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fine silver | 23 mm | 14.3 g
OBV: Head of Apollo three-quarter face to right laureated.
R: AMFIPOLITEON on raised frame containing race-torch all within incuse square with small A in field to r. of race-torch.
Amphipolis (modern Greek: Amfipoli) was an ancient city of Macedonia on the east bank of the river Strymon where it emerges from Lake Cercinitis about 3 m. from the sea. Originally a Thracian town known as Ennea Odoi ('Nine Roads') it was colonized by Athenians with other Greeks under Hagnon in 437 BC previous attempts -in 497 476 and 465-having been unsuccessful. In 424 BC it surrendered to the Spartan Brasidas without resistance owing to the gross negligence of the historian Thucydides who was with the fleet at Thasos. In 422 BC Cleon led an unsuccessful expedition to recover it in which both he and Brasidas were slain. The importance of Amphipolis in ancient times was due to the fact that it commanded the bridge over the Strymon and consequently the route from northern Greece to the Hellespont. It was important also as a depot for the gold and silver mines of the district and for timber which was largely used in shipbuilding. This importance is shown by the fact that in the peace of Nicias (421 BC) its restoration to Athens is made the subject of a special provision and that about 417 this provision not having been observed at least one expedition was made by Nicias with a view to its recovery.