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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


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

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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 (€352.00)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 337 B.C.

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After 344, Larissa fell under Macedonian rule. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, a land of plains, which was well-known for its horses.
GB92101. Bronze tetrachalkon, BCD Thessaly II 387.8, Rogers 273, Weber 2864, HGC 4 517, F, dark patina, some corrosion/porosity, obverse edge beveled, weight 9.307 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 337 B.C.; obverse head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing necklace, drop earrings, and ampyx; reverse ΛAPI−Σ−AIΩN (starting upper left, Σ downward on right, ending in exergue, N retrograde), bridled horse trotting right without rider, E above left, stalk of grain below diagonal with top left; $50.00 (€44.00)
 


Krannon, Thessaly, Greece, 350 - 300 B.C.

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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 (€74.80)
 


The Perrhaiboi, Thessaly, Greece, 4th Century B.C.

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The Perrhaiboi were a Pelasgian (indigenous non-Greek) tribal people who lived in Perrhaibia, north of Thessaly proper and bordering Macedonia. Their capital was Phalanna, and their most significant town was Olosson. In the Iliad, Homer wrote of "the valiant Perrhaiboi, who dwelt about wintry Dodona, and held the lands round the lovely river Titaresios, which sends its waters into the Peneus." The Perrhaiboi fought in the Battle of Thermopylae. Through most of their history they were overshadowed and controlled by Thessaly, although they had two votes at the Delphic Amphictyony. Philip II of Macedon took their kingdom and it remained under Macedonian control until the Roman conquest in 196 B.C.
GB92798. Bronze trichalkon, BCD Thessaly I 1244, BCD Thessaly II 558, Rogers 439, Traité IV 582, SNG Cop 196, HGC 4 156 (S), BMC Thessaly -, gVF/VF, smoothing, weight 6.392 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 255o, Olosson (Elassona, Greece) mint, 4th century B.C.; obverse veiled head of Hera facing slightly left, wearing necklace; reverse Zeus standing left, nude, thunderbolt in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, star ΠEPPAI/BΩ-N (downward in two lines, the first on the right, the second divided on the left); ex BCD Collection with his round tag noting, "found near Phalanna, Dec. 1996, SFr. 110.-"; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Koinon of Thessaly

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After the end of Second Macedonian War, at the ceremony of the Isthmian Games in 196 B.C., Flamininus, stated a decree: "The Senate of Rome and Titus Quinctius the pro-consul, having overcome King Philip and the Macedonians, leave the following peoples free, without garrisons and subject to no tribute and governed by their countries' laws - the Corinthians, Phocians, Locrians, Euboeans, Phthiotic Achaeans, Magnesians, Thessalians, and Perrhaibians." Rome established Thessaly as a koinon, a federal league. For 50 years, the Thessalian League restored stable local government in a region that had suffered more than 150 years of chaos and turmoil. After 146 B.C., the league lost much of its autonomy and authority when Thessaly became part of the province of Macedonia.
RP89867. Leaded bronze diassarion, Burrer E1a, 11 (A1/R11); BCD Thessaly II 914.1, RPC I 1425, SNG München 25b, SNG Evelpidis 1670, McClean 4994, F, right side of obverse legend unstruck or off flan, weight 8.303 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, c. 23 - 22 B.C.; obverse ΘEΣΣAΛΩN ΣEBAΣTOΣ, bare head right; reverse ΣΩΣAN∆PO ΣΩΣAN∆POY (Sosandros, son of Sosandros [strategos]), Athena Itonia standing left, Nike presenting wreath in right hand, resting left hand on grounded shield and spear at side behind on right, monograms left and right; scarce; $60.00 (€52.80)
 


Thessalian League, Thessaly, Greece, c. 130 - 50 B.C.

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Athena Itonia was not only a war goddess, but a goddess of the arts of peace, especially poetry. She was worshiped widely, especially in Thessaly.
GB88918. Bronze chalkous, BCD Thessaly 912.5; Rogers 39 var. (name arrangement); BMC Thessaly p. 5, 59 var. (same); HGC 4 238, VF, dark green-brown patina, weight 2.852 g, maximum diameter 12.7 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa(?) mint, magistrate Hippolo(chos), c. 130 - 50 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Apollo right; reverse Athena Itonia striding right, wearing crested helmet, hurling spear with right hand, shield on her left arm, IΠ−Π[... magistrate's name divided above spear, ΘEΣΣA/ΛΩN starting upward on left, ending downward on right; ex CNG e-auction 399 (14 Jun 2017), lot 152; $60.00 (€52.80)
 


The Magnetes, Thessaly, Greece, Mid 2nd - Mid 1st Centuries B.C.

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The Magnetes were an ancient Greek tribe living in Thessalian Magnesia who took part in the Trojan War. They later also contributed to the Greek colonization by founding two prosperous cities in Western Anatolia, Magnesia on the Maeander and Magnesia ad Sipylum.
GB89140. Bronze tetrachalkon, BCD Thessaly II 420.4; Rogers 339, HGC 4 64, BCD Thessaly I -, VF, near black patina, spots of corrosion, weight 8.132 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 270o, Demetrias(?) mint, mid 2nd - mid 1st centuries B.C.; obverse laureate head of Zeus; reverse MAΓNHTON clockwise from 9:00, centaur Cheiron advancing right, right hand extended, branch in left over shoulder, star below; $50.00 (€44.00)
 


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 300 - 150 B.C.

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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.
GB89301. Bronze AE 20, cf. BCD Thessaly 393.1-7, Rogers 284 - 287, SNG Cop 141, HGC 4 530, aF, porous, weight 4.984 g, maximum diameter 20.1 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 300 - 150 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, hair tied with a fillet and floating loosely; reverse ΛAPIΣNΩIA, cavalryman with lance right, obscure monogram below; $36.00 (€31.68)
 


Krannon, Thessaly, Greece, 400 - 344 B.C.

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The city of Krannon, named for the son of Poseidon, was located in Thessaly near the source of the river Onchestus. It was the home of the powerful Scopadae family.
GB88315. Bronze AE 18, cf. BMC Thessaly p. 17, 7; BCD Thessaly 1081.1; Rogers 179 ff.; SNG Cop 39 - 40; SGCV I 2075; HGC 4 384 (various ethnic arrangements), gF, dark patina, high points flatly struck, weight 5.044 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 90o, Krannon, Thessaly mint, 400 - 344 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Poseidon right; reverse KPA (or similar), horseman galloping right, wearing petasos and chlamys, trident below; ex Harlan J. Berk, ex Ancient Imports (Marc Breitsprecher); $80.00 (€70.40)
 


Thebai, Thessaly, Greece, c. 302 - 286 B.C.

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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; $105.00 (€92.40)
 




  






REFERENCES|

Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - ).
Burrer, F. Münzprägung und geschichte des thessalischen Bundes in der römischen kaiserzeit bis auf Hadrian (31 v. Chr. - 138 n. Chr.). (Saarbrücken, 1993).
Classical Numismatic Group. The B|C|D 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).
Herrmann, F. "Die Silbermünzen von Larissa in Thessalien" in ZfN 35 (1925), p. 1-69.
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).
Kraay, C. Archaic and Classical Greek Coins. (London, 1976).
Liampi, K. "Trikka" in LIMC 8 (Munich, 1992).
Lavva, S. Die Münzprägung von Pharsalos. Saarbrücker Studien zur Archäologie und Alten Geschichte, Bd. 14. (Saarbrücken, 2001).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints from the Lindgren Collection. (1989).
Lorber, C & C. Shahar. The Silver Facing Head Coins of Larissa. (2005).
Lorber, C. "Thessalian Hoards and the Coinage of Larissa" in AJN 20 (2008), pp. 119 - 142.
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Moustaka, A. Kulte und Mythen auf thessalischen Münzen. (Würzburg, 1983).
Nomos AG, Auction IV. Coins of Thessaly, The B|C|D| Collection. (Zurich, 10 May 2011).
Papaevangelou-Genakos, C. "Metrological Aspects of the Thessalian Bronze Coinages: The Case of Phalanna" in Obolos 7.
Reinder, H. "Appendix 3: The Coins of the City of Halos" in New Halos: a Hellenistic Town in Thessalia, Greece. (Utrecht, 1988).
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 5: Numismatic Museum, Athens. The A. G. Soutzos Collection. (Athens, 2007).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Greece 6, The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection, From Thessaly to Euboea. (Athens, 2011).

Catalog current as of Friday, November 22, 2019.
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Thessaly