Ancient Greek Coin TEOS IONIA SILVER DIOBOL Seated Griffin & Lyre RARE i1387
SILVER DIOBOL OF TEOS IONIA FROM 320 - 294 BC.
OBVERSE – Griffin seated right, left forepaw raised
REVERSE – Lyre
Weight: 1.02 grams
Size: 9.7 mm
According to the ancient historians Teos was founded in the 9th Century BC by the Minyans coming from Orchomenus in Boeotia. Some other groups later came from various parts of Ionia and Athens and settled in this new city. Its outstanding position between two perfect harbors proved very advantageous to develop strong trade relations with other cities in the Aegean and the Mediterranean coastline.
Towards the middle of the 7th Century BC Teos achieved a considerable amount of importance so much so that Thales of Miletus proposed it to be the political center of the Panionic League. However, this sensible idea was not adopted and, when the Persians invaded the region, this lack of common policy and strength brought about the downfall of the Ionians. Many of the citizens of Teos then set sail and founded the city of Abdera in Thrace. However, it seems quite probable that soon afterwards they returned as Teos supplied 17 ships to the Ionian fleet, which were wiped out by the Persians at the battle of Lade in 494 BC.
With the arrival of Alexander the Great, Teos gained its freedom from Persian rule. Later it came under the rule of Antigonus and successively of Lysimachus who moved some of its citizens to the newly built city of Ephesus.
Teos possessed the largest temple dedicated to Dionysus, the god of wine and creative powers of nature. As he was the patron deity of agriculture, drama, and theatre, it is no accident that in the 3C BC Teos was selected as the center of the Guild of the Artists of Dionysus.
At the very beginning, the Teians were happy for the presence of these artists. However, after their artistic temperaments and arrogant behaviors started to cause endless troubles and quarrels, the members of the guild were forced to move first to Ephesus, getting worse there, their center was moved several times until they were finally settled at Lebedus. This band of entertainers provided amusement all over the region, travelling to festivals and special occasions, always returning to their home city. The special rights of these artists were similar to those accorded to members of the diplomatic corps today. They were also exempt from paying taxes and enjoyed great fame and notoriety.