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Phocis was mainly pastoral. The coinage of Phocis began at a very early period. Like the archaic money of Arcadia it is distinctly federal in character. The twenty-two confederate Phocian towns held their periodical synedrion (assembly) in a building called Phokikon, near Daulis, and here, perhaps, rather than at any one of the Phocian towns, the federal mint may have been established. Money would be issued at this mint only on the occasions of the meetings of the synedrion, when it may be supposed that a concourse of people from all parts of the Phocian territory was gathered together, and that a fair or market was held for the exchange and purchase of commodities, as at Delphi during the Pythian festivals. The Phocians were unpopular with other Greeks. In 480 B.C., a Phokian force of 1,000 volunteer shepherd boys was assigned to the heights at Thermopylae. They took one look at the advancing Persians and fled leaving open the back trail, which allowed the Persians to destroy Leonidas and the Spartans. The following year the Phokians actually joined the Persian side, the losing side, in the Battle of Plataea.