Printed Auction 42 Lot 72

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Rare Epaminondas issue
Printed Auction 42 Lot 72

BOEOTIA. Thebes. Circa 364-362 B.C. AR stater. 12.04 gm. 22.5 mm. Epaminondas, magistrate. Boeotian shield / Amphora; EΠ-AMI across field, rosette above; all within concave circle. HGC 4, 1333. BCD Boiotia 543 (same rev. die). Hepworth, Epaminondas pl. 3, 3 (same rev. die). Hepworth 32 (same rev. die). Good Very Fine; beautifully toned and well centered; tiny edge crack at 11'. Exceptional example of the type. Rare.

The Zabel Collection. Ex CNG 64 (24 September 2003) lot 184.

Described by Cicero as "the first man of Greece," and held by the French intellectual Montaigne as "one of the worthiest (men) that ever lived," Epaminondas was the idealist, the liberator of his age, beyond peer in his own time, a famed general, military strategist, and statesman of Thebes who successfully led the Boeotians against the invading Spartans at the battle of Leuktra in 371 B.C., ending their nearly three centuries of military supremacy. Tragically for Thebes, he fought in the phalanx and was killed in 362 B.C. at the battle of Mantineia by a javelin in his chest thrown by Gryllos, son of the historian Xenophon, leaving Thebes without the vital leader it needed to resist Philip II of Macedon, and thereby dramatically changing the course of history.

The reverse die for this coin initially read EΠ-ΠA, the original form of the magistrate's name. Traces of the original ΠA can be seen beneath AM.

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