Seller: highrating_lowprice (20,158) 100%, Location: Rego Park, New York, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 321299147832 Item: i28166 Authentic Ancient Coin of: Greek City. Bronze 10mm (0.87 grams) Struck circa 250-100 B.C. Head of Hercules right. Bow in bow-case and club. You are bidding on the exact item pictured, provided with a Certificate of Authenticity and Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity. The history of Ancient Greek coinage can be divided (along with most other Greek art forms) into four periods, the Archaic , the Classical , the Hellenistic and the Roman . The Archaic period extends from the introduction of coinage to the Greek world during the 7th century BC until the Persian Wars in about 480 BC. The Classical period then began, and lasted until the conquests of Alexander the Great in about 330 BC, which began the Hellenistic period, extending until the Roman absorption of the Greek world in the 1st century BC. The Greek cities continued to produce their own coins for several more centuries under Roman rule. The coins produced during this period are called Roman provincial coins or Greek Imperial Coins. Ancient Greek coins of all four periods span over a period of more than ten centuries. Weight standards and denominations Above: Six rod-shaped obeloi (oboloi) displayed at the Numismatic Museum of Athens , discovered at Heraion of Argos . Below: grasp of six oboloi forming one drachma Electrum coin from Ephesus , 620-600 BC, known as Phanes' coin . Obverse: Stag grazing, ΦΑΝΕΩΣ (retrograde). Reverse: Two incuse punches. The basic standards of the Ancient Greek monetary system were the Attic standard, based on the Athenian drachma of 4.3 grams of silver and the Corinthian standard based on the stater of 8.6 grams of silver, that was subdivided into three silver drachmas of 2.9 grams. The word drachm (a) means "a handful", literally "a grasp". Drachmae were divided into six obols (from the Greek word for a spit ), and six spits made a "handful". This suggests that before coinage came to be used in Greece, spits in prehistoric times were used as measures of daily transaction. In archaic/pre-numismatic times iron was valued for making durable tools and weapons, and its casting in spit form may have actually represented a form of transportable bullion , which eventually became bulky and inconvenient after the adoption of precious metals. Because of this very aspect, Spartan legislation famously forbade issuance of Spartan coin, and enforced the continued use of iron spits so as to discourage avarice and the hoarding of wealth. In addition to its original meaning (which also gave the euphemistic diminutive "obelisk", "little spit"), the word obol (ὀβολός, obolós, or ὀβελός, obelós) was retained as a Greek word for coins of small value, still used as such in Modern Greek slang (όβολα, óvola, "monies"). The obol was further subdivided into tetartemorioi (singular tetartemorion) which represented 1/4 of an obol, or 1/24 of a drachm. This coin (which was known to have been struck in Athens , Colophon , and several other cities) is mentioned by Aristotle as the smallest silver coin.:237 Various multiples of this denomination were also struck, including the trihemitetartemorion (literally three half-tetartemorioi) valued at 3/8 of an obol.: Denominations of silver drachma Image Denomination Value Weight Dekadrachm 10 drachmas 43 grams Tetradrachm 4 drachmas 17.2 grams Didrachm 2 drachmas 8.6 grams Drachma 6 obols 4.3 grams Tetrobol 4 obols 2.85 grams Triobol (hemidrachm) 3 obols 2.15 grams Diobol 2 obols 1.43 grams Obol 4 tetartemorions 0.72 grams Tritartemorion 3 tetartemorions 0.54 grams Hemiobol 2 tetartemorions 0.36 grams Trihemitartemorion 3/2 tetartemorions 0.27 grams Tetartemorion 0.18 grams Hemitartemorion ½ tetartemorion 0.09 grams Archaic period Archaic coinage Uninscribed electrum coin from Lydia , 6th century BCE. Obverse: lion head and sunburst Reverse: plain square imprints, probably used to standardise weight Electrum coin from Ephesus , 620-600 BC. Obverse: Forepart of stag. Reverse: Square incuse punch. The first coins were issued in either Lydia or Ionia in Asia Minor at some time before 600 BC, either by the non-Greek Lydians for their own use or perhaps because Greek mercenaries wanted to be paid in precious metal at the conclusion of their time of service, and wanted to have their payments marked in a way that would authenticate them. These coins were made of electrum , an alloy of gold and silver that was highly prized and abundant in that area. By the middle of the 6th century BC, technology had advanced, making the production of pure gold and silver coins simpler. Accordingly, King Croesus introduced a bi-metallic standard that allowed for coins of pure gold and pure silver to be struck and traded in the marketplace. Coins of Aegina Silver stater of Aegina, 550-530 BC. Obv. Sea turtle with large pellets down center. Rev. incuse square with eight sections. After the end of the Peloponnesian War , 404 BC, Sea turtle was replaced by the land tortoise . Silver drachma of Aegina, 404-340 BC. Obverse: Land tortoise . Reverse: inscription AΙΓ[INAΤΟΝ] ([of the] Aeg[inetans]) "Aegina" and dolphin. The Greek world was divided into more than two thousand self-governing city-states (in Greek , poleis), and more than half of them issued their own coins. Some coins circulated widely beyond their polis, indicating that they were being used in inter-city trade; the first example appears to have been the silver stater or didrachm of Aegina that regularly turns up in hoards in Egypt and the Levant , places which were deficient in silver supply. As such coins circulated more widely, other cities began to mint coins to this "Aeginetan" weight standard of (6.1 grams to the drachm), other cities included their own symbols on the coins. This is not unlike present day Euro coins, which are recognisably from a particular country, but usable all over the Euro zone . Athenian coins, however, were struck on the "Attic" standard, with a drachm equaling 4.3 grams of silver. Over time, Athens' plentiful supply of silver from the mines at Laurion and its increasing dominance in trade made this the pre-eminent standard. These coins, known as "owls" because of their central design feature, were also minted to an extremely tight standard of purity and weight. This contributed to their success as the premier trade coin of their era. Tetradrachms on this weight standard continued to be a widely used coin (often the most widely used) through the classical period. By the time of Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors , this large denomination was being regularly used to make large payments, or was often saved for hoarding. Classical period A Syracusan tetradrachm (c. 415–405 BC) Obverse: head of the nymph Arethusa , surrounded by four swimming dolphins and a rudder Reverse: a racing quadriga , its charioteer crowned by the goddess Victory in flight. Tetradrachm of Athens, (5th century BC) Obverse: a portrait of Athena , patron goddess of the city, in helmet Reverse: the owl of Athens, with an olive sprig and the inscription "ΑΘΕ", short for ΑΘΕΝΑΙΟΝ, "of the Athenians " The Classical period saw Greek coinage reach a high level of technical and aesthetic quality. Larger cities now produced a range of fine silver and gold coins, most bearing a portrait of their patron god or goddess or a legendary hero on one side, and a symbol of the city on the other. Some coins employed a visual pun: some coins from Rhodes featured a rose, since the Greek word for rose is rhodon. The use of inscriptions on coins also began, usually the name of the issuing city. The wealthy cities of Sicily produced some especially fine coins. The large silver decadrachm (10-drachm) coin from Syracuse is regarded by many collectors as the finest coin produced in the ancient world, perhaps ever. Syracusan issues were rather standard in their imprints, one side bearing the head of the nymph Arethusa and the other usually a victorious quadriga . The tyrants of Syracuse were fabulously rich, and part of their public relations policy was to fund quadrigas for the Olympic chariot race , a very expensive undertaking. As they were often able to finance more than one quadriga at a time, they were frequent victors in this highly prestigious event. Syracuse was one of the epicenters of numismatic art during the classical period. Led by the engravers Kimon and Euainetos, Syracuse produced some of the finest coin designs of antiquity. Hellenistic period Gold 20-stater of Eucratides I , the largest gold coin ever minted in Antiquity. Drachma of Alexandria , 222-235 AD. Obverse: Laureate head of Alexander Severus , KAI(ΣΑΡ) MAP(ΚΟΣ) AYP(ΗΛΙΟΣ) ΣЄY(ΑΣΤΟΣ) AΛЄΞANΔPOΣ ЄYΣЄ(ΒΗΣ). Reverse: Bust of Asclepius . The Hellenistic period was characterized by the spread of Greek culture across a large part of the known world. Greek-speaking kingdoms were established in Egypt and Syria , and for a time also in Iran and as far east as what is now Afghanistan and northwestern India . Greek traders spread Greek coins across this vast area, and the new kingdoms soon began to produce their own coins. Because these kingdoms were much larger and wealthier than the Greek city states of the classical period, their coins tended to be more mass-produced, as well as larger, and more frequently in gold. They often lacked the aesthetic delicacy of coins of the earlier period. Still, some of the Greco-Bactrian coins, and those of their successors in India, the Indo-Greeks , are considered the finest examples of Greek numismatic art with "a nice blend of realism and idealization", including the largest coins to be minted in the Hellenistic world: the largest gold coin was minted by Eucratides (reigned 171–145 BC), the largest silver coin by the Indo-Greek king Amyntas Nikator (reigned c. 95–90 BC). The portraits "show a degree of individuality never matched by the often bland depictions of their royal contemporaries further West" (Roger Ling, "Greece and the Hellenistic World"). The most striking new feature of Hellenistic coins was the use of portraits of living people, namely of the kings themselves. This practice had begun in Sicily, but was disapproved of by other Greeks as showing hubris (arrogance). But the kings of Ptolemaic Egypt and Seleucid Syria had no such scruples: having already awarded themselves with "divine" status, they issued magnificent gold coins adorned with their own portraits, with the symbols of their state on the reverse. The names of the kings were frequently inscribed on the coin as well. This established a pattern for coins which has persisted ever since: a portrait of the king, usually in profile and striking a heroic pose, on the obverse, with his name beside him, and a coat of arms or other symbol of state on the reverse. Minting All Greek coins were handmade , rather than machined as modern coins are. The design for the obverse was carved (in incuso ) into a block of bronze or possibly iron, called a die . The design of the reverse was carved into a similar punch. A blank disk of gold, silver, or electrum was cast in a mold and then, placed between these two and the punch struck hard with a hammer, raising the design on both sides of the coin. Coins as a symbol of the city-state Coins of Greek city-states depicted a unique symbol or feature, an early form of emblem , also known as badge in numismatics, that represented their city and promoted the prestige of their state. Corinthian stater for example depicted pegasus the mythological winged stallion, tamed by their hero Bellerophon . Coins of Ephesus depicted the bee sacred to Artemis . Drachmas of Athens depicted the owl of Athena . Drachmas of Aegina depicted a chelone . Coins of Selinunte depicted a "selinon" (σέλινον - celery ). Coins of Heraclea depicted Heracles . Coins of Gela depicted a man-headed bull, the personification of the river Gela . Coins of Rhodes depicted a "rhodon" (ῥόδον - rose ). Coins of Knossos depicted the labyrinth or the mythical creature minotaur , a symbol of the Minoan Crete . Coins of Melos depicted a "mēlon" (μήλον - apple ). Coins of Thebes depicted a Boeotian shield. Corinthian stater with pegasus Coin of Rhodes with a rose Didrachm of Selinunte with a celery Coin of Ephesus with a bee Stater of Olympia depicting Nike Coin of Melos with an apple Obolus from Stymphalia with a Stymphalian bird Coin of Thebes with a Boeotian shield Coin of Gela with a man-headed bull, the personification of the river Gela Didrachm of Knossos depicting the Minotaur Commemorative coins Dekadrachm of Syracuse [disambiguation needed]. Head of Arethusa or queen Demarete. ΣΥΡΑΚΟΣΙΟΝ (of the Syracusians), around four dolphins The use of commemorative coins to celebrate a victory or an achievement of the state was a Greek invention. Coins are valuable, durable and pass through many hands. In an age without newspapers or other mass media, they were an ideal way of disseminating a political message. The first such coin was a commemorative decadrachm issued by Athens following the Greek victory in the Persian Wars . On these coins that were struck around 480 BC, the owl of Athens, the goddess Athena 's sacred bird, was depicted facing the viewer with wings outstretched, holding a spray of olive leaves, the olive tree being Athena's sacred plant and also a symbol of peace and prosperity. The message was that Athens was powerful and victorious, but also peace-loving. Another commemorative coin, a silver dekadrachm known as " Demareteion", was minted at Syracuse at approximately the same time to celebrate the defeat of the Carthaginians . On the obverse it bears a portrait of Arethusa or queen Demarete. Ancient Greek coins today Collections of Ancient Greek coins are held by museums around the world, of which the collections of the British Museum , the American Numismatic Society , and the Danish National Museum are considered to be the finest. The American Numismatic Society collection comprises some 100,000 ancient Greek coins from many regions and mints, from Spain and North Africa to Afghanistan. To varying degrees, these coins are available for study by academics and researchers. There is also an active collector market for Greek coins. Several auction houses in Europe and the United States specialize in ancient coins (including Greek) and there is also a large on-line market for such coins. Hoards of Greek coins are still being found in Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, and some of the coins in these hoards find their way onto the market. Coins are the only art form from the Ancient world which is common enough and durable enough to be within the reach of ordinary collectors. HERCULES - This celebrated of mythological romance was at first called Alcides, but received the name of Hercules, or Heracles, from the Pythia of Delphos. Feigned by the poets of antiquity to have been a son of "the Thunderer," but born of an earthly mother, he was exposed, through Juno's implacable hatred to him as the offspring of Alemena, to a course of perils, which commenced whilst he was yet in his cradle, and under each of which he seemed to perish, but as constantly proved victorious. At length finishing his allotted career with native valor and generosity, though too frequently the submissive agent of the meanness and injustice of others, he perished self-devotedly on the funeral pile, which was lighted on Mount Oeta. Jupiter raised his heroic progeny to the skies; and Hercules was honored by the pagan world, as the most illustrious of deified mortals. The extraordinary enterprises cruelly imposed upon, but gloriously achieved, by this famous demigod, are to be found depicted, not only on Greek coins, but also on the Roman series both consular and imperial. The first, and one of the most dangerous, of undertakings, well-known under the name of the twelve labors of Hercules, was that of killing the huge lion of Nemea; on which account the intrepid warrior is represented, clothes in the skin of that forest monarch; he also bears uniformly a massive club, sometimes without any other arms, but at others with a bow and quiver of arrows. On a denarius of the Antia gens he is represented walking with trophy and club. When his head alone is typified, as in Mucia gens, it is covered with the lion's spoils, in which distinctive decoration he was imitated by many princes, and especially by those who claimed descent from him - as for example, the kings of Macedonia, and the successors of Alexander the Great. Among the Roman emperors Trajan is the first whose coins exhibit the figure and attributes of Hercules. Ancient Greece is the civilization belonging to the period of Greek history lasting from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to 146 BC and the Roman conquest of Greece after the Battle of Corinth . At the center of this time period is Classical Greece , which flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC, at first under Athenian leadership successfully repelling the military threat of Persian invasion . The Athenian Golden Age ends with the defeat of Athens at the hands of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War in 404 BC. Following the conquests of Alexander the Great , Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. Classical Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean region and Europe, for which reason Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of Western civilization . Chronology There are no fixed or universally agreed upon dates for the beginning or the end of Classical Antiquity . It is typically taken to last from the 8th century BC until the 6th century AD, or for about 1,300 years. Classical Antiquity in Greece is preceded by the Greek Dark Ages (c.1100-c.750 BC), archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric style of designs on pottery, succeeded by the Orientalizing Period , a strong influence of Syro-Hittite , Assyrian , Phoenician and Egyptian cultures. Traditionally, the Archaic period of ancient Greece is taken in the wake of this strong Orientalizing influence during the 8th century BC, which among other things brought the alphabetic script to Greece, marking the beginning of Greek literature (Homer, Hesiod). The Archaic period gives way to the Classical period around 500 BC, in turn succeeded by the Hellenistic period at the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The history of Greece during Classical Antiquity may thus be subdivided into the following periods The Archaic period (c.750-c.500 BC) follows, in which artists made larger free-standing sculptures in stiff, hieratic poses with the dreamlike 'archaic smile'. The Archaic period is often taken to end with the overthrow of the last tyrant of Athens in 510 BC.The Classical period (c.500-323 BC) is characterised by a style which was considered by later observers to be exemplary (i.e. 'classical')—for instance the Parthenon . Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by Athens and the Delian League during the 5th century, displaced by Spartan hegemony during the early 4th century BC, before power shifted to Thebes and the Boeotian League and finally to the League of Corinth led by Macedon .The Hellenistic period (323-146 BC) is when Greek culture and power expanded into the near and middle east . This period begins with the death of Alexander and ends with the Roman conquest.Roman Greece , the period between Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC and the establishment of Byzantium by Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD.the final phase of Antiquity is the period of Christianization during the later 4th to early 6th centuries, taken to be complete with the closure of the Neoplatonic Academy by Justinian I in 529 AD. Historiography The historical period of ancient Greece is unique in world history as the first period attested directly in proper historiography, while earlier ancient history or proto-history is known by much more circumstantial evidence, such as annals or king lists, and pragmatic epigraphy. Herodotus is widely known as the "father of history", his Histories being eponymous of the entire field . Written between the 450s and 420s BC, the scope of Herodotus' work reaches about a century into the past, discussing 6th-century historical figures such as Darius I of Persia, Cambyses II and Psamtik III , and alludes to some 8th-century ones such as Candaules . Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as Thucydides, Xenophon , Demosthenes, Plato and Aristotle. Most of these authors were either Athenians or pro-Athenians, which is why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than of many other cities. Their scope is further limited by a focus on political, military and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history. History Archaic period In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet , modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. From about the 9th century BC written records begin to appear. Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern largely dictated by Greek geography, where every island, valley and plain is cut off from its neighbours by the sea or mountain ranges. The Lelantine War (c.710-c.650 BC) was an ongoing conflict with the distinction of being the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important poleis (city-states) of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor. A mercantile class rose in the first half of the 7th century, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC. This seems to have introduced tension to many city-states. The aristocratic regimes which generally governed the poleis were threatened by the new-found wealth of merchants, who in turn desired political power. From 650 BC onwards, the aristocracies had to fight not to be overthrown and replaced by populist tyrants . The word derives from the non-pejorative Greek τύραννος tyrannos, meaning 'illegitimate ruler', although this was applicable to both good and bad leaders alike. A growing population and shortage of land also seems to have created internal strife between the poor and the rich in many city-states. In Sparta, the Messenian Wars resulted in the conquest of Messenia and enserfment of the Messenians, beginning in the latter half of the 8th century BC, an act without precedent or antecedent in ancient Greece. This practice allowed a social revolution to occur. The subjugated population, thenceforth known as helots, farmed and laboured for Sparta, whilst every Spartan male citizen became a soldier of the Spartan Army in a permanently militarized state. Even the elite were obliged to live and train as soldiers; this equality between rich and poor served to defuse the social conflict. These reforms, attributed to the shadowy Lycurgus of Sparta, were probably complete by 650 BC. Athens suffered a land and agrarian crisis in the late 7th century, again resulting in civil strife. The Archon (chief magistrate) Draco made severe reforms to the law code in 621 BC (hence "draconian"), but these failed to quell the conflict. Eventually the moderate reforms of Solon (594 BC), improving the lot of the poor but firmly entrenching the aristocracy in power, gave Athens some stability. The Greek world in the mid 6th century BC. By the 6th century BC several cities had emerged as dominant in Greek affairs: Athens, Sparta, Corinth , and Thebes . Each of them had brought the surrounding rural areas and smaller towns under their control, and Athens and Corinth had become major maritime and mercantile powers as well. Rapidly increasing population in the 8th and 7th centuries had resulted in emigration of many Greeks to form colonies in Magna Graecia (Southern Italy and Sicily ), Asia Minor and further afield. The emigration effectively ceased in the 6th century by which time the Greek world had, culturally and linguistically, become much larger than the area of present-day Greece. Greek colonies were not politically controlled by their founding cities, although they often retained religious and commercial links with them. In this period, huge economic development occurred in Greece and also her overseas colonies which experienced a growth in commerce and manufacturing. There was a large improvement in the living standards of the population. Some studies estimate that the average size of the Greek household, in the period from 800 BC to 300 BC, increased five times, which indicates a large increase in the average income of the population. In the second half of the 6th century, Athens fell under the tyranny of Peisistratos and then his sons Hippias and Hipparchos . However, in 510 BC, at the instigation of the Athenian aristocrat Cleisthenes, the Spartan king Cleomenes I helped the Athenians overthrow the tyranny. Afterwards, Sparta and Athens promptly turned on each other, at which point Cleomenes I installed Isagoras as a pro-Spartan archon. Eager to prevent Athens from becoming a Spartan puppet, Cleisthenes responded by proposing to his fellow citizens that Athens undergo a revolution: that all citizens share in political power, regardless of status: that Athens become a "democracy". So enthusiastically did the Athenians take to this idea that, having overthrown Isagoras and implemented Cleisthenes's reforms, they were easily able to repel a Spartan-led three-pronged invasion aimed at restoring Isagoras.The advent of the democracy cured many of the ills of Athens and led to a 'golden age' for the Athenians. Classical Greece Early Athenian coin, depicting the head of Athena on the obverse and her owl on the reverse - 5th century BC Attic Red-figure pottery , kylix by the Triptolemos Painter , ca. 480 BC (Paris, Louvre ) Delian League ("Athenian Empire"), immediately before the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC. 5th century Athens and Sparta would soon have to become allies in the face of the largest external threat ancient Greece would see until the Roman conquest. After suppressing the Ionian Revolt , a rebellion of the Greek cities of Ionia, Darius I of Persia, King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, decided to subjugate Greece. His invasion in 490 BC was ended by the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon under Miltiades the Younger . Xerxes I of Persia , son and successor of Darius I, attempted his own invasion 10 years later, but despite his larger army he suffered heavy casualties after the famous rearguard action at Thermopylae and victories for the allied Greeks at the Battles of Salamis and Plataea . The Greco-Persian Wars continued until 449 BC, led by the Athenians and their Delian League , during which time the Macedon , Thrace, the Aegean Islands and Ionia were all liberated from Persian influence. The dominant position of the maritime Athenian 'Empire' threatened Sparta and the Peloponnesian League of mainland Greek cities. Inevitably, this led to conflict, resulting in the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC). Though effectively a stalemate for much of the war, Athens suffered a number of setbacks. The Plague of Athens in 430 BC followed by a disastrous military campaign known as the Sicilian Expedition severely weakened Athens. An estimated one-third of Athenians died, including Pericles, their leader. Sparta was able to foment rebellion amongst Athens's allies, further reducing the Athenian ability to wage war. The decisive moment came in 405 BC when Sparta cut off the grain supply to Athens from the Hellespont . Forced to attack, the crippled Athenian fleet was decisively defeated by the Spartans under the command of Lysander at Aegospotami . In 404 BC Athens sued for peace, and Sparta dictated a predictably stern settlement: Athens lost her city walls (including the Long Walls ), her fleet, and all of her overseas possessions. 4th century Greece thus entered the 4th century under a Spartan hegemony, but it was clear from the start that this was weak. A demographic crisis meant Sparta was overstretched, and by 395 BC Athens, Argos, Thebes, and Corinth felt able to challenge Spartan dominance, resulting in the Corinthian War (395-387 BC). Another war of stalemates, it ended with the status quo restored, after the threat of Persian intervention on behalf of the Spartans. The Spartan hegemony lasted another 16 years, until, when attempting to impose their will on the Thebans, the Spartans suffered a decisive defeat at Leuctra in 371 BC. The Theban general Epaminondas then led Theban troops into the Peloponnese, whereupon other city-states defected from the Spartan cause. The Thebans were thus able to march into Messenia and free the population. Deprived of land and its serfs, Sparta declined to a second-rank power. The Theban hegemony thus established was short-lived; at the battle of Mantinea in 362 BC, Thebes lost her key leader, Epaminondas, and much of her manpower, even though they were victorious in battle. In fact such were the losses to all the great city-states at Mantinea that none could establish dominance in the aftermath. The weakened state of the heartland of Greece coincided with the Rise of Macedon, led by Philip II . In twenty years, Philip had unified his kingdom, expanded it north and west at the expense of Illyrian tribes , and then conquered Thessaly and Thrace. His success stemmed from his innovative reforms to the Macedon army . Phillip intervened repeatedly in the affairs of the southern city-states, culminating in his invasion of 338 BC. Decisively defeating an allied army of Thebes and Athens at the Battle of Chaeronea (338 BC) , he became de facto hegemon of all of Greece, except Sparta. He compelled the majority of the city-states to join the League of Corinth, allying them to him, and preventing them from warring with each other. Philip then entered into war against the Achemaenid Empire but was assassinated by Pausanias of Orestis early on in the conflict. Alexander , son and successor of Philip, continued the war. Alexander defeated Darius III of Persia and completely destroyed the Achaemenid Empire, annexing it to Macedon and earning himself the epithet 'the Great'. When Alexander died in 323 BC, Greek power and influence was at its zenith. However, there had been a fundamental shift away from the fierce independence and classical culture of the poleis—and instead towards the developing Hellenistic culture . Hellenistic Greece The Hellenistic period lasted from 323 BC, which marked the end of the Wars of Alexander the Great , to the annexation of Greece by the Roman Republic in 146 BC. Although the establishment of Roman rule did not break the continuity of Hellenistic society and culture, which remained essentially unchanged until the advent of Christianity, it did mark the end of Greek political independence. The major Hellenistic realms included the Diadochi kingdoms : Kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter Kingdom of Cassander Kingdom of Lysimachus Kingdom of Seleucus I Nicator Epirus Also shown on the map: Greek colonies Carthage (non-Greek) Rome (non-Greek) The orange areas were often in dispute after 281 BC. The kingdom of Pergamon occupied some of this area. Not shown: Indo-Greeks . During the Hellenistic period, the importance of "Greece proper" (that is, the territory of modern Greece) within the Greek-speaking world declined sharply. The great centers of Hellenistic culture were Alexandria and Antioch , capitals of Ptolemaic Egypt and Seleucid Syria respectively. The conquests of Alexander had numerous consequences for the Greek city-states. It greatly widened the horizons of the Greeks and led to a steady emigration, particularly of the young and ambitious, to the new Greek empires in the east. Many Greeks migrated to Alexandria, Antioch and the many other new Hellenistic cities founded in Alexander's wake, as far away as what are now Afghanistan and Pakistan , where the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and the Indo-Greek Kingdom survived until the end of the 1st century BC. After the death of Alexander his empire was, after quite some conflict, divided amongst his generals, resulting in the Ptolemaic Kingdom (based upon Egypt), the Seleucid Empire (based on the Levant, Mesopotamia and Persia ) and the Antigonid dynasty based in Macedon. In the intervening period, the poleis of Greece were able to wrest back some of their freedom, although still nominally subject to the Macedonian Kingdom. The city-states formed themselves into two leagues; the Achaean League (including Thebes, Corinth and Argos) and the Aetolian League (including Sparta and Athens). For much of the period until the Roman conquest, these leagues were usually at war with each other, and/or allied to different sides in the conflicts between the Diadochi (the successor states to Alexander's empire). Territories and expansion of the Indo-Greeks. The Antigonid Kingdom became involved in a war with the Roman Republic in the late 3rd century. Although the First Macedonian War was inconclusive, the Romans, in typical fashion, continued to make war on Macedon until it was completely absorbed into the Roman Republic (by 149 BC). In the east the unwieldy Seleucid Empire gradually disintegrated, although a rump survived until 64 BC, whilst the Ptolemaic Kingdom continued in Egypt until 30 BC, when it too was conquered by the Romans. The Aetolian league grew wary of Roman involvement in Greece, and sided with the Seleucids in the Roman-Syrian War ; when the Romans were victorious, the league was effectively absorbed into the Republic. Although the Achaean league outlasted both the Aetolian league and Macedon, it was also soon defeated and absorbed by the Romans in 146 BC, bringing an end to the independence of all of Greece. Roman Greece The Greek peninsula came under Roman rule in 146 BC, Macedonia becoming a Roman province, while southern Greece came under the surveillance of Macedonia's praefect. However, some Greek poleis managed to maintain a partial independence and avoid taxation. The Aegean islands were added to this territory in 133 BC. Athens and other Greek cities revolted in 88 BC, and the peninsula was crushed by the Roman general Sulla . The Roman civil wars devastated the land even further, until Augustus organized the peninsula as the province of Achaea in 27 BC. Greece was a key eastern province of the Roman Empire, as the Roman culture had long been in fact Greco-Roman . The Greek language served as a lingua franca in the East and in Italy, and many Greek intellectuals such as Galen would perform most of their work in Rome . Frequently Asked Questions How long until my order is shipped?: Depending on the volume of sales, it may take up to 5 business days for shipment of your order after the receipt of payment. How will I know when the order was shipped?: After your order has shipped, you will be left positive feedback, and that date should be used as a basis of estimating an arrival date. After you shipped the order, how long will the mail take? USPS First Class mail takes about 3-5 business days to arrive in the U.S., international shipping times cannot be estimated as they vary from country to country. I am not responsible for any USPS delivery delays, especially for an international package. What is a certificate of authenticity and what guarantees do you give that the item is authentic? Each of the items sold here, is provided with a Certificate of Authenticity, and a Lifetime Guarantee of Authenticity, issued by a world-renowned numismatic and antique expert that has identified over 10000 ancient coins and has provided them with the same guarantee. You will be quite happy with what you get with the COA; a professional presentation of the coin, with all of the relevant information and a picture of the coin you saw in the listing. Compared to other certification companies, the certificate of authenticity is a $25-50 value. So buy a coin today and own a piece of history, guaranteed. Is there a money back guarantee? I offer a 30 day unconditional money back guarantee. I stand behind my coins and would be willing to exchange your order for either store credit towards other coins, or refund, minus shipping expenses, within 30 days from the receipt of your order. My goal is to have the returning customers for a lifetime, and I am so sure in my coins, their authenticity, numismatic value and beauty, I can offer such a guarantee. Is there a number I can call you with questions about my order? You can contact me directly via ask seller a question and request my telephone number, or go to my About Me Page to get my contact information only in regards to items purchased on eBay. When should I leave feedback? Once you receive your order, please leave a positive. Please don't leave any negative feedbacks, as it happens many times that people rush to leave feedback before letting sufficient time for the order to arrive. Also, if you sent an email, make sure to check for my reply in your messages before claiming that you didn't receive a response. The matter of fact is that any issues can be resolved, as reputation is most important to me. My goal is to provide superior products and quality of service.