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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Greece| ▸ |Thessaly||View 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

Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 356 - 320 B.C.

|Thessaly|, |Larissa,| |Thessaly,| |Greece,| |c.| |356| |-| |320| |B.C.||drachm|
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.
GS111232. Silver drachm, cf. BCD Thessaly 1432, BCD Thessaly II 316 ff., SNG Cop 121; HGC 4 454, VF, toned, scratches, encrustations, rev. off center, weight 4.820 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 315o, Larissa mint, c. 356 - 320 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing pendant earring and necklace, hair is combed back behind ampyx; reverse horse crouching right, left foreleg raised, preparing to lie down, ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN in two lines above and in exergue; $325.00 (299.00)


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 440 - 400 B.C.

|Thessaly|, |Larissa,| |Thessaly,| |Greece,| |c.| |440| |-| |400| |B.C.||drachm|
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 and cap, 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.
GS85288. Silver drachm, Lorber 2008 pl. 43, 52 (same dies); BCD Thessaly 1127 (same obv. die); BCD Thessaly II 173; Herrmann group III, H, pl. III, 21; SNG Cop 110, gVF, fine style, tight flan, obverse off center, weight 6.022 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 270o, Larissa mint, c. 440 - 400 B.C.; obverse youth wrestling or restraining bull, both to left; reverse ΛAPI/ΣAIA, bridled horse galloping right, rein trailing, all in incuse square; ex Forum (2008); SOLD


Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 350 B.C.

|Thessaly|, |Larissa,| |Thessaly,| |Greece,| |c.| |350| |B.C.||drachm|
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.
SH28928. Silver drachm, BCD Thessaly 1432; BCD Thessaly II 312; SNG Cop 121; BMC Thessaly p. 30, 60; HGC 4 454, gVF, weight 6.124 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Larissa mint, obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, hair floating freely; reverse ΛAPIΣ/AIΩN, horse grazing right; the finest style!; SOLD


Claudius, 25 January 41 - 13 October 54 A.D., Koinon of Thessaly

|Roman| |Greece|, |Claudius,| |25| |January| |41| |-| |13| |October| |54| |A.D.,| |Koinon| |of| |Thessaly||triassarion|
The Thessalian League was a loose confederacy of city-states and tribes in the Thessalian valley in Northern Greece. Philip II of Macedon took control of Thessaly in 344 B.C and it remained under Macedonia until the Roman victory in 197 B.C. The league was reestablished in 196 B.C. but had little autonomy after Thessaly became part of the province of Macedonia in 146 B.C.
RP63959. Bronze triassarion, Burrer 9, BCD Thessaly II 922, RPC I 1433, SNG Evelpidis 1669, F, weight 13.554 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, strategos Antigonos, 45 - 54 A.D.; obverse ΘΕΣΣANTΛΩN ΣΕBANTΣTHΩN, laureate head of Claudius left; reverse ANTIΓONOY ΣTPATHΓOY, Apollo Citharoedus standing right, playing cithara, Antigonos monogram inner left; SOLD


Thessalian League, Greece, Mid - Late 1st Century B.C.

|Roman| |Greece|, |Thessalian| |League,| |Greece,| |Mid| |-| |Late| |1st| |Century| |B.C.||stater|
The Thessalian League was a loose confederacy of city-states and tribes in the Thessalian valley in N. Greece. Philip II of Macedon took control of Thessaly in 344 B.C and it remained under Macedonia until the Roman victory in 197 B.C. The league was reestablished in 196 B.C. but had little autonomy after Thessaly became part of the province of Macedonia in 146 B.C.
GS63535. Silver stater, BCD Thessaly II 846; SNG Cop 291; SNG Alpha Bank 288; De Luynes 1873; BMC Thessaly p. 2, 21, VF, weight 5.606 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 15o, Larissa(?) mint, mid - late 1st century B.C.; obverse head of Zeus right, wreathed in oak; reverse ΘΕΣΣA/ΛΩN, Athena Itonia striding right, hurling spear with right hand, shield on left arm, ΠOΛY-ΞΕNOY (magistrate) across upper field, ΕYKOΛOΣ (magistrate) below; SOLD


Macedonian Kingdom, Perseus, 179 - 168 B.C., Pseudo-Rhodian Coinage

|Macedonian| |Kingdom|, |Macedonian| |Kingdom,| |Perseus,| |179| |-| |168| |B.C.,| |Pseudo-Rhodian| |Coinage||drachm|
Richard Ashton has attributed this type to a mint in Thessaly striking during the third Macedonian war for Perseus to pay the 3,000 or more Cretan mercenaries in his army. Rhodian coinage, including locally struck imitatives, circulated in quantity on Crete and the type would have been preferred method of payment for Cretan mercenaries.
SH58549. Silver drachm, Ashton Pseudo-Rhodian Mainland pp. 29 - 30, Larissa Hoard p. 241 (N. Greece), SNG Keckman 793 - 795 (Thessaly), SNG Cop suppl. 358 (Peraea Rodia), EF, rose toning on luster, weight 2.675 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, uncertain Thessaly mint, magistrate Hermias, c. 171 - 170 B.C.; obverse head of Helios facing slightly right; reverse ΕPMIAΣ (magistrate), rose, with bud right, I - Ω flanking stem; a beautiful coin!; SOLD


Maximus, Caesar, 235 or 236 - 24 June 238 A.D., Koinon of Thessaly

|Maximus|, |Maximus,| |Caesar,| |235| |or| |236| |-| |24| |June| |238| |A.D.,| |Koinon| |of| |Thessaly||AE| |23|
Missing from important collections and no examples online. Sear includes a photo and cites the British Museum but the type is not listed in BMC.
RP42703. Bronze AE 23, SGICV 3567 var. (obv legend, not cuir., warrior holds sword), BMC -, SNG Cop -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, SNG Lewis -, SNG Righetti -, SNG Hunterian, et al., VF, weight 6.231 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalian League mint, obverse Γ IOY OY MANTXIMOC, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind; reverse [KOINO]N ΘΕCCAΛΩN, warrior (Ajax?) advancing right, transverse spear in right hand, large shield in left; attractive reverse style; extremely rare; SOLD










REFERENCES|

Babelon, E. Trait des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - ).
Burrer, F. Mnzprgung und geschichte des thessalischen Bundes in der rmischen kaiserzeit bis auf Hadrian (31 v. Chr. - 138 n. Chr.). (Saarbrcken, 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 Silbermnzen 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 Mnzprgung von Pharsalos. Saarbrcker Studien zur Archologie und Alten Geschichte, Bd. 14. (Saarbrcken, 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 Mnzen. (Wrzburg, 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, Mnchen Staatlische Mnzsammlung, 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 Rna 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).

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