Larissa, Thessaly Drachm, 344 - 321 BC

Obv: Head of nymph Larissa 3/4 left. Rev: Mare standing right foul in background Greek letters LARISAION ΛΑΡΙΣΑΙΟΝ.

Metal: Silver 5.9 grams, 19 mm diameter. Condition: Nice VF.

Larissa is the local fountain nymph

History of Thessaly

Thessaly is the largest region of Greece completely surrounded by mountains with Larissa as the most important town in the region, The city was named for the daughter of Pelasgos and located on the right bank of the Peneios river. The region is named for the Thessalian tribe that entered the area about 1000 BC. In ancient times, Larissa is where young men would cut laurel from the Laurel plant, as transformed by by the daughter of Pinios, to clense themselves before continuing on to the Olympics.

The Thessalians became powerful in the 6th century BC through their control of the "Amphictyonic League", which was in charge of maintaining Greek temples and shines, most importantly Delphi, with the power to pass legislation on religious matters and even declare religious war and thus gained political power. Larissa began issuing coins in 475 BC. Thessaly avoided involvment in the many Greek wars between Sparta, Athens and Thebes in the 5th and 4th century BC, but could not avoid being taken over by Phillip II of Macedonia who wanted to be head of the "Amphictyonic League".