Agesilaos Antik Sikkeler Nümzimatik

Greek Aitolia | Aitolian League

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Antik Sikkeler

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Aitolian League - ΑΙΤΩΛΩΝ


ANTİK SİKKELER NÜMİZMATİK_ΑΙΤΩΛΩΝ.jpg


The Aitolian League was conceived during the reign of Philip II by the cities of Aitolia for their mutual benefit and protection, and became a formidable rival to the Macedonian monarchs and the Achaean League. It occupied Delphi from 290 BC and gained territory steadily until, by the end of the 3rd century BC, it controlled the whole of central Greece outside Attica.

One of the earliest issues of the Aitolian League, the symbolism in the reverse type of this tetradrachm is specific and boastful: the Gallic arms on which Aitolos is seated reference the League's part in the defeat of the Celtic invasion of Greece in 279 BC, when the sanctuary at Delphi was threatened and after which sculptures were dedicated in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, while the single Macedonian shield has been noted as an allusion to an Aitolian victory over the Macedonians in 314 BC and their continued general opposition to the expansionist tendencies of the kingdom. It is ironic therefore, that the type chosen for the obverse is the head of Herakles wearing the lion skin, so obviously taken from the coinage of Alexander III the Great.

A parallel issue to the present type was seen by Percy Gardner as being even more direct in referencing the Celtic invasion, as it features the letters ΛY on the Macedonian shield, and A on one of the Gallic shields on which Aitolos is seated. These letters, he postulated, stand "for the names of the warriors to whom the shields captured by the Aetolians had actually belonged. Cassandra left the Macedonian general Lyciscus in Aitolia while engaged in the Wars of the Diadochi, while the Gallic chief whom the Aitolians battled was one Acichorius, who succeeded Brennus in command of the Gallic forces. Only a few years after this type was struck and by the end of the 220s, Greece was effectively split between two great alliances the Aitolian League on the one hand formed by the Aitolian states, Athens, Elis and Sparta, and the Hellenic Symmachy on the other, which was principally controlled by Philip V of Macedon, and Epeiros, though it also included the Achaian League and Boiotia. The Social War [or the War of the Allies, as it was also known, but not to be confused with the Romano-Italic war of the same name], was fought from 220 BC to 217 BC between these two opposing powers.