Boeotia, Thebes. c. 395-338 BC

Boeotia, Thebes. c. 395-338 BC


AR Stater, 12.30g (12h, 22mm). Boeotian shield / Fluted amphora, above, wreath, in field, HI - KE.

Pedigree: Ex Künker 174 (2010), lot 266

References: BMC 83, 148. BCD, Boeotia 488

Grade: Slightly off-center obverse and a few insignificant die break, otherwise, beautiful strike and EF  (gk1056)

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Thebes was the strongest member and leader of the Boeotian League, a group of sovereign states in Boeotia starting in c. 550 BC.  This strength was squashed when the Boeotians opted to side with the Persians and were then defeated by the Athenians in 480 and 470 BC.  Until 446 BC, the Boeotians were under Athenian domination until they formed an alliance with yet another Greek adversary, the Spartans.  During the Corinthian War (395-387 BC) the League then fought against the Spartans who in turn were provided support by the earlier allies of the Boeotians, the Persians.  Eventually in 379 BC, the Boeotians and the Athenians even allied themselves with one another to defeat the Spartans.  Boeotia remained weak until its final fall with the rise of the Macedonian King Alexander III, the Great.

As one might surmise, the alliances were very arbitrary over the years.  In a time when strength was what set men apart the prospect of winning battles and choosing someone to fight alongside was of the utmost importance.