(29) Larissa, Thessaly (Greece) - AR drachm, c. 340 B.C., 5.93 g. (inv. 91.063).
Obverse: Facing head of nymph Larissa.
Reverse: Horse r. with youth mounting; LARISA: Larissa.
Provenance: Coin Galleries, 1971.
Bibliography: C.M. Kraay, Archaic and Classical Greek Coins (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1976) 115-117.

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 (see nos. 17, 28).

The reverse 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. The male figure accompanying the horse on this coin appears to be ready to mount. He should perhaps be seen as the eponymous hero of the Thessalians, Thessalos, who is probably also to be identified on many of the earlier, federal coins of Thessaly.


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