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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.
Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 300 - 150 B.C.
According to mythology, Larissa was founded by Acrisius, who was killed accidentally by his grandson, Perseus; the nymph Larissa was a daughter of the primordial man Pelasgu; Achilles was born at Larissa, and Hippocrates, the "Father of Medicine"; died there. Today, Larissa is the capital and largest city of the Thessaly region and an important commercial, agricultural, and industrial center of Greece.GB92063. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly 1172.1 (same countermark), BCD Thessaly II 394.1 (same countermark), SNG Cop 147, Rogers 309, HGC 4 530 (S), BMC Thessaly -, VF, well centered, attractive dark patina, interesting countermark, some flatness of strike, edge crack, beveled obverse edge; c/m: VF, weight 11.952 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 300 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa right, monogram behind; countermark on cheek: spiked helmet with visor, neck and cheek guards in a c. 6mm oval punch; reverse cavalryman prancing right, wearing spiked helmet, couched lance in right hand, star upper left, ΛA-PI/ΣNΩN divided above and below; ex Numismatik Lanz München, auction 112 (25 Nov 2002), 193; scarce; $400.00 SALE |PRICE| $360.00
Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.
BCD Thessaly II notes this obverse die appears to have been altered (reworked).GS73413. Silver drachm, Lorber-Shahar early group 3 (O25/R6), BCD Thessaly II 197 (same dies), Lorber Early 11.- (same obverse die), F, etched surfaces, die wear, weight 5.793 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly right, partially radiate hair with hornlike locks of hair on crown above ampyx, drop earring, plain necklace; reverse horse grazing right, legs straight, ΛAPI above; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "T/ne ex Thessaly, Sept. 2004, €55.-" ; $180.00 SALE |PRICE| $162.00
Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 369 - 360 B.C.
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.GS73410. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly I 1146, HGC 4 439 (R1), BCD Thessaly II 281 - 282, F, etched obverse surface, punch on obverse left eye, weight 5.906 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 369 - 360 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly right, hair floating freely, round curl on right, neck truncation elongated and very gently bow-shaped; reverse ΛAPI above, horse grazing right with straight legs; ex BCD Collection with his tag; $160.00 SALE |PRICE| $144.00
Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 450 - 400 B.C.
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.GS73425. Silver drachm, Lorber Thessalian 50, SNG Cop 110, BCD Thessaly I 1128, BCD Thessaly II 175, HGC 4 420 (S), F, well centered, die wear, obverse rough, weight 5.760 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 45o, Larissa mint, c. 450 - 400 B.C.; obverse hero Thessalos restraining bull, both left, holding band around its head, nude but for billowing chlamys tied around his neck, petasos tied around neck flying behind; reverse bridled horse running right, trailing rein, ΛAPI/ΣAIA in two lines above and below, all within shallow incuse square; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "Ex Spink's Auction 36, 30/31 May 84, lot 11 (part), the lot for £130.-"; scarce; $140.00 SALE |PRICE| $126.00
Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, Late 4th Early - 3rd Century B.C.
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.GS73423. Silver drachm, Lorber Hoard pl. III, 27 (same dies); BCD Thessaly I 1158; BCD Thessaly II 316; SNG Cop 121; HGC 4 454, aF, struck with crude and worn dies, weight 5.808 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, late 4th early - 3rd century B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa slightly left, wearing ampyx, earring, and simple necklace; reverse horse right; ex BCD Collection with his tag noting, "T/ne ex Thess., total cost (Feb. 87) = 10000 drs."; $115.00 SALE |PRICE| $104.00
Metropolis, Thessaly, Greece Late 3rd - Early 2nd Century B.C.
The man-faced bull on the coinage of Metropolis is probably Acheloios Pamisos since Metropolis (modern Karditza) is located near the source of the Pamisos River. -- Potamikon: Sinews of Acheloios. A Comprehensive Catalog of the Bronze Coinage of the Man-Faced Bull, With Essays on Origin and Identity by Nicholas J. Molinari & Nicola SisciGB87119. Bronze trichalkon, Potamikon 497; BCD Thessaly I 1208.1; BCD Thessaly II 483.1-3; Rogers 411; Pozzi 2828; BMC Thessaly p. 36, 3; HGC 4 257 (S), VF, well centered, dark patina, part of reverse legend weak, porous, weight 8.951 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Metropolis (Karditsa, Greece) mint, Late 3rd - Early 2nd Century B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse MHTPOΠOΛITΩN, forepart of river-god Acheloios Pamisos as man-faced bull left, head facing, ribbons hanging from head, Ω/Z monogram (control) below; ex BCD with his tag noting, "Herc. ex Macedon, March 1987, 3000 drs."; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
Thebai, Thessaly, Greece, c. 302 - 286 B.C.
The famous sanctuary of Protesilaos was about ten miles from Thebai, at Phylake. An oracle had prophesied that the first Greek to walk on the land after stepping off a ship in the Trojan War would be the first to die. Protesilaos was the first who dared to leap ashore when the fleet touched the Troad. After killing four men, Protesilaos was slain by Hector, as prophesied, the first Greek to die.
In the war between Demetrius Poliorcetes and Cassander, in 302 B.C., Thebai was one of the strongholds of Cassander. Thebai and Pelinnaeum are mentioned in 282 B.C. as the only Thessalian cities that did not take part in the Lamian War.GB87154. Bronze chalkous, BCD Thessaly II 760, Rogers 551, HGC 4 34 (R1), BCD Thessaly I -, aF, dark patina, tight flan, light pitting, weight 2.394 g, maximum diameter 14.5 mm, die axis 0o, Thebai Phthiotides (north of Mikrothivai, Greece) mint, c. 302 - 286 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter right, wearing grain wreath; reverse ΘHBAIΩN, Protesilaos advancing right from the prow of a galley right behind him, wearing military garb, sword in right hand, shield on left arm; rare; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
Kierion, Thessaly, Greece, c. 400 - 344 B.C.
Kierion was originally named Arne for the Nymph on the reverse of this coin. Most references, including BCD, identify the male god on the obverse as Zeus. SNG Cop says Poseidon. Since, according to one myth, Arne became pregnant by Poseidon and bore the twins Aiolos and Boiotos, we think Poseidon is more likely.
This coin has potentially active corrosion. We have had the coin for over a year and it has remained stable and unchanged. It must, however, be stored in a humidity controlled environment.GB79733. Bronze chalkous, cf. BCD Thessaly II 107.4; Rogers 173a; SNG Cop 35; BMC Thessaly p. 15, 1; SNG Evelpidis 1516; HGC 4 679 (S), VF, well centered, dark patina, corrosion, weight 2.494 g, maximum diameter 15.2 mm, die axis 315o, Kierion mint, c. 400 - 344 B.C.; obverse bearded head of Zeus right, fillet binding his hair; reverse KIEPIEIΩN, the nymph Arne kneeling right on right knee, looking left, her torso bare, leaning on right hand on the ground, tossing astragaloi with left; scarce; $90.00 SALE |PRICE| $81.00
Krannon, Thessaly, Greece, 350 - 300 B.C.
In 322 B.C., at Krannon, Thessaly, the Macedonian general Antipater decisively defeated an anti-Macedonian alliance of the Athenians, Aetolians, Thessalians, the Phoceans, the Lokrians and some Peloponnesian states. After the defeat, Athens was forced to abolish its democracy, the leaders responsible for the war were sentenced to death and a Macedonian garrison was stationed at the port of Mounychia.GB92183. Bronze dichalkon, Rogers 199; BMC Thessaly p. 16, 5 var. (no obv letter); SNG Cop 43 var. (same); SGCV I 2073, aVF, dark patina, minor earthen deposits, weight 4.923 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 180o, Krannon mint, 350 - 300 B.C.; obverse horseman galloping right, wearing petasos and chlamys, K (control symbol) upper left; reverse K-PA/NNO, hydria (water carrying vessel) mounted on cart; ex Frascatius Ancient Coins; ex Gorny & Mosch auction 165 (17 Mar 2008), part of lot 2515; $85.00 SALE |PRICE| $76.50
Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, 380 - 337 B.C.
The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well-known for its horses.GB83507. Bronze dichalkon, cf. BMC Thessaly p. 32, 89; BCD Thessaly II 390; BCD Thessaly 1167.2; HGC 4 521; SNG Cop 142; SNG München -, VF/F, green patina, marks and scratches, weight 4.040 g, maximum diameter 17.1 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, 380 - 337 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa right, her hair rolled up around her head, wearing cruciform triple-drop pendant earring; reverse ΛAPIΣAIΩN, crouching horse right, about to roll, bent left foreleg; $80.00 SALE |PRICE| $72.00
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