(28) Larissa, Thessaly (Greece) - AR drachm, c. 360-350
B.C., 6.10 g. (inv. 91.064).
Obverse: Facing head of nymph Larissa.
Reverse: Grazing horse r.; : Larissa abbreviated.
Provenance: Spink and Son, 1972.
Bibliography: C.M. Kraay, Greek Coins (New York 1966) 338.
Larissa, one of the principal towns of Thessaly, was one of the first cities of the area to issue coins and remained an important mint until it was absorbed by Macedonia (see also no. 29). The first coins used federal types shared with other Thessalian towns, but at the end of the fifth century Larissa adopted its own obverse type, the head of the local nymph, Larissa. The facing nymph shows the obvious influence of the facing nymph Arethusa on the coins of Syracuse, introduced by the famous die-engraver Kimon in the
last decade of the fifth century (see no. 17). This version of Arethusa was imitated by numerous mints in Greece and even in Persia and became the stereotypical type for nymphs, as useful in Thessaly as in Sicily.
The reverse depicts a grazing horse, probably a reference to the horses and the cavalry for which Thessaly was famous. Thessaly was a country of plains which provided excellent grazing ground for its cattle and horses.
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