Thessalian Horseman on an Æ 18 from Pelinna

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Roman Collector, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Pelinna (Πέλιννα), also known as Pelinnaeum (Greek: Πελινναῖον), was a polis located in the district of Histiaeotis in central Thessaly, near the left bank of the Peneius river, roughly a quarter of the way from Tricca to Larissa.

    Map of Thessaly, cropped from old public domain map of Greece, from the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd.

    The city was allied with Philip II of Macedon and unlike some other cities in Thessaly, it did not revolt from the Macedonians after the death of Alexander the Great. This coin, for example, is dated to the 3rd century BC because of its similarity in its iconography to contemporaneous issues of Philip V and Perseus of Macedon.[1]

    The city was notable in antiquity for its temple of Zeus Pelinnaeus. The location of Pelinna is at modern Palaiogardíki, where there are considerable remains of the ancient town.[2]

    I have had this coin for about a quarter century, but never got around to photographing or researching it until today! Post your coins of Thessaly, horsemen, or anything you feel is relevant!

    Pellina Thessalian Horseman.jpg
    Thessaly, Pellina, 3rd Century BC.
    Greek Æ large denomination, 6.30 g, 18.4 mm, 11 h.
    Obv: Veiled female head, right.
    Rev: ΠΕΛΙΝΝΑΙΩΝ, Thessalian horseman, with couched spear, charging right.
    Refs: BMC 7.38, 7-8 (also pl. VIII, 6); cf. Sear 2167.


    1. Gardner, Percy, and Reginald Stuart. Poole. A Catalogue of the Greek Coins in the British Museum: Thessaly to Aetolia. Longmans, 1883, p. xxx.

    2. Talbert, Richard J. A., and Roger S. Bagnall. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 55.
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  3. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    In antiquity, the Thessalian cavalry and their horsemanship enjoyed a stellar reputation. In Plato's Meno, Socrates states: "Meno, of old the Thessalians were famous and admired among the Greeks for their riding and their riches; but now they have a name, I believe, for wisdom also" (Pl. Men. 70b).

    No wonder that many of their coins show horses:
    Magna Graecia – Thessalien, Larissa, Obolos, Nymphe:Pferd.png
    Thessaly, Larissa, AR obol, ca. 344–337 BC (?). Obv: head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly l., hair in ampyx, with necklace. Rev: [ΛΑΡΙΣ]-ΑΙΩΝ; horse grazing r. 11mm, 0.79g. Ref: BCD Thessaly I (2011), no. 1163; BCD Thessaly II (2013), no. 328, 342–344; SNG Copenhagen 135. Ex FSR, auction 106, lot 59; ex CNG, e-auction 395, lot 94; ex BCD collection.

    Magna Graecia – Thessalien, Trikka, hemidrachme, Bullenkämpfer und Pferd.png
    Thessaly, Trikka, AR hemidrachm, 2nd half of 5th c. BC. Obv: Youthful hero, Thessalos, holding a band with both hands below the horns of the forepart of a bull right. Rev: T PI KAI N, forepart of horse prancing right. 16 mm, 2.86 g. Ref: BCD Thessaly 775.7 (same dies); see SNG Copenhagen 262–265; see BMC 1–9; see CNG, e-auction 129, lot 94 (identical dies). Ex BCD collection, ex Kenneth W. Dorney.

    And here is one without a horse:
    Magna Graecia – Thessalien, Pherai, Hemidrachme, Nymphe Hygieia.png
    Pherai, Thessaly, AR hemidrachm, ca. 302–286 BC. Obv: Head of Ennodia left, torch behind. Rev: ΦΕΡΑΙΟΥΝ, the nymph Hypereia left, touching the top of lion's head fountain right, from which water pours forth, ΑΣ/TΟ within wreath to lower left. 15mm, 2.72g. Ref: BCD Thessaly I, 1321; BCD Thessaly II, 714; SNG Copenhagen 239; BMC 20. Ex CNG, e-auction 432, lot 27; ex BCD collection.
  4. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    AR Hemidrachm
    OBV: Youth, petasos and cloak tied at neck, wrestling forepart of bull right
    REV: Forepart of horse galloping right; T-PI-KK-A-I around; all within concave incuse
    Circa 420-400 BC
    2.7g, 17mm
    SNG Cop 265
    ex: JAZ Numismatics
    Larissa 4.png
    OBVERSE: Head of nymph Larissa right, hair rolled
    REVERSE: ΛAΡI below, ΣAIΩN above, horse grazing right, foreleg raised
    Struck at Larissa 400-344 BC
    3.34g, 16mm
    BMC 89, SNG Cop 142
    Larissa Thessaly 2.jpg
    AR Trihemiobol
    OBVERSE: Head of nymph Larissa three-quarter facing left in necklace, hair confined by fillet & floating loosely, with ampyx in front
    REVERSE: ΛAPI (Laris) above, horse feeding right.
    Struck at Larissa 395-344 BC
    .75g, 10mm
    SNG Cop 135
  5. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    Cool AE, @Roman Collector ! Great, succinct write-up, and hey! Maps are always good!



    THESSALY, Thessalian League.
    AR Stater / Double Victoriatii
    21mm, 5.7g, 12h; c. 50 BC.
    Obv.: Laureate head of Zeus right.
    Rev.: ΘEΣΣA-ΛΩN; Athena Itonia walking right, brandishing spear and holding shield; magistrates ΔAMOΘOI/NOΣ above, ΘIΛOΞENOΣ below.
    Reference: SNG Copenhagen 299 var. (placement of names)
    Ex: @John Anthony

    Thessaly Larissa
    344-337 BCE
    AR Obol 0.68g
    Larissa Horse Grazing
    SNG Cop 1
    Ex: @ancientcoinguru
    randygeki, Limes, Pavlos and 7 others like this.
  6. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE Supporter

    I have several Horsemen... but here are a couple:


    SICILY, Messana.
    The Mamertinoi. 211-208 BCE
    Æ Pentonkion 27 mm, 11.70g
    Obv: Laureate male head (of Ares?) left
    Rev: Horseman, holding spear and with drapery around left arm, leading horse left; Π to left.
    Ref: Särström series XI, A; CNS 25; BAR issue 24; SNG ANS 430. Comment: FINE+, greenish-brown patina
    Ex: Sphinx

    SICILY. Syracuse.
    Hieron II, 274-216 BC
    Æ26, 15.9g, 12h.
    Obv: Laureate head of Hieron II left.
    Rev: ΙΕΡΟΝΩΣ; Horseman galloping right, holding spear; below horse.
    Reference: HGC 2, 1547; CNS II 193
    Ex: @John Anthony

    Larinum (Frentani)
    ca. 210-175 BC,
    Bronze quincunx,
    22mm, 9.80g

    Head of Mars (or Athena, per Sear) in crested Corinthian helmet r.
    Horseman galloping l., holding spear and shield decorated with thunderbolt, LADINOD below, 5 pellets (denom.) in ex.
    NH Italy 625, Campania 4a, Morcom 64, BMC 2
    Minor porosity, brown patina, very scarce
    Ex: Colin Pitchfork collection. Ex - Spink America auction (NY, Dec. 6-7 1999, lot 400 - part of). From a private collection formed by a pair of Polish brothers and sold in New York.
    randygeki, Limes, zumbly and 7 others like this.
  7. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    An interesting coin and post. If you take a two day's hike, or perhaps a day ride on horseback, to the northwest you come to the town of Phalanna. Livy in History of Rome 42.54 mentions Phalanna in his account of the Third Macedonian War against the Romans (171–168 BC). After four days attacking and ultimately wrecking and burning the city of Mylae, King Perseus of Macedon marched on to Phalanna, and on the following day arrived at Gyrton. Here's Phalanna (marked with a B with your map):

    and an AE coin similar scale to yours of Phalanna from ~150-200 years earlier than Livy's reference. It was minted not far from the time ~352 BC when Philip II of Macedon was appointed Archon of Thessaly for life, making him head of the Thessalian armies and uniting Thessaly and Macedon.
    Thessaly Phalanna Nymph 4thC.jpg
    Thessaly, Phalanna, 380-350, Æ Trichalkon
    Obv: Youthful male head right
    Rev: [ΦAΛ]–ANNAI[ΩN], head of nymph right, with hair in sakkos [a hairbag made of a coarsely worked wool or linen], wearing earring and necklace
    Size: 18mm, 6.04g
    randygeki, Limes, zumbly and 7 others like this.
  8. doucet

    doucet Well-Known Member

    Here are a couple of horseman coins from Spain. First Turiasu and second, I believe Icalcuscen.

    I've always been curious how an image like the one on the OP coin of the horseman, from Thessaly and Alegandron's coin from Larinum ended up on coins in Spain. (Phoenicians traveling maybe?)

    There a number of other images the Iberians used from other places. Turiasu denarius.jpg

    K. karcica.jpg

    randygeki, Limes, zumbly and 5 others like this.
  9. Sulla80

    Sulla80 one coin at a time Supporter

    It is interesting to see how widely certain imagery appears on coins across time and distance to express authority, military might, values, economic might, value.... I can imagine all sorts of interesting data and visuals of geographical spread over time of the numismatic memes against coin finds, people migrations or military engagements. This coin always reminds me of Roma seated:
    [​IMG]Although it doesn't directly address the spread from Thessaly to Spain, you might enjoy this thread on "Modern takes on Ancient Classics"
  10. Pavlos

    Pavlos You pick out the big men. I'll make them brave!

    Very nice coin @Roman Collector! I like those horses from Thessaly.

    Thessaly, Trikka. AR Hemidrachm (circa 440-400 B.C.)
    The hero Thessalos, petasos and cloak tied at neck, holding band around head of forepart of bull right.
    Reverse: ΤΡΙ-Κ-ΚΑI-Ο-И, forepart of bridled horse right within incuse square.
    Reference: HGC 4, 311; Slg. BCD Thessaly 768 var.

    Thessaly, Thessalian League. AE Dichalkon. Ippaitas magistrate (Late 2nd-mid 1st century B.C.)
    IΠΠAI[TAΣ] helmeted head of Athena right.
    Reverse: ΘEΣΣAΛΩN, horse trotting right.

    Thessaly, Thessalian League. AE Trichalkon. Herak..., magistrate (Mid-late 2nd century B.C.)
    Laureate head of Apollo right.
    Reverse: ΘEΣΣA ΛΩN Athena Itonia right, with spear and shield; in field right: HPAK monogram.

    Thessaly, Thessalian League. AE Trichalkon. Polyxe..., magistrate (Mid - late 1st century B.C.)
    Laureate head of Apollo right.
    Reverse: ΘEΣΣA ΛΩN Athena Itonia right, with spear and shield; above: ΠΟΛV-ΞΕ and star.
  11. zumbly

    zumbly Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana Supporter

    The Thessalians really liked riding those horses!

    Thessaly Gyrton - AE Dichalkon ex BCD 2749.jpg THESSALY, Gyrton
    AE Dichalkon. 3.72g, 18.5mm. THESSALY, Gyrton, early-mid 4th century BC. Cf. Rogers 228; BCD Thessaly II 78 var. (ethnic); HGC 4, 370. O: Bare head of the hero Gyrton right; to right, head and neck of bridled horse right. R: ΓΥΡΤOΝΙΩΝ, head of the nymph Gyrtone left.
    Ex BCD Collection, with his tag stating "G/ni ex Thessaly, May 95, SFr. 40"

    THESSALY Krannon - Dichalkon ex BCD Bruce McNall Hydria 3786.jpg THESSALY, Krannon
    AE Dichalkon. 4.38g, 16.8mm. THESSALY, Krannon, circa 4th century BC. BCD Thessaly II 119.2; HGC 4, 385. O: Thessalian warrior on horse rearing right. R: K-PA/NNO, hydria on cart with long handle to left.
    Ex BCD Collection, with his tag stating, "Bought from Bruce McNall June 1975"

    THESSALY Pharsalos - AE Trichalkon 3 figures ex BCD 3463.jpg THESSALY, Pharsalos
    Rare. AE Trichalkon. 8.65g, 22.1mm. THESSALY, Pharsalos, 3rd century BC. HGC 4, 650 (R1); BCD Thessaly II 672.4. O: Helmeted head of Athena Parthenos facing slightly left, with shield and spear over shoulder. R: ΦAP, Armored Thessalian warrior on horse rearing right, brandishing flail at enemy warrior fleeing to right; soldier behind to left.
    Ex BCD Collection, with his tag stating, "Found nr. Loutro, Bt. Nov. 86, 2000 drs"
  12. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

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