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Ancient coins from Boeotia in the Forum Ancient Coins shop

Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines, Vol. III: Les monnaies de la Grece centrale et meridionale, aux Ve et IVe siecles avant J.-C. (Paris, 1914).
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Bank Leu/Münzen und Medaillen AG. Sammlung Walter Niggeler, teil 1. (Zürich and Basel, 1965).
Bérend, D. "Réflexions sur les fractions du monnayage grècques" in Studies Mildenberg.
Bloesch, H. Griechische Münzen In Winterthur, Volume II. (Winterthur, 1987).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Brett, A.B. Catalogue of Greek Coins, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1955).
Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Boiotia. Triton IX Auction, Session 1 (10 January 2006, New York).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Volume II: Macedon, Thrace, Thessaly, and Greece. (London, 1924).
Grose, S.W. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. I - III. (Cambridge, 1923-29).
Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Central Greece (Lorcris, Phocis, Boeotia, and Euboea). (London, 1884).
Head, B. On the chronological sequence of the coins of Boeotia. (London, 1881).
Hepworth, R. "Epaminondas ' coinage" in Proceedings of the 10th International Numismatic Congress. (London, 1986).
Hepworth, R. "The 4th Century BC Magistrate Coinage of the Boiotian Confederacy" in NK 17 (1998).
Hurter, S. M and C. Arnold-Biucci. pour Denyse: Divertissements Numismatiques. (Bern, 2000).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Zur Münzkunde Boeotiens und des peloponnesischer Argos" in NZ IX (1877).
Imhoof-Blumer, F. "Zür Münzkunde und Palaeographie Boeotiens" in NZ III (1871).
Jameson, R. Collection R. Jameson. Monnaies grecques antiques. (Paris, 1913-1932).
Kroll, J.H. The Greek Coins. The Athenian Agora, vol. XXVI. (Princeton, 1993).
Macdonald, G. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the Hunterian Collection, University of Glascow. (Glascow, 1899-1905).
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Mionnet, T. E. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines. (Paris, 1807-1837).
Naster, P. La collection Lucien de Hirsch. (Brussels, 1959).
Naville Co. Monnaies grecques antiques; provenant de la collection de feu le prof. S. Pozzi. Auction 1 (4 April 1921, Geneva).
Picard, O. Chalcis et la Confederation Eubéenne. (Paris, 1979).
Prokesch-Osten, G.A.F. von. Inedita meiner Sammlung autonomer altgriechischer Münzen. (Vienna, 1859).
Price, M.J. & N. Waggoner. Archaic Greek Silver Coinage, The "Asyut" Hoard. (London, 1975).
Regling, K. Die griechischen Münzen der Sammlung Warren. (Berlin, 1906).
Robinson, E.S.G. Catalog of Ancient Coins collected by Godfrey Locker Lampson. (London, 1923).
Robinson, E. S. G. & G. K. Jenkins. A Catalogue of the Calouste Gulbenkian Collection of Greek Coins, Vol. I - II. (Lisboa, 1971-1989).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Strauss, P. Collection Maurice Laffaille - monnaies grecques en bronze. (Bàle, 1990).
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, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 3: Akarnanien-Bithynien. (Berlin, 1985).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland Sammlung der Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig. (München, 1993-2008).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain I, Part 2, The Newham Davis Coins in the Marischal College Aberdeen. (London, 1936).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection, Part 3: Macedonia - Aegina (gold and silver). (London, 1942).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IV, Fitzwilliam Museum, Leake and General Collections. (London, 1940-1971).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VI, Corpus Christi College Cambridge, The Lewis Collection. (Oxford, 1972-1992).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VII, Manchester University Museum. (London, 1986).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 3: Collection Antoine Christomanos. (Athens, 2004).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 6, The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection, From Thessaly to Euboea. (Athens, 2011).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Sweden I, The collection of His Late Majesty King Gustaf VI Adolf and the Fred Forbat collection. (Stockholm, 1974).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Sweden II, The Collection of the Royal Coin Cabinet, National Museum of Monetary History, Part 2: Thrace - Euboia. (Stockholm, 1980).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, United States, Burton Y. Berry Collection, Part 1: Macedonia to Attica
. (New York, 1961).
Thompson, M. The Agrinion Hoard. ANSNNM 159 (1968).
Waggoner, N.M. Early Greek Coins from the Collection of Jonathan P. Rosen (ANS ACNAC 5). (New York, 1983).
Ward, J. & G.F. Hill. Greek Coins and Their Parent Cities. (London, 1902).

In Boeotia, as in Phocis, the commencement of the coinage may be placed about the middle of the sixth century B.C. The most striking characteristic of the money of Boeotia is that it is in great part a Federal currency. The various Boeotian cities were from the first united in an Amphictyonic confederation, as members of which they adopted a common coin-type, which serves to distinguish the Boeotian currency from that of all other Greek states. This type is the so-called Boeotia buckler, a round or oval shield with semicircular openings at either side. It is thought that this shield is properly a religious emblem, but to what divinity it belongs we have no positive information. It may be that it is the shield of Athena Itonia, whose temple, near Coroneia, was the place where the Boeotians met to celebrate their periodical national festivals (Paus. ix. 34 ες τον κοινον συνιασιν ενταυθα οι Βοιωτοι συλλογον); or it may be that it is the shield of Ares, whose statue was the starting

point of the horse-races in the games held at the Pan-Boeotian festival (Foucart, in Bull. Corr. Hell., 1885, pp. 427 sqq.).

That golden shields were preserved at Coroneia we gather from another passage of Pausanias (i. 25. 7), where he relates that the Coroneians put Lachares to death (B.C. 299) because he had taken away the golden shields from the acropolis of their city, and stripped the image of Athena of her ornaments.

The earliest Boeotian coins, alike in weight, fabric, and incuse reverse, are modeled on those of Aegina, and, in these respects, are easily to be distinguished from the contemporary issues of the neighboring island of Euboea, or of Athens. The Aeginetic standard prevailed in Boeotia down to the time of the restoration of Thebes by Cassander, B.C. 315, after which there are tetradrachms of Attic weight, and thirds of the tetradrachm, weighing about 80 grs., as in Aetolia.

Acraephia, on the eastern shore of lake Copais, is said by Pausanias (ix. 23. 5) to have belonged in early times to Thebes. It must, however, have enjoyed intervals of autonomy, both before and after the Persian wars.

Circ. B.C. 550-480.

Boeotian shield.
[Babelon, Traité, Pl. XLI. 16.]
A in center of mill-sail incuse.
AR Stater.
Id. [BMC Central Greece, Pl. VII. 1.] A in incuse square.
AR Obol.
Half shield. Id.
AR ½ Obol.

Circ. B.C. 456-446.

Boeotian shield.
(On ½ obols, a half shield.)
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. VII. 3.]
Α Κ Kantharos in incuse square.
AR Stater, Obol, and ½ Obol.

Chaeroneia was in B.C. 424 still subject to Orchomenus (Thuc. iv. 76. 3, cf. Hellanicus, Fr. 49), but it appears to have obtained autonomy soon afterwards at the hands of the Thebans, though there is no evidence that it struck coins before the Peace of Antalcidas.

Circ. B.C. 387-374.

Boeotian shield.
[Prokesch, Ined., 1854, Pl. II. 49, 50.]
AR ½ Drachm and Æ .7

Copae, on the edge of the lake Copais, not far from the katabothra into which the Cephissus flows on emerging from the lake.

Circ. B.C. 387-374.

Boeotian shield.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. VII. 4.]
ΚΩΠΑΙΩΝ Forepart of rushing bull.
AR Obol.
Id. [Prokesch, Ined., 1854, Pl. II. 51.] Κ Ω Bull 's head, facing.
Æ .45

The rushing bull may here symbolize the river-god Kephisos.


Coroneia, on a height at the entrance of a valley leading to Mt. Helicon.

Circ. B.C. 550-480.

Boeotian shield. [Bunbury Cat., 935; Babelon, Traité, Pl. XLI. 17.] Q in incuse square.
AR Drachm, Obol, etc.

Circ. B.C. 456-446 and 387-374.

Boeotian shield. [BMC Central Greece, Pl. VII. 6, and Num. Zeit., ix. Pl. I. 58.] ΚΟRΟ, Κ Ο Gorgon-head, or head of Athena Itonia, facing.
AR ½ Drachm, Obol, etc.

B.C. 338-315.

Boeotian shield.
[N. C., 1898, Pl. XIX. 5.]
ΚΟΡ in concave field.
Æ .85

The gorgon-head on the coins of Coroneia is reminiscent of the worship of Athena Itonia, whose temple stood in the vicinity of Coroneia, and was the place where national Pan-Boeotian festivals were celebrated (Paus. ix. 34. 1). Cf. the story of Iodama, priestess of that goddess, to whom, when one night she entered the sacred temenos, the goddess appeared with the gorgoneion on her chiton, and straightway Iodama was transformed into stone. The custom of daily kindling fire upon the altar of Iodama was still kept up when Pausanias visited Coroneia (Paus. l. c.).

Haliartus was destroyed by the Persians in B.C. 480. There are silver coins earlier than that date, from the stater downwards, distinguished by the aspirate (⊟), the initial letter of Haliartus, placed either in the side-openings of the shield, or in the center of the incuse on the reverse (Num. Zeit., iii. 1871, Pl. IX. 1-2).

The town was subsequently restored, and issued staters, etc., in the fifth century.

Boeotian shield.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. VII. 15.]
ΑRΙ (retrograde) or Α Amphora or kantharos, in incuse square.
AR Stater.

B.C. 387-374.
Boeotian shield, on which trident.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. VII. 16.]
ΑRΙΑRΤΙΟΣ Poseidon Onchestios, naked, striking with trident.
AR Stater.
Half Boeotian shield.
[N. C., 1902, Pl. XV. 9.]
Α R Trident.
AR 6.4 grs.

These pieces refer to the celebrated temple and grove of Poseidon at Onchestus in the territory of Haliartus (Il. ii. 506), which was the meeting-place of an Amphictyonic Council of the Boeotians, ‘Ογχηστος δ ' εστιν οπου το 'Αμφικτυονικον συνηγετο εν τη 'Αλιαοτια * * * * εχων Ποσειδωνος ιερον (Strab. ix. 2. 33). The statue of Poseidon was still standing there in the time of Pausanias (ix. 26. 5). There is a forgery of this coin reading ΑRΙΑRΤΙΟΝ (see Imhoof, Num. Zeit., iii. 1871, 340).

B.C. 338-315.

Boeotian shield. [BMC Central Greece, Pl. VII. 17, and N. C., 1898, p. 288.] ΑΡΙ or ΑΛΙ in plain concave field.
Æ .95


Lebadeia, between Mt. Helicon and Chaeroneia (Strab. ix. 414). Here was the famous oracle of Trophonius.

B.C. 387-374.

Boeotian shield.
[Arch. Zeit., 1848, Pl. XVIII. 6.]
ΛΕΒΑ Fulmen.
AR Diobol.

B.C. 338-315.

Boeotian shield.
[N. C., i. 1839, p. 248.]
ΛΕΒ in plain concave field.
Æ .8

B.C. 146-27 (?).

Head of Athena.
[BMC Central Greece,  Pl. VII. 18.]
ΛΕ in olive-wreath.
Æ .6

Mycalessus (Hom. Il. ii. 498), situate not far from the Euripus.

B.C. 550-480.

Boeotian shield.
[Num. Zeit., ix. Pl. I. 60.]
Μ in center of mill-sail incuse.
AR Stater 189 grs.
Id. [N. C., 1890, Pl. XIX. 8.] Id.
AR Drachm 95 grs.
Half Boeotian shield.
[Num. Zeit., ix. p. 22.]
Μ in incuse square.
AR ½ Obol(?) 4.5 grs.

B.C. 387-374.

Boeotian shield.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. VIII. 1.]
Μ Υ Fulmen.
AR Obol.
Id. Μ Grapes or Kantharos.
AR ½ Obol, &c.

Orchomenus or Erchomenus. In very early times the Minyan Orchomenus had been a member of the naval confederation of Calauria on the Saronic Gulf, and the first city of Boeotia (E. Curtius, Hermes, x. p. 385). This fact points to the existence of commercial relations between Orchomenus and Aegina, and perhaps accounts for the introduction into Boeotia of a system of coinage modelled upon that of Aegina. The early silver coins of Orchomenus differ from those of the other Boeotian towns in that they are without the buckler characteristic of the Boeotian Federal money. This type was not adopted at Orchomenus until the fourth century B.C.

Circ. B.C. 550-480.

Ε or ΕR One or three sprouting grains of corn, or, on the ½ obols, a half corn-grain. Incuse square, of the Aeginetan pattern [BMC Central Greece, Pl. VIII. 2 sqq.]
AR Obol, ¾ Obol, and ½ Obol.

B.C. 387-374.

Boeotian shield.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. VIII. 8, 9.]
ΕΡΧΟ Galloping horse or amphora; symbol, ear of corn. Magistrate 's name ΕΥΔΟΡΟ, etc.
AR Stater.


Id. [Ibid., Pl. VIII. 9.] ΕΡΧ in corn-wreath.
AR ½ Drachm.
Ε Ρ Three corn-grains; one corn-grain; or half corn-grain. [Ibid., Pl. VIII. 13, and Num. Zeit., 1871, Pl. IX. 5-9.] Horse; wheel; corn-wreath; or ear of corn.
AR ¾ Obol, ½ Obol, etc.
Boeotian shield.
[Ibid., Pl. VIII. 16.]
Ε Ρ Χ Ο between rays of a star.
Æ .65

Eudoros ' name also appears on the contemporary Federal money of Boeotia issued at Thebes.

B.C. 338-315.

Boeotian shield.
[Ibid., Pl. VIII. 17.]
ΟΡΧ in plain concave field.
Æ .85

B.C. 146-27.
Bust of Hera, veiled.
[Ibid., Pl. VIII. 18.]
ΕΡΧΟ Tripod.
Æ .5

Pharae, about four miles north-west of Tanagra, appears, from the number of its coins which are still extant, to have ranked among the most prosperous members of the Boeotian Confederacy during the flourishing period before the Persian invasion.

Circ. B.C. 550-480.

Boeotian shield. [Ibid., Pl. IX. 1; Babelon, Traité, No. 1350.] in center of incuse, or in center of star, contained in incuse square.
AR Stater, Drachm, &c.

From the invasion of Xerxes until the Peace of Antalcidas the mint at Pharae appears to have been dormant.

B.C. 387-374.
Boeotian shield. [Ibid., Pl. IX. 2.]Φ Α Amphora.
AR Obol.

Plataea. The only known silver coins of Plataea belong to the period between the Peace of Antalcidas, B.C. 387, when the city was restored by the Spartans, and its second destruction by Thebes in B.C. 372.

Boeotian shield.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. IX. 3, 4.]
ΠΛΑ Head of Hera in profile or facing, wearing stephanos.
AR ½ Dr., Diobol, &c.

The head of Hera on these coins may be that of the statue by Praxiteles in the Heraeum there (Paus. ix. 2. 7).

Circ. B.C. 338-315.
Boeotian shield. [Ibid., Pl. IX. 5.] ΠΛΑ in plain concave field.
Æ .85

Tanagra and federal Coinage. This city, which stood on the left bank of the Asopus not far from the borders of Attica, was in importance second only to Thebes among all the members of the Boeotian League.


Circ. B.C. 600-480.

Boeotian shield with Τ Τ or Τ Α in the side openings.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. XI. 6-8.]
Incuse square of mill-sail type, in the divisions of which sometimes Τ Τ.
AR Dr., ½ Dr., Obol, &c.
Forepart of bridled horse. Τ in one division of mill-sail incuse.
AR ¼ Dr. (?)

Circ. B.C. 480-456.
Id. [Ibid., Pl. IX. 9-17.] Τ Α, Β Ο Ι, or Β Ο between the spokes of a wheel, or in mill-sail incuse.
AR Stater, ½ Dr., Obol, &c.

From the inscr. ΒΟΙ on these coins we might infer that after the humiliation of Thebes (circ. B.C. 479), Tanagra aspired for a time to the leadership of the Boeotian Confederacy. This inference is, however, considered as doubtful by Grenfell and Hunt (Oxyrhynchus Papyri, v. p. 228).

Circ. B.C. 456-446 and 387-374.

Boeotian shield. [Babelon, Traité, Pl. XLI. 28; BMC Central Greece, Pl. X. 1-4.] ΤΑΝΑ, ΤΑΝ, or ΤΑ Incuse square, or, later, concave circle, in which forepart of springing horse.
AR Stater and ½ Drachm.
Id. Τ Α Horse 's head in incuse square.
AR Obol.
Id. [BMC Central Greece, Pl. X. 8.] Τ Α Stern of galley.
AR Obol.

Of the horse, as a Tanagraean coin-type, various interpretations have been suggested. It may, as in Thessaly, be an emblem of Poseidon Onchestios, the god of the Boeotian Amphictyony, or it may have a more restricted and local signification, and symbolize the river Asopus which is seen from Tanagra forcing its way through a rocky ravine from the Parasopia into the Tanagraean plain, or again it may be the horse of the sun-god Apollo, whose temple at Delium stood in the territory of Tanagra. In this case it would express the same idea as the wheel, unless, indeed, we adopt the theory that both horse and wheel are simply agonistic types referring to horse and chariot races.

Circ. B.C. 338-315.

Boeotian shield. [BMC Central Greece, Pl. X. 10.] ΤΑΝ in plain concave field.
Æ .85


From Augustus to Commodus coins were struck at Tanagra, both with and without the emperors ' heads (Num. Zeit., ix. pp. 30 sqq., and BMC Central Greece, Pl. X. 11-16). Inscr. ΤΑΝΑΓΡΑΙWΝ. Types ΑCΩΠΟC Head of the River. ΠΟΙΜΑΝΔΡΟC Bust of Poemandros the mythical founder. The three Charites (?) draped; Hermes Kriophoros and Hermes Promachos, probably from the statues of that god (Paus. ix. 22); copy of statue, under distyle portico, of Dionysos, by Kalamis, with vanquished Triton beneath his feet. (Paus. ix. 20. 4; the myth is discussed by H. Bulle,

Ath. Mitth., 1897, 402); statue of Artemis or Demeter with two torches, under distyle portico.

Thebes and Federal Coinage. The earliest coins of Thebes, circ. B.C. 600-550, are anepigraphic.

Boeotian shield. [BMC Central Greece, Pl. V. 1-5; Babelon, Traité, Pl. XLI. 1-4; and N. C., 1896, Pl. II. 8.] Incuse square, divided into eight triangular parts.
AR Stater, Drachm, etc.

Circ. B.C. 550-480.

FIG. 193.

Boeotian shield (or ½ shield on the 1/2 Obols). (Fig. 193.) [BMC Central Greece,  Pl. XI. 1-8.] Θ or ΘΕΒΑ in incuse square of 'mill-sail ' pattern, or in plain incuse square on Obols, etc.
AR Stater, etc.

Circ. B.C. 480-446.

Similar. [BMC Central Greece, Pl. XI. 9-17; N. C., 1900, 11; and R. N., 1895, Pl. IV. 12, 13.] Amphora (or, on some of the ½ and 1/4 obols, Club) in incuse square with or without Θ or ΘΕ.
AR Stater, Drachm, ½ Dr., Obol, etc.

Circ. B.C. 446-426.

FIG. 194.

After the battle of Coroneia (B.C. 447), when the Boeotian League, upon the expulsion of the Athenians, was reconstituted under her hegemony, Thebes began to consolidate her authority throughout Boeotia and monopolized the right of coining money. To this period belongs the series of Theban staters bearing various types, mainly representations of Herakles, walking with club and bow (Brit. Mus. Guide, Pl. XIII. 16); kneeling or stooping, stringing his bow (Fig. 194, cf. Z. f. N., xxi. Pl. IV. 6); carrying off the Delphic tripod (Brit. Mus. Guide, Pl. XIII. 18); or as an infant strangling serpents (BMC Central Greece, Pl. XII. 7). To this last mentioned type a special significance seems to have been attached, for at a later date (circ. B.C. 394) we find it adopted as symbolical of the struggle for emancipation of young and vigorous democracies against the daemons of darkness, of freedom as against tyranny (cf. coins of an

anti-Spartan party at Various cities, notably Cnidus, Ephesus, Rhodes, Iasus, Byzantium, Lampsacus, Cyzicus, and Croton). The usual inscription on the Theban coins of the period ranging from B.C. 446-426 is ΘΕΒΑΙΟS. These coins possess great artistic merit, and recall in many respects the style of the metopes of the Parthenon. The following beautiful coin appears to be of the same time :—

Boeotian shield.
[Brit. Mus. Guide, Pl. XIII. 15.]
ΘΕΒΑ Incuse square, within which, seated female figure holding helmet.
AR Stater.

The figure on the reverse has been thought to represent Harmonia, daughter of Ares and Aphrodite, and wife of the Theban Cadmus. But it may be merely a personification of the eponymous nymph of the city of Thebes.

Circ. B.C. 426-387.

FIG. 195.FIG. 196.

The crossed form of the letter Θ (Θ) is no longer used in this period. It should also be noted that on some of the hemidrachms the ethnic is written ΘΕΒΗ[ΟΝ] instead of ΘΕΒΑΙΟΝ, the letter Η having been used in the Boeotian dialect to represent the diphthong ΑΙ, shortly before the introduction of the other letters of the Ionian alphabet. The principal reverse types on the silver coins are heads of bearded Herakles in profile (BMC Central Greece, Pl. XIII. 1, 2), or facing (R. N., 1895, Pl. IV. 11), or of bearded Dionysos crowned with ivy (Fig. 195); Amphora encircled by an ivy-wreath richly decorating the entire field of the coin (Fig. 196); Kantharos; or Infant Herakles strangling serpents (Fig. 197). For the smaller denominations see Head, Coinage of Boeotia, p. 41. The Tritemorion has three half-shields on both sides, the Hemiobol one half-shield, rev. Amphora, and the Tetartemorion a whole shield, rev. Kantharos.

FIG. 197.

Here also belong the rare pale gold coins of Thebes.

Head of bearded Dionysos.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. XIV. 1, 2.]
Θ Ε Infant Herakles strangling serpents.
AV 46.3 grs. and 15.8 grs.


Circ. B.C. 387-379.

At the Peace of Antalcidas Thebes lost her ascendancy over the other Boeotian cities, which now all began again to coin in their own names. In 382 the Cadmeia was seized by the Spartans, and Thebes did not recover her freedom until 379. It is doubtful whether any coins were struck at Thebes in this period.

Circ. B.C. 379-338.

After the recovery of the Cadmeia by Pelopidas and his associates, and under the able leadership of Epaminondas, Thebes obtained an influence throughout Hellas, second to that of no other Greek state. A new Federal Boeotian currency was put into circulation about this time (B.C. 378) which from the number of known varieties must have lasted down to the Macedonian conquest in B.C. 338. Historically this coinage is extremely interesting. It appears to have been issued by the authority of the central βουλη of the reconstituted Boeotian league, which, doubtless, like the older league, consisted of eleven Boeotarchs with their βουλευται representing the βουλαι of the separate Boeotian communities. The meeting-place of this Federal βουλαε was the Cadmeia of Thebes. It is improbable that the magistrates ' names on the coins of this series are those of the successive eponymous Boeotarchs of the league. They are rather those of members of a sub-committee, επιμελεια, specially appointed to superintend the finances of the mint. The members of this committee, probably in rotation, may have been officially responsible for the coins struck during their term of office. This federal coinage superseded the issues of the separate members of the Boeotian league. The types of the stater are as follows :—

FIG. 198.

Boeotian shield (Fig. 198). Amphora and magistrate 's name in abbreviated form.
AR Stater.


Several of these names may, as might be expected, be identified with those of persons mentioned by historians or in inscriptions, such as Ismenias and Androkleidas, the well-known leaders of the Atticizing party at Thebes, together with their followers Amphithemis or Amphitheos (cf. Paus. iii. 9, 8; Plut. Lys. 27), and Antitheos (Oxyrhynchus Papyri v., Theopomp. xii. 34). The names of the famous Epaminondas (Boeotarch, 371, 370, 369, 367, and 362 B.C.), of Damokleidas and of Theopompos, friends of Pelopidas (Plut. Pelop. 7, 8; Diod. xv. 78), and of Charopinos (C. I. G., 1575), Boeotarch, may also be recognized, together with others, such as the statesman Euares (B. C. H., 1896, 551, and 1898, 577), and Astias, a member of the pro-Spartan party (Oxyrhynchus Papyri v., Theopomp. xii. 13), Asopodoros, Diogiton, etc. (Hill, Hist. Gr. C., p. 71). The fact that the name of Pelopidas, continuously Boeotarch from 387-364 B.C., is not met with is in favor of the theory that the eponymous Boeotarchs were not ex officio members of the sub-committee entrusted with the supervision of the federal mint.

Small silver and bronze coins also occur with some of the same magistrates ' names :—

Boeotian shield.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. XV. 10.]
Head of young Herakles with names ΕΠ, ΘΕ, ΙΣ, ΚΛΕ, ΚΟ, &c.
AR Obol.
Head of young Herakles.
[Ibid., Pl. XV. 11-17.]
Club, often with arrow, bow, thyrsos, grapes or caduceus, and magistrates ' names, which are frequently identical with those on the silver coins. (For list of these names see Head, Coinage of Boeotia, p. 70).
Æ .5

Circ. B.C. 338-315.

After the disastrous battle of Chaeroneia a Macedonian garrison was placed in the Cadmeia, and three years afterwards Thebes was destroyed by Alexander. The Federal mint must have been at this time transferred to some other Boeotian city, perhaps Orchomenus. The coins now bear no magistrates ' names :—

Boeotian shield.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. V. 14.]
ΒΟ ΙΩ Amphora, and changing symbol.
AR Stater.
Id. [Ibid., Pl. V. 16.] ΒΟ Ι Kantharos; symbol, crescent.
AR ½ Dr.
Id. [Ibid., Pl. V. 17.] ΒΟΙΩΤΩΝ Trident; symbol, dolphin.
Æ .6

Circ. B.C. 315-288.

Thebes was rebuilt by Cassander after having lain in ruins for twenty years. Both he and his successor Demetrius appear to have struck money at Thebes with the types and name of Alexander the Great, distinguished by the presence of the Boeotian shield as an adjunct symbol on the reverse (Müller, Nos. 751-756). There are also small bronze coins, which seem to belong to this time.

Head of young Herakles. ΘΗΒΑΙΩΝ Thyrsos and club.
Æ .4
Boeotian shield.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. XVI. 1, 2.]
  „  Trident.
Æ .4

Circ. B.C. 288-244.

In B.C. 288, Demetrius, who had now fallen from the height of his power, presented Thebes with her freedom, hoping perhaps thereby to


attach Boeotia to his cause. From this time until B.C. 244 Boeotia was independent of Macedon. The coins which on grounds of style may be assigned to this half-century bear the inscription ΒΟΙΩΤΩΝ, but were without doubt struck at Thebes.

FIG. 199.

Head of Poseidon (?) crowned with wreath (Fig. 199). ΒΟΙΩΤΩΝ Poseidon holding dolphin and trident, seated on throne, on the side of which is a Boeotian shield.
AR Attic tetradrachm.
Head of Athena in Corinthian helmet.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. VI. 2.]
Æ .85
Head of young Herakles.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. VI. 3, 4.]
  „  Winged Athena wielding fulmen.
Æ .75
Head of young Dionysos.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. VI. 5.]
  „  Apollo seated on basis surmounted by tripod.
Æ .7

Circ. B.C. 244-197.

In B.C. 244 Boeotia was once more compelled to place herself under the protection of Macedon as a defense against the marauding Aetolians. During the reigns of Antigonus Gonatas, Demetrius II, and Antigonus Doson, B.C. 244-221, it is probable that only Macedonian coins were current in Boeotia, but with the accession of Philip V a larger measure of autonomy was accorded to the Boeotians. The Boeotian bronze coins struck after this date are as a rule restruck on money of Antigonus Doson. The silver coins, which closely resemble the bronze, are drachms (?) weighing about 80 grs. of the standard in use in Aetolia.

Head of Persephone facing.
[Brit. Mus. Guide, Pl. XLII. 19.]
ΒΟΙΩΤΩΝ Poseidon standing resting on trident, and holding dolphin.
AR 80 grs.
Id. [BMC Central Greece, Pl. VI. 8.] ΒΟΙΩΤΩΝ Poseidon standing, resting one foot on rock.
Æ .8

Circ. B.C. 197-146.

In this period Boeotia, like the rest of Greece, was permitted by the Romans to retain its autonomy, but financial disorganization prevailed throughout the land to such an extent that the state actually issued bronze money in the place of silver, identical with the silver both in size and types, and perhaps nominally equivalent to it (B. V. Head, Coinage of Boeotia, p. 91).

Head of Poseidon laureate.
[Brit. Mus. Guide, Pl. LV. 22.]
ΒΟΙΩΤΩΝ Nike standing holding trident and wreath, various monograms.
AR 80 grs., Æ .7


Circ. B.C. 146-27.

It is probable that in this period small bronze coins were struck at Thebes and some other Boeotian towns.

Boeotian shield.
[B. V. Head, Coinage of Boeotia, p. 94.]
ΘΗΒΑΙΩΝ Nike standing, resting on trident.
Æ .5

Imperial Times.

Under the Emperors Galba, and perhaps Trajan, Thebes issued bronze coins bearing magistrates ' names preceded by ΕΠΙ and their titles, Archiereus, or Polemarch (Head, Coinage of Boeotia, p. 95).

Thespiae. Of this town there are no archaic coins. Its earliest issues fall into the period between B.C. 387 and 376-4, when, after the Peace of Antalcidas, Thespiae had become one of the strongholds of the Spartans in Boeotia. The Thespian coins are epigraphically very instructive, as they indicate the precise epoch of the introduction of Σ in place of the older S into Boeotia. Myth logically also the coins of Thespiae are of value, as they prove that in addition to Eros, who was the god especially revered at that city, Aphrodite Melainis (Paus. ix. 27) was there worshipped as a Moon-goddess. The crescent, the constant mint-mark of Thespian money, is the symbol of this goddess.

Circ. B.C. 387-374.

Boeotian shield.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. V. 11.]
Amphora; symbol, crescent.
AR ½ Dr.
[BMC Central Greece, Pl. XVI. 5, 6.] ΘΕSΠΙ Two crescents.
AR Obol
Id. (or ½ shield on ½ obol). [Ibid., Pl. XVI. 7; Head, Coinage of Boeotia, p. 55.] ΘΕS or ΘΕΣ Crescent.
AR Obol, ½ Obol, ¼ Obol.
Boeotian shield.
[Ibid., Pl. XVI. 8.]
ΘΕΣΠΙΚΟΝ or ΘΕΣ Head of Aphrodite Melainis; in front and beneath, a crescent.
AR Stater and ½ Drachm.
Id. Crescent on shield.
[Ibid., Pl. XVI. 10.]
Θ Head of Aphrodite.
AR Obol.
Half shield, on which, crescent (B. M.). ΘΕΣ retrogr. Head of Aphrodite.
AR ½ Obol.

From B.C. 374-338 Thespiae was subject to Thebes and struck no coins, but after the battle of Chaeroneia it obtained the right of coining in bronze.

B.C. 338-315.

Boeotian shield. [Ibid., Pl. XVI. 11.] ΘΕΣ in plain concave field.
AR .85

From the date of the restoration of Thebes (B.C. 315) there is another interval in the coinage of Thespiae, and it does not begin again until after B.C. 146, when the Romans appear to have restored to many Greek cities the right of coining bronze (cf. Paus. vii. 16. 7).


B.C. 146-27.

Female head, wearing stephanos and veil. ΘΕΣΠΙΕΩΝ Lyre in wreath [[BMC Central Greece, Pl. XVI. 12, 13].
Æ .6-.45
Head of Athena. [Sest., Mus. Font., ii. Pl. IV. 17.] ΘΕΣΠΙΕΩΝ Artemis huntress.
Æ .5

Imperial coins are known of the Emperor Domitian only. The usual type is Apollo Kitharoedos, standing, or seated, or a female figure, Tyche (?), standing. (BMC Central Greece, Pl. XVI. 14-16.)


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