The Theban Magistrate Series
|Sale: Triton XIII, Lot: 1167. Estimate $500.
Closing Date: Monday, 4 January 2010.
Sold For $575. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
Circa 395-338 BC. AR Stater (11.99 g). Anti-, magistrate. Struck circa 390-382 BC. Boeotian shield / Amphora; above, club left; A-N/T-I in two lines across field; all within concave circle. BCD Boiotia 459; Hepworth 7; Myron Hoard pl. Δ, 1-2; BMC 114; SNG Copenhagen 316. Good VF.
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 around the amphora. Although the coins do not bear the mark of an issuing city, Thebes, as hegemon of the Boeotian Confederacy, was most likely responsible for their issuance. In his study of the series, “The 4th Century BC Magistrate Coinage of the Boiotian Confederacy,” Numismatika Khronika (1998), R. Hepworth has identified 44 different magistrates and 97 separate varieties. The series begins in the early years of the 4th century and ends at the Battle of Chaironeia in 338 BC.
The actual identities of most of the magistrates remain obscure. However, the magistrate abbreviated as EΠΠA or EΠAM has been identified as the historical Epaminondas (see “Epaminondas’ Coinage,” in Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of Numismatics (London 1986), p. 35-40), who, at the battle of Leuktra 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 BC at the battle of Mantineia.