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Boiotia, also spelled Boeotia, was a region of Greece north of Attica and the Gulf of Corinth. The cities formed the Boeotian League in the sixth century B.C. but were usually under the dominance of Thebes. It was the constant ambition of the Thebans to absorb the other towns into a single state, just as Athens had annexed the Attic communities. But the cities successfully resisted, and only allowed a loose federation. Resistance to Thebes led to repeated interference by Athens and Sparta. After Thebes was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 335 B.C., the Boeotians never again pursued independence. About 245 B.C., Boeotia was for a short time a member of the Aetolian League, but it was generally loyal to Macedonia and supported Macedonia against Rome. Rome dissolved the league, but it was revived under Augustus and merged with the other central Greek federations in the Achaean synod. The death-blow to the country's prosperity was devastation during the First Mithridatic War.
Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, 287 - 244 B.C.
This is the first example of this type handled by Forum. BCD notes this type is not particularly rare but circulated extensively and are therefore very difficult to find in nice condition. GB74962. Bronze AE 20, BCD Boiotia 82, Head Boeotia p. 83, pl. VI, 2; BMC Central Greece p. 39, 64 and pl. VI, 2; SNG Cop 376, VF, weight 6.592 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, 287 - 244 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet; reverse trophy of arms, B-OIWTWN downward on right; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Ex D.D. Thz. exch. Nov. 86 to the value of $15.-"; scarce; $60.00 (€52.80)
Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, 287 - 244 B.C.
Apollo's most famous attribute is the tripod, symbolic of his prophetic powers. His priestess sat on a tripod chewing laurel leaves and inhaling hallucinating vapors from a fissure in the floor. After she mumbled her answer, a male priest would translate it. The tripod is also a symbol of Dionysos because the bowl was used to mix wine. Ancient Greeks sayings include, "wine is truth" and "wine reveals the heart of man," and those who speak the truth were said to "speak from the tripod." Athenaeus wrote, "The tripod is proper to Apollo because of its prophetic truth, while to Dionysos it is proper because of the truth of wine" (Deipnosophistae 2). GB74963. Bronze AE 17, BCD Boiotia 87 corr.; Head Boeotia p. 83, pl. VI, 4; BMC Central p. 40, 72, pl. VI, 5 corr.; Winterthur 1929 corr., F, green patina, well centered, a little rough, weight 3.189 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 180o, 287 - 244 B.C.; obverse head of young Dionysos right, wearing ivy-wreath; reverse Apollo seated left on cippus decorated with trident head left, bow in right hand, leaning back on left hand on cippus behind, tripod on far side of cippus behind Apollo; Π within wreath on left, BOIΩTΩN downward on right; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "ABH, Oct. 78, £5.-"; rare; $60.00 (€52.80)
Boiotia, Greece, Boiotian League, c. 225 - 171 B.C.
Because nearly all examples of this type are very worn, most references incorrectly identify the patera as a wreath.
After the destruction of Thebes by Alexander in 335 B.C., the Boeotians never again pursued independent policy, but followed protecting powers. Unable to defend its frontiers, the land became more than ever the "dancing-ground of Ares." Boeotia was generally loyal to Macedon, and supported its kings against Rome. Devastation during the First Mithridatic War was a death-blow to the country's prosperity. Rome dissolved the league, but it was revived under Augustus and merged with the other central Greek federations in the Achaean synod. GB74968. Bronze AE 16, BCD Boiotia 145; Imhoof-Blumer Boeotiens 33; BMC Central p. 43, 105, pl. VI, 11 corr.; Head Boeotia p. 90, pl. VI, 8 corr.; SNG Cop 394 corr., aF, green patina, weight 3.426 g, maximum diameter 16.1 mm, federal mint, c. 225 - 171 B.C.; obverse Boiotian ox-hide shield, club across one end; reverse BOIΩTΩN (downward on right), Nike standing left, patera in right, trident vertical behind in left; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting "Found in Central Greece?"; extremely rare; $40.00 (€35.20)
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