Macedon, Olynthus, Tetrobol


Macedon, Olynthus, Tetrobol (obverse) Macedon, Olynthus, Tetrobol (reverse)

In the 5th century the Greek cities began to resist Athens' craving for power. In the Chalkidiki peninsula, the town of Olynthus took the lead against Athens. A league was founded that issued its own coins, for instance this tetrobol (a piece of 4 oboloi), minted sometime between 430 and 420 BC. The obverse depicts the head of the God Apollo, while the reverse features Apollo's favorite instrument, the lyre.

The time of the Chalcidian League ended in 348 BC, when the Macedonian king Philip II conquered the Chalkidiki. The League's minting came to an end. Only the head of Apollo passed the test of time; Philip II adopted it and spread it on his gold staters throughout the Macedonian world.


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