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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Greece ▸ ThessalyView Options:  |  |  |   

Thessaly, Greece

Thessaly was home to extensive Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures around 6000 B.C. - 2500 B.C. Mycenaean settlements have also been discovered. In Archaic and Classical times, the lowlands of Thessaly became the home of baronial families, such as the Aleuadae of Larissa or the Scopads of Krannon. In the 4th century B.C. Jason of Pherae transformed Thessaly into a significant military power. Shortly after, Philip II of Macedon was appointed Archon of Thessaly, and the region was associated with the Macedonian Kingdom for the next centuries. Later Thessaly became part of the Roman province of Macedonia.Thessaly


Phalanna, Thessaly, 360 - 340 B.C.

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Coins of Phalanna (a few miles northwest of Larissa on the left bank of the Peneius) are scarce. There was also a Phalanna on Crete, colonized by Thessalians from Phalanna in Thessaly.
GS84798. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly I 1250 (same dies); BCD Thessaly II 569; SNG Cop 199; BMC Thessaly p. 41, 1; Papaevangelou-Genakos 1; HGC 4 165 (R1), VF/F, fine classical style, toned, porous, reverse a little rough, weight 5.314 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, Phalanna mint, 360 - 340 B.C.; obverse youthful male head with short, curly hair right; reverse FAΛ-ANN-A-IΩN, bridled horse prancing right without a rider; ex BCD with his round tag noting, "T/ne ex Thess., Oct. 86, £250.-"; $440.00 (€391.60)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS79835. Silver drachm, Lorber Early 89.1 (same dies), BCD Thessaly I 1148, BCD Thessaly II 215 var. (facing slightly right), VF, toned, area of corrosion, reverse double struck, uneven strike, weight 5.835 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, earring, and wire necklace; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, ΛAPIΣ above; ex Amphora Coins; $360.00 (€320.40)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 365 - 356 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS73417. Silver drachm, BMC Thessaly p. 30, 61 var. (horse right); BCD Thessaly II 288 var. (exergue inverted); HGC 4 452 var. (S, same); BCD Thessaly I -, aVF, scratches, light etching, encrustations, weight 5.862 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, c. 365 - 356 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, pendant earring, and wire necklace; reverse ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN, horse crouching left preparing to roll over, plant below; ex BCD Collection; $300.00 (€267.00)
 


Pharsalos, Thessaly, Greece, 370 - 340 B.C.

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Pharsalos, built on a hillside of the Narthacius Mountains, was one of the main cities in Thessaly. In the Persian Wars, Pharsalos sided with the Athenians. In the early 4th century B.C., the city was a part of the Thessalian League. Later, it joined the Macedonian Kingdom under Philip II. The area became a theater of war where the Aetolians and the Thessalians clashed with the Macedonians, especially during the Second and the Third Macedonian Wars. After the defeat of the Macedonian Kingdom, Pharsalos and the whole area became a part of the Roman Republic. Pharsalos is famous for being the scene of the final battle between Caesar and Pompey.
GS84796. Silver hemidrachm, Lavva 126 (V58/R73), BCD Thessaly II 655, HGC 4 634 (S), VF, superb classical style, centered on a tight flan, marks, porosity, etched reverse, weight 2.886 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 225o, Pharsalos (Farsala, Greece) mint, 370 - 340 B.C.; obverse head of Athena right, wearing pendant earring and crested Attic helmet with raised cheek flaps, adorned with scrolls, hair out from under the neck guard, T (the master engraver Telephantos) over IΠ (his apprentice?) behind neck; reverse ΦAPΣ (from upper left, clockwise), horse's head and neck right, concave field; obverse die of the finest style signed by the master die engraver Telephantos, ex BCD with his round tag noting, "T/ne ex Thess., Sept. 1986, 45000 drs."; $280.00 (€249.20)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 342 B.C.

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The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
GS73406. Silver drachm, Lorber Hoard pl. III, 27 (same dies); BCD Thessaly I 1158; BCD Thessaly II 316; SNG Cop 121; HGC 4 454, VF, well centered on a tight flan, etched surfaces, scratch on cheek, weight 5.920 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 135o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 342 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, pendant earring, and simple necklace; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg bent and raised, preparing to roll onto the ground, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines starting above, ending in exergue; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "Thz. G/ni ex Thess., Apr. 94, SFr. 100.-"; $270.00 (€240.30)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 365 - 356 B.C.

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When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late fifth century B.C., it chose local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the local fountain nymph Larissa, for whom the town was named, probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse depicted a horse in various poses.
SH73414. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly II 316, BCD Thessaly I 1158, SNG Cop 121, HGC 4 454, VF, etched surfaces, reverse double struck, weight 5.618 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, 365 - 356 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, pendant earring and wire necklace; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg raised, preparing to lie down, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines, the first above, the second line in exergue; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "V. ex Thessaly, Jan. 94, SFr. 175.-"; $270.00 (€240.30)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 440 - 375 B.C.

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The name Larissa is in origin a Pelasgian (pre-Greek) word for "fortress." There were many ancient Greek cities with this name. The name of Thessalian Larissa is first recorded in connection with the aristocratic Aleuadai family. Larissa is thought to be where the famous Greek physician Hippocrates and the famous philosopher Gorgias of Leontini died.
GS77554. Silver trihemiobol, BCD Thessaly 1120, Trait 690 and pl. CCXCVII 23, SNG Cop -, BMC Thessaly -, aVF, weight 0.893 g, maximum diameter 12.3 mm, Larissa mint, c. 440 - 375 B.C.; obverse a bull's hoof with bone, laying on a small round dish or shield with a dotted edge, all within an outer dotted boarder; reverse diademed bust of Asklepios right, with long beard, drapery on his left shoulder, erect curving snake with head right before him, ΛAPI upward behind; very rare; $260.00 (€231.40)
 


Pharsalos, Thessaly, 3rd Century B.C.

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Pharsalos, built on a hillside of the Narthacius Mountains, was one of the main cities in Thessaly. In the Persian Wars, Pharsalos sided with the Athenians. In the early 4th century B.C., the city was a part of the Thessalian League. Later, it joined the Macedonian Kingdom under Philip II. The area became a theater of war where the Aetolians and the Thessalians clashed with the Macedonians, especially during the Second and the Third Macedonian Wars. After the defeat of the Macedonian Kingdom, Pharsalos and the whole area became a part of the Roman Republic. Pharsalos is famous for being the scene of the final battle between Caesar and Pompey.
GB73546. Bronze tetrachalkon, Lavva 326 (V170/R234), cf. BCD Thessaly 1299, BCD Thessaly II 674.6, HGC 4 649 (S), Rogers 505 (none with full reverse inscription), gF, green patina, strike a little weak in centers, weight 7.518 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Pharsalos (Farsala, Greece) mint, 3rd Century B.C.; obverse head of Athena Parthenos turned slightly to the left, wearing triple-crested Corinthian helmet, shield over her left shoulder, spear over her right shoulder; dot within Π left, dot border; reverse armored Thessalian horseman riding right, wielding flail overhead in right hand, reins in left hand; on far side at rear of horse, attendant walking right with spare flail in right hand over right shoulder, ΦAP-[ΣA?] above left, AΛN (sic) below; scarce; $240.00 (€213.60)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 450 - 400 B.C.

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During religious games, the young men of Thessaly participated in bull jumping and bull wrestling. In bull wrestling, participants would jump from a horse, naked save a chlamys (cloak) and petasos (hat), to bring a bull down to the ground. The obverse shows a wrestler bringing down a bull and the reverse shows the horse running free after the leap was made. The game may have originated in Asia Minor and then traveled to Crete, where it is known the people of Thessaly learned the sport.
SH73402. Silver drachm, Lorber Thessalian 46, BCD Thessaly II 171, HGC 4 418 (S), BCD Thessaly I -, F, etched surfaces, weight 5.260 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 180o, Larissa mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse hero Thessalos restraining bull, both right, holding band around its head, nude but for billowing chlamys tied around his neck, petasos flying loose in the air behind him; reverse bridled horse running right, trailing rein, ΛAP/IΣAI in two lines above and below, all within shallow incuse square; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "V. ex. Thess., June 2009, €45.-"; scarce; $225.00 (€200.25)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 342 B.C.

Click for a larger photo
The obverse of most of the coins of Larissa depicted the nymph of the local spring, Larissa, for whom the town was named. The choice was probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa. The reverse usually depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well known for its horses. On other coins, there is a male figure, probably the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos.
SH73407. Silver drachm, Lorber Hoard pl. III, 27 (same dies); BCD Thessaly II 322; BCD Thessaly I 1158; SNG Cop 121; HGC 4 454, F, corrosion, etched areas, weight 5.805 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 342 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing ampyx, pendant earring, and simple necklace; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg bent and raised, preparing to roll onto the ground, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines starting above, ending in exergue; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "St. + Co. ex Thessaly, June 98, SFr. 80.-"; $225.00 (€200.25)
 




  



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REFERENCES

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Catalog current as of Wednesday, March 29, 2017.
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Thessaly