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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
640178
Sale: CNG 64, Lot: 178. Estimate $300. 
Closing Date: Wednesday, 24 September 2003. 
Sold For $300. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BOEOTIA, Thebes. Circa 395/390-338 BC. AR Stater (12.06 gm). Boeotian shield / Amphora; AG-LA across field. Hepworth 1; BMC Central Greece pg. 80, 111; SNG Copenhagen 314. VF. ($300)

Extensive Offering of Theban Staters of the Fourth Century BC

The staters of the Boeotian Confederacy of the 4th Century are well known to numismatists. These staters, struck on the Aiginetic standard, bear on the obverse the usual Boeotian shield and on the reverse an amphora, with the addition of magistrate names and, on occasion, vines hanging from the handles or extra symbols above the amphora. Although the coins do not bear the mark of an issuing city, Thebes, as hegemon of the Boeoetian Confederacy, was most likely respsonsible for their issuance. In his study of the series, “The 4th Century BC Magistrate Coinage of the Boiotian Confederacy,” in Numismatica Khronika (1998), Robert Hepworth has identified 44 different magistrates and 97 separate varieties. The series begins in the early years of the fourth century and ends at the latest in 335 BC, when the city was razed by Alexander the Great. Through an intensive die study, Hepworth has been able to identify the internal order of this series although an absolute chronology still waits to be determined.

The actual identities of most of the magistrates remain obscure. However, the magistrate abbreviated as EPPA or EPAM has been identified as the historical Epaminondas (see “Epaminondas’ Coinage,” in Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of Numismatics (London 1986), pg. 35-40), who, at the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC, successfully led the Boeotians against the invading Spartan army, thus ending nearly 300 years of Spartan military supremacy. Epaminondas would meet his death in 362 at the battle of Mantinea. (see lots 183-186)

The order for this section follows Hepworth’s die study, listing the coins in their relative order of issue, although Hepworth numbers appear out of order because for simplicity he listed the varieties in alphabetical order.