Thessaly, Larissa. Early-mid fourth century BC

Thessaly, Larissa. Early-mid fourth century BC


AR Drachm, 6.11g (19mm, 3h). Head of the nymph Larissa facing ¾ l.,?EY on ampyx, (tiny IA above top hair locks off flan), prominent right shoulder / ΛAPIΣAI, horse r. about to roll, small AI beneath its belly, exergue line slopes downward below horse’s muzzle.

Pedigree: Ex Numismatica Ars Classica Auction 29, May 11, 2005, lot 176. Ex NFA XXXIII, May 3, 1994, lot 929

References:  Lorber-Shahar head type 14 (O35/R2 -Sp.b) = Flor. Westermark 21.2 (b) - (this coin)

Grade:  Expressive portrait of fine style. Attractive toning with soft golden hues. Near EF  (gk1104)

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The coins of Larissa depicts the local spring goddess of the same name, Larissa. These lovely coins are undoubtedly inspired by the Syracusan die engraver Kimon. Kimon created a beautiful image of the nymph Arethusa on the coins from Syracuse. The reverse depicts a horse which is logical since Thessaly was known for breeding horses. Coins from Thessaly routinely show a horse with or without rider. 

It has been suggested that the mythological hero Achilles was born in Larissa. The father of medicine, Hippocrates apparently died there and finally the Greek general Meno was a resident.