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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)
Macedonian Kingdom, Kassander - Antigonos II Gonatas, 310 - 275 B.C., In the Name and Types of Alexander the Great
This coin was struck during a chaotic time when the Greece and Anatolia were the battlegrounds of Alexander's successors. The old men, once comrades in Alexander's army, along with their children, fought each other to death to expand their kingdoms. Cities, such as Lampsacus, in territory that might change hands after the next battle, struck coins in the types and name of Alexander, perhaps as much to maintain neutrality and some continuity, as to honor the deified king.GS91302. Silver tetradrachm, Price 866, Müller Alexander 914, SNG München 395, Meydancikkale 492 - 495, SNG Cop -, SNG Alpha Bank -, VF, well centered, somewhat crude style, mild die wear, light scratches, weight 17.065 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 0o, Greece or Macedonia, uncertain mint, 310 - 275 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse Zeus Aëtophoros seated left on throne without back, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Pegasos forepart left in lower left field, AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right; $350.00 (€308.00)
Itanos, Crete, c. 320 - 270 B.C.
The ancient Itanos was one of the strongest cities in Crete in Hellenistic and Roman times. The city flourished due to fishing, and its trade in glass and Tyrian purple die. Koufonissi Island, owned by Itanos, was famous the purple die made from shellfish. The nearby temple of Diktaean Zeus also brought pilgrims and the tourist trade. An earthquake in 795 precipitated a significant decline. An Arab attack in the 9th century destroyed much of the city, but Itanos was not abandoned until the 15th century, when successive Arab raids forced its residents to abandon the coast and move inland.GB92189. Bronze AE 17, Svoronos Numismatique 42, SNG Cop -, BMC Crete -, F, brown patina, tight flan, light corrosion, weight 2.987 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, Itanos (near Paalekastro, Eastern Crete) mint, c. 320 - 270 B.C.; obverse helmeted head of Athena left; reverse sixteen-pointed star with pellet-in-annulet at center; ex CNG e-auction 246 (15 Dec 2010), lot 84; only two sales of this type (and one is this coin) recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades; very rare; $300.00 (€264.00)
Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, c. 510 - 490 B.C.
The turtle coin type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors because Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage.
Click here to read about Greek Turtles.GA91781. Silver stater, SNG Delepierre 1670, Dewing 1657, SNG Cop 503, SGCV I 1849 (none with this countermark), F, banker's marks, weight 12.170 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, Aigina mint, c. 510 - 490 B.C.; obverse sea turtle, straight raised collar and row of dots down the middle of the shell, countermark: head (female?) right; reverse incuse square of "Union Jack" pattern; $270.00 (€237.60)
Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece, 550 - 456 B.C.
Aegina was probably the first place in Europe to issue coinage. As the first European coin, the turtle type is considered a "must have" by many ancient coin collectors.GA91477. Silver obol, Milbank pl. I, 7; HGC 6 450 (S); BMC Attica p. 135, 115; SNG Cop 511; SNG Delepierre 1530; Weber 3616, F, dark old cabinet toning, light marks, tiny edge split, weight 0.692 g, maximum diameter 8.0 mm, Aegina mint, 550 - 456 B.C.; obverse sea turtle with smooth shell and row of dots down the middle; reverse incuse punch, five compartments divided by broad bars into a skew pattern; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; scarce; $200.00 (€176.00)
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 (€158.40)
The Perrhaiboi, Thessaly, Greece, 4th Century B.C.
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)
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 (€140.80)
Larissa, Thessaly, Greece, c. 405 - 370 B.C.
This obverse is described in Lorber Early as wearing a taenia instead of an ampyx.
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.SH73427. Silver drachm, Lorber-Shahar early group 1 (O7/R2); Lorber Early 29.5 (same dies); BCD Thessaly II 217 - 218; HGC 4 432, F, corrosion, weight 5.382 g, maximum diameter 17.9 mm, die axis 0o, Larissa mint, c. 405 - 370 B.C.; obverse head of nymph Larissa facing slightly left, wearing taenia and necklace, hair floating freely; reverse horse grazing left, legs straight, short forelegs, shoulders lower than rump, grass under nose, ΛAPIΣAI above; ex BCD Collection; $160.00 (€140.80)
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 (€123.20)
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