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

Boiotia, Greece

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.Central Greece


Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, 287 - 244 B.C.

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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; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
 


Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, 287 - 244 B.C.

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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; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
 


Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, 338 - c. 300 B.C.

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In 338 B.C., Thebes joined Athens at Khaironeia against their former ally, Philip II of Macedonia. The Sacred Band distinguished itself, but was completely annihilated. After another revolt in 335, Alexander the Great destroyed the city.
GB74924. Bronze AE 16, BCD Boiotia 55; Head Boeotia p. 78, pl. V, 14; BMC Central p. 38, 57, pl. V, 17; SNG Cop 181, VF, green patina, broad flan, pitting, corrosion, flan crack, weight 1.154 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, federal mint, 338 - c. 300 B.C.; obverse Boiotian ox-hide shield; reverse BOIΩTΩN (upward from lower left), ornamented trident head upward, curved crossbar, dolphin upward on right, ivy leaf with long curved stem lower right; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting "Lot./coll, Feb 1991, 1500 dra."; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
 


Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, c. 225 - 171 B.C.

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Because nearly all examples of this type are very worn, most references incorrectly identify the patera as a wreath.

After the destruction of Thebes by Alexander in 335 B.C., the Boeotians never again pursued independent policy, but followed protecting powers. Unable to defend its frontiers, the land became more than ever the "dancing-ground of Ares." Boeotia was generally loyal to Macedon, and supported its kings against Rome. Devastation during the First Mithridatic War was a death-blow to the country's prosperity. Rome dissolved the league, but it was revived under Augustus and merged with the other central Greek federations in the Achaean synod.
GB74968. Bronze AE 16, BCD Boiotia 145; Imhoof-Blumer Boeotiens 33; BMC Central p. 43, 105, pl. VI, 11 corr.; Head Boeotia p. 90, pl. VI, 8 corr.; SNG Cop 394 corr., aF, green patina, weight 3.426 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, federal mint, c. 225 - 171 B.C.; obverse Boiotian ox-hide shield, club across one end; reverse BOIΩTΩN (downward on right), Nike standing left, patera in right, trident vertical behind in left; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting "Found in Central Greece?"; extremely rare; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
 


Thespiai, Boiotia, Greece, 146 - 27 B.C.

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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.
GB76252. Bronze AE 14, BCD Boiotia 611; Head Boeotia p. 94, pl. VI, 13; BMC Central p. 92, 14, pl. XVI, 12; SNG Cop 406 - 407; HGC 4 1408 (S), VF, weight 3.511 g, maximum diameter 14.3 mm, Thespiai mint, 146 - 27 B.C.; obverse female (Arsinoe III) head right, wearing kalathos and veil; reverse chelys, ΘEΣΠI/EΩN in two downward lines, starting on right, ending on left, all in laurel wreath; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Pz. nz. Th., Jan 86, 1000 drs."; scarce; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
 


Thespiai, Boiotia, Greece, 146 - 27 B.C.

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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.
GB76253. Bronze AE 16, BCD Boiotia 611; Head Boeotia p. 94, pl. VI, 13; BMC Central p. 92, 14, pl. XVI, 12; SNG Cop 406 - 407; HGC 4 1408 (S), F, green patina, earthen deposits, weight 4.046 g, maximum diameter 15.9 mm, die axis 90o, Thespiai mint, 146 - 27 B.C.; obverse female (Arsinoe III) head right, wearing kalathos and veil; reverse chelys, ΘEΣΠI/EΩN in two downward lines, starting on right, ending on left, all in laurel wreath; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Ex Ian Johnson, FPL, Vol. XI, no. 5, Sep 92, no. 4"; scarce; $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00
 


Thebes, Boiotia, Greece, c. 363 - 338 B.C.

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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.
GB76302. Bronze AE 12, BCD Boiotia 576b; BMC Central p. 85, 184; SNG Cop 364; Head Boeotia p. 71, type c; SNG Christomanos -, aVF, near black patina, a few small pits, weight 1.530 g, maximum diameter 11.7 mm, die axis 270o, Thebes mint, magistrates As- and Pherg-, 363 - 338 B.C.; obverse youthful head of Herakles right wearing Nemean Lion skin headdress; reverse club right laying on top of strung recurve bow with string downward, ΣA above, ΦEPΓ below; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Procured near Thebes."; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50
 


Thebes, Boiotia, c. 315 - 288 B.C.

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The largest city in Boeotia, Thebes was leader of the Boeotian confederacy. A 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. Thebes was the dominant city-state in Greece prior to its destruction by Alexander in 335 B.C.
GB76311. Bronze AE 13, BCD Boiotia 582; Head Boeotia p. 81, pl. V, 15; BMC Central p. 87, 203, pl XVI, 1; SNG Cop 373, SNG Alpha Bank -; SNG Christomanos -, aVF, weight 1.580 g, maximum diameter 12.7 mm, Thebes mint, Macedonian hegemony, c. 315 - 288 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse filleted thyrsos left above, ΘHBAIΩN across center, club left below; ex BCD Collection with his round tag noting, "Bought at Baldwin's, Dec. 1970, for £1.-"; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00
 


Thebes, Boiotia, c. 368 - 364 B.C.

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Struck during the time of the Theban general and statesman Epaminondas, who transformed the ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a preeminent position in Greek politics. In the process he broke Spartan military power with his victory at Leuctra and liberated the Messenian helots, a group of Peloponnesian Greeks who had been enslaved under Spartan rule for some 230 years. Epaminondas reshaped the political map of Greece, fragmented old alliances, created new ones, and supervised the construction of entire cities. He was militarily influential as well, inventing and implementing several major battlefield tactics. The Roman orator Cicero called him "the first man of Greece", and Montaigne judged him one of the three "worthiest and most excellent men" that had ever lived, but Epaminondas has fallen into relative obscurity in modern times. The changes Epaminondas wrought on the Greek political order did not long outlive him, as the cycle of shifting hegemonies and alliances continued unabated. A mere twenty-seven years after his death in 362 B.C., Thebes was obliterated by Alexander the Great. Thus Epaminondas, praised in his time as an idealist and liberator, is today largely remembered for a decade (371 B.C. to 362 B.C.) of campaigning that sapped the strength of Greece and paved the way for the Macedonian conquest.
GB76234. Bronze AE 14, BCD Boiotia 525; Head Boeotia p. 70, type b2; BMC Central p. 85, 176; Hunter, pl. 41, 12, F, encrustation, corrosion, weight 2.024 g, maximum diameter 13.7 mm, die axis 0o, Thebes mint, magistrates Laan- and The-, c. 368 - 364 B.C.; obverse youthful head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse club left, ΛAAN above, arrow left over ΘE below, all within a shallow concave incuse circle; ex BCD Collection with his round tag noting, "Procured near Thebes."; $36.00 SALE PRICE $32.40
 


Orchomenos, Boiotia, Greece, c. 371 - 364 B.C.

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The traditional rivalry with Thebes made Orchomenos an ally of Agesilaus II and Sparta against Thebes, in 395 and again in 394 B.C. The Theban revenge after their defeat of Sparta in the battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C. was delayed by the tolerant policies of Epaminondas, but the Boeotian League sacked Orchomenos in 364 B.C. Although the Phocians rebuilt the city in 355 B.C., the Thebans destroyed it again in 349.
GB76299. Bronze AE 16, BCD Boiotia 225; Head Boiotia p. 50, pl. IV, 13; BMC Central 36, pl. VIII 16; SNG Cop 206 - 207; Weber 3217; HGC 4 1260 (R1), F, green patina, earthen deposits, weight 2.634 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, Orchomenos mint, c. 371 - 364 B.C.; obverse Boiotian ox-hide shield, grain ear along vertical center line; reverse star of eight rays, E-P-X-O clockwise around, arrayed within alternating spaces; ex BCD with his tag noting, "C'os, M/d, nr. Loutraki? Sept. 87, 2500 drs."; rare; $36.00 SALE PRICE $32.40
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Monday, June 25, 2018.
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Boiotia