Epeiros, Ambrakia - Founded by Corinth

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Founded between 650 and 625 BC by Corinthian colonists led by Gorgos, son of Kypselos, the city was initially ruled by its founder and then by his son Periander, who was later expelled in favour of a moderate oligarchy. The early policy of Ambrakia was characterised by its loyalty to Corinth and hostility to Korkyra; the city also had frequent disputes with the Amphilochians and Akarnanians. The city suffered a disastrous defeat in 426 BC at Idomene during the Peloponnesian War, when it sent a relief column to help the army that had invaded Amphilochia. Unbeknownst to the Ambrakians, the first army had been defeated, surrounded and scattered by the allied Athenians, Amphilochians and Akarnanians the day before. Unaware of the approaching Athenian army, they were attacked before dawn while still asleep, and were utterly destroyed.

In the fourth century the city resumed its traditional policy, but in 338 BC it was besieged by Philip II of Macedon. With Corinthian and Athenian assistance, it avoided capture and a sack, but was forced to accept a Macedonian garrison, at which point its Corinthian type coinage ends.

Epeiros, Ambrakia AR Stater. Circa 360-338 BC. Pegasos flying left; A below / Head of Athena left, wearing crested helmet; spear to right. Ravel 169 (A75/P110); Pegasi 111 (same dies); SNG Copenhagen 16 (same dies). 10.49g, 23mm, 3h.

Good Extremely Fine. Struck on an exceptionally heavy flan, and of wonderful style.

Ex Herbert Cahn Collection.