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Epirus, in the western Balkans, was bordered by the Aetolian League to the south, Thessaly and Macedonia to the east, and Illyrian tribes to the north. Epirus had a far greater religious significance than might have been expected given its geographical remoteness, due to the shrine and oracle at Dodona - regarded as second only to the more famous oracle at Delphi. For a brief period, 280 - 275 B.C., the Epirote leader Pyrrhus managed to make Epirus the most powerful state in the Greek world, and his armies marched against Rome during an unsuccessful campaign in Italy. In 232 B.C. the tribes formed the Epirote League transforming the kingdom into a Republic. Over the next half century it was caught between the warring powers, Rome and Macedonia. In the Third Macedonian War, the Molossians split with the rest of Epirus and sided with the Macedonians. The outcome was disastrous; Molossia fell to Rome in 167 B.C., 150,000 of its inhabitants were enslaved and the region was so thoroughly plundered that it took 500 years to fully recover. Under Rome, the coastal regions of Epirus grew wealthy from trade routes, and construction of the Via Egnatia provided a further boost to prosperity.
Korkyra (Corfu), Island off Epirus, Greece, c. 433 - 360 B.C.
Corfu is a picturesque island near the coasts of Albania and Greece. The advantageous trade position allowed Corcyra to play an important role in Greek history. After the Byzantine Empire gradually collapsed it was ruled by Venice from 1401 to 1797, during which time the Turks laid several sieges against its impregnable Byzantine castle.GS95931. Silver stater, Fried Group III; BMC Thessaly p. 118, 64; SNG Munchen 634; Dewing 1453; HGC 6 35 (R2); SNG Cop -; SNG Tubingen -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, attractive old collection toning, scratches, obverse die wear, weight 10.871 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 45o, Korkyra (Corfu) mint, c. 433 - 375/60 B.C.; obverse cow left, head turned back toward suckling calf standing right below; reverse vertical double stellate pattern, divided by double line, within square double linear frame, K right, all within a circular linear border; from the Errett Bishop Collection; rare; $800.00 (€736.00)
Epirote Republic, Epirus, Greece, 238 - 168 B.C.
In 232 B.C. the tribes of Epiros formed the Epirote League transforming the kingdom into a Republic. Over the next half century it was caught between the warring powers, Rome and Macedonia. In the Third Macedonian War, the Molossians split with the rest of Epirus and sided with the Macedonians. The outcome was disastrous; Molossia fell to Rome in 167 B.C., 150,000 of its inhabitants were enslaved, and the region was so thoroughly plundered that it took 500 years to fully recover.SH30351. Silver victoriatus, BMC Thessaly p. 90, 42; SNG Cop 126, gVF, weight 3.203 g, maximum diameter 18.9 mm, die axis 180o, Phoenice mint, 238 - 168 B.C.; obverse jugate heads of Dodonaean Zeus and Dione, monograms behind; reverse thunderbolt, AΠEI/PΩTAN above and below in two lines, all within oak wreath; ex Tom Cederlind; rare; SOLD
Ambrakia, Epirus, Greece, c. 360 - 338 B.C.
Ambracia was founded as a Corinthian colony 650 - 625 B.C. It was besieged by Philip II and forced to accept a Macedonian garrison in 338. In 294, Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, made it his capital, and adorned it with palace, temples and theaters. It was captured and plundered by Rome in 189 B.C., after which it gradually fell into insignificance.GS54019. Silver stater, Pegasi II 89/2 (same dies), Ravel 138, aVF, weight 8.016 g, maximum diameter 24.0 mm, die axis 180o, Ambrakia (Arta, Greece) mint, c. 360 - 338 B.C.; obverse Pegasos with pointed wing walking right, A below; reverse head of Athena (or Aphrodite) left in Corinthian helmet over leather cap, head of Achelous right; SOLD
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Franke, P. Die antiken Münzen von Epirus. (Wiesbaden, 1961).
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Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 3: Greece: Thessaly to Aegean Islands. (West Milford, NJ, 1982). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 12: Thessalien-Illyrien-Epirus-Korkyra. (Berlin, 2007). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 1, Collection Réna H. Evelpidis, Part 2: Macédoine - Thessalie - Illyrie - Epire - Corcyre. (Athens, 1975). Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 6, The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection, From Thessaly to Euboea. (Athens, 2011).
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