Olynthos, son of Herakles, was according to mythological tradition the founder of this city which rose to prominence as head of the Chalkidian League during the Peloponnesian War. In practice, Olynthos most likely took its name from the Greek olunthos: a fig which matures too early, for the area abounded with this fruit. Philip II of Macedon deprived the city of its League by both diplomacy and force, then undertook to besiege the city itself in 348 BC. Through the treachery of the city’s two leading citizens Euthykrates and Lasthenes the city was betrayed to Philip who sacked it, razed it to the ground and sold all those within into slavery, including an Athenian garrison.
The Chalcidice is a three-fingered spit of land extending from eastern Macedon into the Aegean Sea. Wary of Athenian imperialism and the rising power of the Macedonian Kingdom, the free cities of the Chalcidice banded together in 432 BC to form a defensive coalition called the Chalcidian League, with its capital of Olynthus. The silver coinage struck at Olynthus was on the Macedonian standard, somewhat lighter than the Attic standard employed by most of Greece, and was legal tender at all cities belonging to the league. The standard design featured a head of Apollo, god of beauty, art and music, with a type of lyre called a cithara on the reverse. The heads of Apollo on these pieces are remarkable for the strength and beauty of their style. Some of the most beautiful dies in the series were produced in the mid-380s BC. Sadly, the Chalcidian League’s coinage came to an end with the capture and destruction of Olynthus by King Philip II of Macedon in 348 BC.
Laureate head of Apollo right
Kithara (lyre) with six strings
ΧΑΛΚΙΔΕΩΝ EΠI ΔIKAIOY
A perfect choice for Numismatists, Historians, Military Veterans, Collectors.