians never again pursued independence. About 245 B.C., Boeotia was for a short time a member of the Aetolian League, but it was generally loyal to Macedonia and supported Macedonia against Rome. Rome dissolved the league, but it was revived under Augustus and merged with the other central Greek federations in the Achaean synod. The death-blow to the country's prosperity was devastation during the First Mithridatic War.
Thespiai, Boiotia, Greece, Early 4th Century B.C.
Thespiae stood on level ground commanded by the low range of hills which run eastward from the foot of Mount Helicon to Thebes, near modern Thespies. During the Hellenistic Period, Thespiae sought the friendship of the Roman Republic in the war against Mithridates VI. It is subsequently mentioned by Strabo as a place of some size, and by Pliny as a free city within the Roman Empire, a reward for its support against Mithridates. Thespiae hosted an important group of Roman negotiatores until the refoundation of Corinth in 44 B.C.GS92209. Silver obol, BCD Boiotia 599; SNG Lockett 1763; SNG Cop 401; SNG Berry 606; BMC Central p. 90, 4; HGC 4 1402, VF, light toning, weight 0.780 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, Thespiai (near Thespies, Greece) mint, early 4th century B.C.; obverse Boiotian ox-hide shield; reverse ΘEΣ (bottom stroke on Σ missing), ethnic above and within crescent with horns upward and composed of three lines, all within a shallow round incuse; ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher), ex BCD Collection; scarce; $220.00 (€193.60)
Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, 287 - 244 B.C.
This is the first example of this type handled by Forum. BCD notes this type is not particularly rare but circulated extensively and are therefore very difficult to find in nice condition.GB74962. Bronze AE 20, BCD Boiotia 82, Head Boeotia p. 83, pl. VI, 2; BMC Central Greece p. 39, 64 and pl. VI, 2; SNG Cop 376, VF, weight 6.592 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 287 - 244 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse trophy of arms, B-OIWTWN downward on right; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Ex D.D. Thz. exch. Nov. 86 to the value of $15.-"; scarce; $60.00 (€52.80)
Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, 287 - 244 B.C.
Apollo's most famous attribute is the tripod, symbolic of his prophetic powers. His priestess sat on a tripod chewing laurel leaves and inhaling hallucinating vapors from a fissure in the floor. After she mumbled her answer, a male priest would translate it. The tripod is also a symbol of Dionysos because the bowl was used to mix wine. Ancient Greeks sayings include, "wine is truth" and "wine reveals the heart of man," and those who speak the truth were said to "speak from the tripod." Athenaeus wrote, "The tripod is proper to Apollo because of its prophetic truth, while to Dionysos it is proper because of the truth of wine" (Deipnosophistae 2).GB74963. Bronze AE 17, BCD Boiotia 87 corr.; Head Boeotia p. 83, pl. VI, 4; BMC Central p. 40, 72, pl. VI, 5 corr.; Winterthur 1929 corr., F, green patina, well centered, a little rough, weight 3.189 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, 287 - 244 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wearing ivy-wreath; reverse Apollo seated left on cippus decorated with trident head left, bow in right hand, leaning back on left hand on cippus behind, tripod on far side of cippus behind Apollo; Π within wreath on left, BOIΩTΩN downward on right; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "ABH, Oct. 78, £5.-"; rare; $60.00 (€52.80)
Thebes, Boiotia, Greece, c. 395 - 338 B.C.
The largest city in Boeotia, leader of the Boeotian confederacy, and rival of Athens, Thebes sided with Persia during Xerxes' invasion in 480 B.C. Thebes ended Sparta's power at the Battle of Leuctra in 371. The Sacred Band of Thebes famously fell to Philip II at Chaeronea in 338. After a revolt in 335, Alexander the Great destroyed the city, except, according to tradition, the house of the poet Pindar. GS91479. Silver obol, BCD Boiotia 548, SNG Cop 354, HGC 4 1359, F, toned, light marks, die wear, holed, hole broken to edge, weight 0.675 g, maximum diameter 10.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thebes mint, c. 395 - 338 B.C.; obverse Boeotian shield, club across the upper half; reverse ΘE, head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion skin headdress; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $40.00 (€35.20)
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