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531642
531642.

AITOLIA, Aitolian League. Circa 220-205 BC. AR Stater (25mm, 10.60 g, 5h). Head of Apollo right, wearing laurel wreath; ΦI below / Aitolos, wearing kausia, chiton, and sheathed sword, holding spear upright in right hand, standing left, right foot propped on rock to left; AITΩΛΩN to right. Tsangari 643 (D11/R17); BCD Akarnania 438 (same dies); HGC 4, 942; SNG Copenhagen 4; BMC 9 (same rev. die). Toned, traces of old lacquer on obverse, slight doubling and flatness of strike on reverse. Good VF. Very rare without control marks on reverse, only 17 noted by Tsangari, 5 of which are in museum collections.


Ex Weise Collection; Classical Numismatic Group 64 (24 September 2003), lot 173.

Little history is recorded for the region of Aitolia in west-central Greece until the fourth century BC, when its cities banded together to the form the Aitolian League for mutual defense against marauding Gauls and the powerful Macedonian Kingdom. The league created its own federal currency, probably minted at its capital of Thermika. Obverse types were based on contemporary Hellenistic coinage, while reverses featured the hero Aitolos, son of Endymion, a legendary figure in Greek mythology. The handsome laureate male head on the obverse of these issues is usually described as Apollo, but could also be Aitolos. It has also been proposed that it is a portrait of a contemporary Hellenistic ruler, although which one is difficult to establish. Antigonos Gonatas and his son Demetrios II Aitolicos have been proposed, but the Aitoleans were usually warring with Macedon and it is unlikely they would so honor one of its kings. Antiochos III of Syria, who allied with the Aitoleans against the Romans in circa 190 BC, has also been proposed, but the alliance seems to post-date this coinage.