The Theban Magistrate Series
|CNG 84, Lot: 398. Estimate $400.
Sold for $260. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
Circa 395-338 BC. AR Stater (23mm, 12.15 g). Dio-, magistrate. Struck circa 390-382 BC. Boeotian shield / Amphora; Δ-IΩ across field; all within concave circle. Hepworth 30; BCD Boiotia 471. VF, highest reliefs somewhat weakly struck. Rare.
The staters of the Boiotian Confederacy of the 4th century are well known to numismatists. These staters, struck on the Aiginetan standard, bear on the obverse the usual Boiotian 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 Boiotian Confederacy, was most likely responsible for their issuance. In his study of the series, “The 4th Century BC Magistrate Coinage of the Boiotian Confederacy,” Numismatica 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 Khaironeia 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,” 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 Boiotians 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.