Jump to content

Anyone have a coin from Thespiae in Boeotia?

Roman Collector

Recommended Posts

I've had this coin for a couple of years and I've always liked its design. We don't know much about it, though, and the major references disagree about such basic items as date and who it might be on the obverse. It's a pretty coin, though. I like the lyre on the reverse. Anyone else have coins from this city?

Arsinoe III Thespiae.jpg
Greek Æ 12.5 mm, 3.37 g, 3 h.
Boeotia, Thespiae, late 3rd century BC?
Obv: Female head, right, wearing kalathos/modius/polos and veil.
Rev: ΘEΣΠI/EΩN either side of chelys (lyre); all within laurel wreath.
Refs: BMC 8.92,14-22; Sear 2461; SNG Cop 406-7; BCD Boiotia 612; Head Boeotia p. 94, pl. VI, 13.

Edited by Roman Collector
I have OCD
  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Benefactor

I don't have any coins from Thespiai, but a 4th century obol is on my list due to their alliance with Alexander when he razed Thebes. This one appears to come from the late 3rd century - say somewhere around 210-200 BCE. There's some speculation that the female head is that of Arsinoe III of Egypt, since Ptolemy IV made a donation to them.

The image of the lyre would make sense, since Thespiai used the money to purchase land for the Mouseia festivals. The festival grounds are still partly visible. The coinage was probably minted in appreciation for the donation.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a coin I identified as Thespiai (although not 100% sure).

I bought it because I wanted a coin with the Boeotian shield.


Hemidrachm AR
11 mm, 2,38 g
Federal Coinage. Hemidrachm, Boeotia, Thespiai, circa 395-340, AR 2.63 g. Boeotian shield. Rev. Cantharus; above, club and below, BO – I[Ω]. All within incuse area. Head, Boeotia p. 54. SNG Copenhagen 170. BCD Boiotia 21.



  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent @shanxi, I appreciate this.

The coin was bought from an auction house that doesn't fully attribute coins so I struggled a bit.

In the end the closes match I found was




But your attribution is clearly on the right path, thank you.

Probably the coin is similar to this as I see no traces of the axe



Edited by ambr0zie
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...