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Nomos AG, 27

806154. Sold For $850

THESSALY, Thessalian League. Circa 196-27 BC. AR Stater (19mm, 6.03 g, 1h). Xenoph(antos) and Amunandros, magistrates. Struck circa 100-87/6 BC. Head of Zeus right, wearing laurel wreath; ΞENOΦA[N/TOΣ] in two lines behind / ΘEΣΣA-ΛΩN, Athena Itonia advancing right, shield on left arm, holding in right hand a spear forward, upon which is an owl standing right; A-MV/N-AN/ΔPOY i three lines across fields, monogram to inner right. Klose, Chronologie, group IV, 27 (same obv. die); McClean 4950; SNG Copenhagen . Superb EF, toned. Well struck in high relief.

Beginning about 1000 BC, the two plains of Thessaly, comprising a number of cities led by aristocratic families, were united in a federation under a single chief, or archon. The Thessalian League (or Confederacy) was created in the late sixth century BC by Aleuas the Red, who reorganized the state into a unity of four tetrads of four cities under the archon (also called tagos). Although the Thessalians played a significant role in early Greek affairs, the state became increasingly weak following the outbreak of internal rivalries in the fifth century BC. In the aftermath of the Lamian War, and further intrigues in the third century BC, Thessaly was effectively partitioned between Macedon and the Aitolian Confederacy, and was relegated to a setting for competing militaries, including the Romans. After T. Quinctius Flamininius declared Greek freedom in 196 BC, the Thessalian cities were liberated, and this occasioned the inception of the last Thessalian coinage series. This series, comprised solely of silver coinage in three denominations (stater, drachm, and hemidrachm/obol), was the first truly Thessalian League “federal” coinage. All issues bore the ethnic ΘΕΣΣΑΛΙΩΝ, along with the responsible magistrates’ names, and were likely minted at Larissa, the capital of the League. The types employed were few, but all are familiar types appearing on various Thessalian coinages during the previous two hundred years: Zeus, Apollo, Athena Itonia (the “Thessalian Pallas”), and the bridled horse. Unfortunately, this federal coinage also was the last Thessalian coinage. The terminal date of the series is tied to the end of Thessaly proper, when it was incorporated by the Romans into the new province of Macedonia.