Finally, the first coin from my home region.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Pavlos, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    As maybe some people know my family is from Epiros (or Epirus in latin) generations long. This made me want to collect all the coins from Epiros, both bronze and silver, but I have no hurry in completing this set. I have come across a lot of bronze coins from Epiros however I didn't like the condition, it was just too poor, so now I am waiting until I find some with a good condition and a good price.

    But.... I did obtain an amazing drachm from the Epirote League, this is after Pyrrhus of Epiros and the kingdomship by the royal Aeacid dynasty (which Pyrrhus was part of).


    Epirote League Drachm (234/3–168 B.C.)
    Head of Zeus Dodonaeus right wearing oak wreath, monogram below and behind.
    Reverse: ΑΠΕΙ - ΡΩΤΑΝ; eagle with closed wings standing right on thunderbolt, oak wreath around.
    Mint: Phoenice, Epiros. 234/3–168 B.C. Reference: Franke 32-91.

    Deidamia was after the death of her father and that of her uncle Ptolemy (not the Ptolemy from Egypt) the last surviving representative of the royal Aeacid dynasty in Epiros. She had a sister, Nereis, who married Gelo of Syracuse. During a rebellion in Epiros her sister sent her 800 mercenaries from Gaul. Part of the Molossians supported her, and with the aid of the mercenaries she briefly took Ambracia. The Epirotes, however, determined to secure their liberty by eradicating the whole royal family, resolved to put her to death. She fled for refuge to the temple of Artemis, but was murdered in 233 BC in the sanctuary itself by Milo, a man already responsible of matricide, who shortly after this crime committed suicide.

    Her death brought the Epirote royal family to an abrupt extinction and a federal republic was set up, though with diminished territory, since western Acarnania had asserted its independence, and the Aetolians seized Ambracia, Amphilochia, and the remaining land north of the Ambracian Gulf. The new Epirote capital was therefore established at Phoenice, the political center of the Chaonians. The reasons for the swift fall of the Aeacid dynasty were probably complex. Aetolian pressure must have played a part, and the alliance with Macedonia may have been unpopular, in addition, there were perhaps social tensions. However, Epiros remained a substantial power, unified under the auspices of the Epirote League as a federal state with its own parliament.

    There are bronze coins reading ΑΠΕΙΡΩΤΑΝ, which are certainly earlier than the abolition of the monarchy, but the regular series of the Epirote Federal money did not begin till the Republic was fully constituted on the death of Deidamia. The autonomous coinage appears to have gone on in some of the towns of Epiros side by side with the Federal money. The prevailing types on the coins of Epiros are the heads of Zeus Dodonaeos and of Dione his spouse. The former is distinguished by his wreath of oak-leaves from the sacred oracular oak of Dodona. Phoenice, the capital of the Epirote Republic was the place of mintage of the Federal currency, in the same period it also struck municipal coins of bronze.

    In the following years, Epiros faced the growing threat of the expansionist Roman Republic, which fought a series of wars with Macedonia. The League remained neutral in the first two Macedonian Wars but split in the Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC), with the Molossians siding with the Macedonians and the Chaonians and Thesprotians siding with Rome. The outcome was disastrous for Epiros, Molossia fell to Rome in 168 BC and 150,000 of its inhabitants were enslaved, also all coinage ceased.

    By the way, post your Epiros coins here! :)
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
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  3. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

  4. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    Great coin , congrats

    I think this is a nice bronze of Pyrrhus:

  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I was always unhappy with he centering of this coin but loved the metal and Zeus.
  6. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Very nice! I've always admired those Epirote League drachms... the oak wreaths on obv. and rev. are very attractively rendered.

    Coincidentally I recently picked up a Pyrrhos (cheap), although it was issued in Macedon rather than Epiros (mostly likely after Pyrrhos left Italy and was duking it out with Antigonos I Gonatas). I like the clear monogram.
    Screen Shot 2018-10-07 at 3.25.36 PM.jpg
  7. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Great coins everybody, I really want to get a bronze coin from Pyrrhos as well.

    @Severus Alexander Hmm, that coin is familiar, so you were the one I was bidding against? ;) Great coin and I really like the distinct monogram for Pyrrhos.

    @Andres2 Thats a really interesting and nice coin, I have not seen that one yet. But no monogram of Pyrrhos? I do see a name on the obverse, or is that the name of the magistrate?
    Severus Alexander likes this.
  8. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    Ooops. :sorry: Thanks for letting me take it home for only 32 euros. These usually go for a minimum of 60 bucks, & usually much higher. :happy:
    Pavlos likes this.
  9. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Yes a really good price! In the auctions really nice coins can be found for a good price. Unfortunately I was more focused on getting those bee coins! Otherwise I would have definitely outbid you ;) Come on, he is my great great great great great...... grandfather, winning his coin is the least I can do! :D
    Orielensis and Severus Alexander like this.
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