A Hydria from Krannon

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by cmezner, Nov 30, 2023.

  1. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    The hydria, primarily a pot for fetching water, derives its name from the Greek word for water. It is a type of water-carrying vessel, but it had many other purposes, it also held oil, the votes of judges and as a funerary urn.
    The design of the hydria allowed for the efficient collecting and pouring of liquids as it had three handles: two horizontal ones at its sides and a vertical one on its back. The shape of the hydria was altered in the 5th century BC from having a wide body and broadly rounded shoulders, to a design that incorporated flatter shoulders that met the body at an angle. This was done to ease the task of carrying water to and from the home and places of gathering.
    The hydria cart was apparently an emblem of the city of Krannon; it was sacred to Zeus and it was customary in times of drought to take a hydria cart in a procession through the city, while items placed in the hydria made thunder-like noises to cause rain fall and to ask Apollo for rain; if two crows (ravens) settled on the wheels, that was a sign that Apollo would grant the prayers.

    This coin came with a flip from Kenneth W. Dorney at www.coolcoins.com

    Æ Chalkous
    Thessaly, Krannon, 400-344 BC.
    16 mm, 3.94 g
    BMC 47-48; Rogers 203; BCD Thessaly 120.2

    Ob: Anepigraphic. Head of Zeus, laureate and bearded to r.
    Rev.: KPANNoYNIoYN Hydria mounted on two wheels on each of which stands a raven or crow facing inwards; below monogram ΠΛΕ (?)

    Not sure about the monogram :confused: maybe I'm seeing things that are not there...

    Obverse picture courtesy CNG; Reverse picture is mine.

    upload_2023-11-30_20-53-8.png upload_2023-11-30_20-53-21.png

    Please share your coins from Thessaly or anything relevant.
    sand, Ancient Aussie, expat and 7 others like this.
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  3. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & Eccentric Moderator

    Interesting. Neat coin.
  4. Curtis

    Curtis Well-Known Member

    Oh, that's the rare type of Krannon Hydria coin with Poseidon/Zeus on the obverse and two crows on the reverse. (The more common bronze is the one with the rider on the obverse and one crow or no crows.) Cool coin!

    Thessaly is one of my sub-collections. The coinage is fascinating for all the local history & mythology depicted on the coins. (The BCD Thessaly Catalogs, Nomos 4 and Triton XV.1 are two of my favorite pieces of recent numismatic literature. Both of those catalogs have nice writeups on the OP type.)

    I have two Krannon coins, but no hydria cart yet. Both reference the Taurokathapsia (Thessalian bull-fighting games):

    THESSALY, Krannon Æ Chalkous (14mm, 2.10 g, 12h), c. 400 - 375 BCE.
    This coin = BCD Thessaly 115.4.
    Krannon BCD Thessaly 115-4.jpg

    THESSALY, Krannon AR Obol
    (11.5mm, 0.97g, 11h). c. 460 BCE.
    This coin = Liampi, Corpus, Group I, I.B.4 (V3/R2) (specimen D) = Collection sans Pareille 724, ex Leo Mildenberg Collection, acq. 1960 from MM FPL 206, 21.
    Thessaly Krannon Obol Nomos 29 Mildenberg.jpg

    I think I have maybe 60-100 coins of Thessaly, from a dozen or so mints and the Thessalian League/Koinon.

    Trying to post just a few is hard -- I'm realizing I have a lot of favorites!

    Thessaly, Larissa AR Drachm (18.5mm, 5.68g, 5h), early 4th cent. BCE.
    This coin = BCD Thessaly II 218 = Ex Thessaly Hoard, 1993 (CH IX, 64) = Lorber-Shahar (2007) “Early Facing Head Drachms of Larissa (Catalog),” O6/R3, specimen A = Lorber (2009, SNR) “Thessaly 1993 Hoard (CH IX 64),” No. 9.
    BCD Thessaly II 218, Larissa Drachm ex Thessaly 1993 Hoard.jpg

    Thessaly, Pelinna AR Obol (0.82g), late 5th BCE. Interesting depiction of a Peltast (Thessalian warrior with better glutes than the horse!).
    This coin = Pozzi (Boutin) 2826 = Pozzi (Naville Ars Classica I, 14 Mar 1921) 1236 = BCD Thessaly 1433.7 = Al Thani V (NAC 133) 59. Cited in Sprawski (2014) “Peltasts in Thessaly” p. 96, 103, p. 96 n. 9
    Pelinna Pozzi 1236 BCD Thessaly 1433 Al-Thani NAC 133.jpg

    Thessaly, Herakleia Trachineia AR Obol (10mm, 0.81g, 7h), early to mid 4th cent. BCE.
    This coin = ex Lambros (1843-1909) Collection; Hirsch XXIX (Munich, 9 Nov 1910), Lot 316; R. Jameson (1861-1942) Collection, published (1913), Jameson No. 1081a (p. 245 & pl. XCIV); Jacobs Hirsch Estate (?); NAC D (2 March 1994), 1397; BCD Collection; Jim Gilman Collection, acq. from Kirk Davis, Feb 2014.
    thessaly herakleia obol bcd jameson 1081 kirk davis collage.jpg

    A few favorites from Phalanna:
    EX-BCD Coins Labels Phalanna AE X 11.jpg
  5. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    Great coin.
    cmezner likes this.
  6. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    @Curtis your Thessaly coins are really something - you have a splendid collection. Thank you so much for sharing your coins and your information. It is a pleasure to read your post:)
    Curtis likes this.
  7. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

  8. cmezner

    cmezner do ut des Supporter

    Both are holding vessels, however, a hydria has three handles (as I wrote in the OP) while an amphora is a two-handled pot with a neck narrower than the body. There are two types of amphora: the neck amphora, in which the neck meets the body at a sharp angle; and the one-piece amphora, in which the neck and body form a continuous curve (see https://www.britannica.com/art/amphora-pottery)

    Like many Greek vases, the hydria typically had a lid that is seldom preserved. This cover could be quite tall and taper to a point. When a hydria was used as an urn, the lid might be made of another material, such as lead, that was flattened over the rim of the vessel.
    Curtis likes this.
  9. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    I will be on the lookout, I am not a searcher for ancients much.
    Definitely missed that this morning with coffee.
    cmezner likes this.
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