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Aegina, Ca. 456-431 BC
Aegina Ar. stater. Tortoise seen from above. Rev. Large skew pattern incuse. SNG Lockett 1983; Dewing 1683; Boston, MFA 1116.; Milbank pl. 2, 12. Old cabinet tone, cleaning marks, otherwise Good Very fine.

The coinage of Aegina, a small island state with a long history of extensive overseas trade, was pivotal to the numismatic development of the Archaic period. The Aeginetic weight standard, based on a silver didrachm of 12g, was widely used by the peoples of the Peloponnese, Central Greece, and beyond for centuries.

The “Turtles” staters of Aegina were some of the most prolific coins of the 5th Century BC, second only to the Athenian “Owl”. In 456 BC Athens laid siege to Aegina, bestowing upon the city state a yearly tribute payment of 30 talents, ending its autonomy and reducing it to a subject-state of the Athenian empire (Thuc 1.105.2; 108.4). Following this defeat, the turtle on Aegintian staters was replaced by the terrestrial tortoise, perhaps a symbolic representation of the curtailing of the city-state’s trading activities.

For additional information see: Kallet, L. & Kroll, J.H., 2020, The Athenian Empire: Using Coins as Sources. Cambridge.

Milbank, S. R., 1924, “The Coinage of Aegina.” Numismatic Notes and Monographs, 24, 1–66.


  • Dimensions 

    D: 29.1mm ; 17.06g


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