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Research Coins: Electronic Auction

 
2700100
270, Lot: 100. Estimate $100.
Sold for $110. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

IONIA, Magnesia ad Maeandrum. Archepolis. Circa 459 BC. AR Tetartemorion (7mm, 0.15 g, 6h). Diademed head right / Eagle flying left in dotted square within incuse square. Cahn & Mannsperger, “Themistocles Again,” NC 151 (1993, p. 199 and pl. 44, 1; Nollé & Wenninger A 2a var. (trihemiobol). VF, porous. Rare denomination.


Archepolis was the son of the Athenian Themistokles, who was perhaps the most important, and certainly one of the most powerful, political figures in early fifth century Athens. He persuaded the Athenians to use the newly found wealth from the silver mines of Laurion to build a navy, essential to their defeat of the Persians a short time later. Sometime in the early 460s BC, Themistokles was ostracized. He fled to Asia Minor, where he was well received by the Persian king, who made him the governor of Magnesia on the Maeander and granted him the income of three cities – Lampsakos, Magnesia, and Myos. Themistokles struck a small series of silver fractions at Magnesia, some of which bear a male head that has sometimes been identified as his portrait. After Themistokles’ death, Archepolis succeeded his father as governor, and he issued a similar series of silver fractions. These coins are part of the primary evidence of his otherwise little-known reign.