- The Collaborative Numismatics Project
  Welcome Guest. Please login or register. The column on the left includes the "Best of NumisWiki" menu. If you are new to collecting, start with Ancient Coin Collecting 101. All blue text is linked. Keep clicking to endlessly explore. Welcome Guest. Please login or register. The column on the left includes the "Best of NumisWiki" menu. All blue text is linked. Keep clicking to endlessly explore. If you have written a numismatic article, please add it to NumisWiki.

Resources Home
Home
New Articles
Most Popular
Recent Changes
Current Projects
Admin Discussions
Guidelines
How to

Index Of All Titles


BEST OF

AEQVITI
Aes Grave
Aes Rude
The Age of Gallienus
Alexander Tetradrachms
Ancient Coin Collecting 101
Ancient Coin Prices 101
Ancient Coin Dates
Ancient Coin Lesson Plans
Ancient Coins & Modern Fakes
Ancient Counterfeits
Ancient Glass
Ancient Oil Lamps
Ancient Weapons
Ancient Wages and Prices
Ancient Weights and Scales
Anonymous Folles
Anonymous Follis
Anonymous Class A Folles
Antioch Officinae
Aphlaston
Armenian Numismatics Page
Brockage
Byzantine
Byzantine Denominations
A Cabinet of Greek Coins
Caesarean and Actian Eras
Campgates of Constantine
Carausius
A Case of Counterfeits
Byzantine Christian Themes
Clashed Dies
Codewords
Coins of Pontius Pilate
Conditions of Manufacture
Corinth Coins and Cults
Countermarked in Late Antiquity
Danubian Celts
Damnatio Coinage
Damnatio Memoriae
Denomination
Denarii of Otho
Diameter 101
Die Alignment 101
Dictionary of Roman Coins
Doug Smith's Ancient Coins
Draco
Edict on Prices
ERIC
ERIC - Rarity Tables
Etruscan Alphabet
The Evolving Ancient Coin Market
EQVITI
Facing Portrait of Augustus
Fel Temp Reparatio
Fertility Pregnancy and Childbirth
Fibula
Flavian
Fourree
Friend or Foe
The Gallic Empire
Gallienus Zoo
Greek Alphabet
Greek Coins
Greek Dates
Greek Coin Denominations
Greek Mythology Link
Greek Numismatic Dictionary
Hellenistic Names & their Meanings
Hasmoneans
Hasmonean Dynasty
Helvetica's ID Help Page
The Hexastyle Temple of Caligula
Historia Numorum
Horse Harnesses
Identifying Ancient Metal Arrowheads
Illustrated Ancient Coin Glossary
Important Collection Auctions
Islamic Rulers and Dynasties
Julian II: The Beard and the Bull
Koson
Kushan Coins
People in the Bible Who Issued Coins
Imperial Mints of Philip the Arab
Later Roman Coinage
Latin Plurals
Latin Pronunciation
Library of Ancient Coinage
Life in Ancient Rome
List of Kings of Judea
Malloy Weapons
Maps of the Ancient World
Military Belts
Mint Marks
Monogram
Museum Collections Available Online
Nabataean Alphabet
Nabataean Numerals
The [Not] Cuirassed Elephant
Not in RIC
Numismatic Bulgarian
Numismatic Excellence Award
Numismatic French
Numismatic German
Numismatic Italian
Numismatic Spanish
Parthian Coins
Patina 101
Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet
Phoenician Alphabet
Pi-Style Athens Tetradrachms
Pricing and Grading Roman Coins
Reading Judean Coins
Representations of Alexander the Great
Roman Coin Attribution 101
Roman Militaria
Roman Mints
Roman Names
romancoin.info
Rome and China
Satyrs and Nymphs
Scarabs
Serdi Celts
Serrated
Siglos
The Sign that Changed the World
Silver Content of Parthian Drachms
Star of Bethlehem Coins
Statuary Coins
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum
Syracusian Folles
Taras Drachms with Owl Left
The Temple Tax
The Temple Tax Hoard
Test Cut
Travels of Paul
Tribute Penny
Tribute Penny Debate Continued (2015)
Tribute Penny Debate Revisited (2006)
Tyrian Shekels
Uncleaned Ancient Coins 101
Vabalathus
Venus Cloacina
What I Like About Ancient Coins
Who was Trajan Decius
Widow's Mite
XXI

   View Menu
 

Pharsalos, Thessaly (Farsala, Greece)

Farsala, known in antiquity as Pharsalos (Ancient Greek: Φάρσαλος, Latin: Pharsalus), is a city in southern Thessaly, in Greece. Farsala is located in the southern part of Larissa regional unit, and is one of its largest towns. It is at the southern edge of the Thessalian Plain, 4 km south of the river Enipeas, 38 km south of Larissa, 41 km east of Karditsa, 44 km north of Lamia and 49 km west of Volos. Farsala is an economic and agricultural center of the region. Cotton and livestock are the main agricultural products, and many inhabitants are employed in the production of textiles. Farsala is famous for its distinctive hlva, but even more so for its significance in ancient history. It is inhabited by a big Aromanian (Vlach) population. The municipality Farsala has an area of 739.74 km2, the municipal unit Farsala has an area of 121.433 km2, and the community Farsala has an area of 57.928 km.

Coins from Thessaly for Sale in the Forum Ancient Coins Shop

Numismatic References

Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Classical Numismatic Group. The BCD Collection of the Coinage of Thessaly. Triton XV Auction. (New York, 3 January 2012).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber. (1922 - 1929).
Gardner, P. Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thessaly to Aetolia. (London, 1883).
Grose, S. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. II - The Greek mainland, the Aegaean islands, Crete. (Cambridge, 1926).
Lavva, S. Die Münzprägung von Pharsalos. Saarbrücker Studien zur Archäologie und Alten Geschichte, Bd. 14. (Saarbrücker, 2001).
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Northern and Central Greece: Achaia Phthiotis, Ainis, Magnesia, Malis, Oita, Perrhaibia, Thessaly...Sixth to First Centuries BC. HGC 4. (Lancaster/London, 2014).
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Naville Co. Monnaies grecques antiques, provenant de la collection de feu le prof. S. Pozzi. Auction 1. (4 April 1921, Geneva).
Nomos AG, Auction IV. Coins of Thessaly, The BCD Collection. (Zurich, 10 May 2011).
Rogers, E. The Copper Coinage of Thessaly. (London, 1932).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 3: Greece: Thessaly to Aegean Islands. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 12: Thessalien-Illyrien-Epirus-Korkyra. (Berlin, 2007).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain III, R.C. Lockett Collection, Part 3: Macedonia - Aegina. (London, 1942).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain V, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Part 4: Paeonia - Thessaly. (London. 1981).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 1, Collection Réna H. Evelpidis. Part 1: Italie. Sicile - Thrace. (Athens, 1970). (Italy, Sicily - Thrace).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 3: Collection Antoine Christomanos. (Athens, 2004).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 6, The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection, From Thessaly to Euboea. (Athens, 2011).

History

Proto-historic Era

The Homeric Phthia of the Mycenaean period, capital of the Kingdom of the Myrmidons and of Peleus, father of Achilles, has sometimes been identified with the later city of Pharsalos. A Cyclopean Wall which protected a city still exists today near modern Farsala, as does a vaulted tomb from that period.

There is a theory that claimed the existence of an earlier Pharsalos in the form of a locality identified as Palaepharsalus. This is supported by excavated remains of a fortified site called Xylades near Enipeus, which is located in the easternmost part of the Pharsalian territory. This ancient site was also associated by accounts of ancient writers with a holy place dedicated to Thetis called Thetidium. Euripides used this as a setting for Andromache.

Archaic Era

The Pharsalos of the historic era was built over a hillside of the Narthacius mountains at an elevation of some 160 m, where modern Farsala stands. It was one of the main cities in Thessaly and a polis (city-state).

Classical Era

In the Persian Wars it sided with the Athenians. A distinctive tribe of the city was that of Echecratidon. In 455 BC Pharsalos was besieged by the Athenian commander Myronides, after his victory in Boeotia, but without success (Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War. 1.111.). At the commencement of the Peloponnesian War, Pharsalus was one of the Thessalian towns that sent aid to the Athenians. Medius of Larissa took Pharsalus by force, about 395 BC. Pharsalus, under the conduct of Polydamas, resisted Jason of Pherae for a time, but subsequently formed an alliance with him.

In the early 4th century BC, the city was a part of the Thessalian Commons. 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.

The city during the classical period was influential as demonstrated in the influence wielded by the tetrach Daochos, who ruled from Pharsalos. He was part of the Council of Amphictyonic League, administered the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, and conducted the Pythian Games. Daochos built several monuments at Pharsalos dedicated to members of his family. Parts of the eight portraits that survived showed classical style, depicting subjects in their youthful vigor.

Hellenistic Era

In the war between Antiochus III and the Romans, Pharsalus was for a time in the possession of the Syrian monarch; but on the retreat of the latter, it surrendered to the consul Acilius Glabrio in 191 BC.

Roman Era

After the defeat of the Macedonian Kingdom, Pharsalos and the whole area became a part of the Roman Republic.

The whole area suffered great destruction during the Roman Civil War. The Battle of Pharsalus, where Julius Caesar defeated Pompey and changed the course of the Roman Republic forever, took place in 48 BC in the fields of the Pharsalian Plain.

The geographer Strabo speaks of two towns, Old Pharsalos, Παλαιοφάρσαλος (Palaeopharsalos) and Pharsalos, existing in historical times. His statement (9.5.6) that the Thetideion, the temple to Thetis south of Scotussa, was "near both the Pharsaloi, the Old and the New", seems to imply that Palaeopharsalos was not itself close by Pharsalos. Although the battle of 48 BC is called after Pharsalos, four ancient writers – the author of the Bellum Alexandrinum (48.1), Frontinus (Strategemata 2.3.22), Eutropius (20), and Orosius (6.15.27) – place it specifically at Palaeopharsalos. In 198 B.C. Philip V had sacked Palaeopharsalos (Livy 32.13.9). If that town had been close to Pharsalos he would have sacked both, and Livy would have written “Pharsalus” instead of "Palaeopharsalus". The British scholar F. L. Lucas demonstrated (Annual of the British School at Athens, No. XXIV, 1919–21) that the battle of 48 BC must have been fought north of the Enipeus, near modern-day Krini. It has been suggested that Krini was built on the site of Palaeopharsalos, where the old road south from Larissa emerged from the hills on to the Pharsalian Plain.

In the time of Pliny the Elder, Pharsalus was a free state. It is also mentioned by Hierocles in the sixth century.