When the Athenians defeated the Persians in the battles of Marathon and Salamis in the early 5th-century BC, the various Greek city-states decided to form an alliance to defend themselves against future attacks. Under the leadership of Athens, the members of the so-called Delian League were soon reduced to satellites in what had become an Athenian empire in all but name. Combining numismatic evidence with information from written sources such as the works of Herodotus and Thucydides, building accounts and records of tribute, this book looks at the relationship between the political and economic situation in 5th-century Greece and the design and use of coinage, whether in everyday transactions at home, in trade with other powers, or to pay for soldiers and ships in time of war. Over 120 examples of Greek coins from the British Museum's collection are described and illustrated.
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