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Coin Detail
Click here to see enlarged image.
ID:     73000184
Type:     Greek
Region:     THESSALY
City:     Larissa
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Drachm
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     Circa 370-360 BC
Weight:     5.89 g
Die Axis:     1 h
Obverse Legend:     ΑΛΣΥ
Obverse Description:     Head of Aleuas facing slightly left, wearing conical helmet; labrys behind
Reverse Legend:     ΣΛΛΑ-ΛΑΡΙΣΙΑΙ
Reverse Description:     Eagle standing right, head left, on thunderbolt; ΣΛΛΑ to left, ΛΑΡΙΣΙΑΙ
Mint:     Larissa
Primary Reference:     Herrmann group VIII, pl. VII, 11
Reference2:     BMC Thessaly pg. 29, 52
Reference3:     SNG Cop -
Reference4:     Gulbenkian 473 (all from the same dies)
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF
Notes:     A number of theories surround this enigmatic issue, unique in the Larissan coinage. The most widely-accepted interpretations are those propounded by C. Seltman and M. Sordi. For Seltman (Greek Coins, p. 161), Aleuas (founder of the Thessalian ruling house) is depicted to promote the claim of Hellokrates, an Aleuad noble, against Alexander of Pherai in 361 BC. Supporting this contention is the legend on the reverse, ELLA, seen as a contracted form of Hellokrates. M. Sordi ("La drachma di Aleuas e l'origine di un tipo monetario di Alessandro Magno," Annali 3 [1956]), however, has dated this type to the reign of Alexander III of Macedon. Upon Alexander’s accession, he became lagas of Thessaly, and Sordi suggests that Alexander issued this coinage to emphasize the joint ancestry of the Thessalian and Macedonian royalty, both of whom descended from Dodona in Epeiros. Sordi notes that, along with Epeirote coins, this type is also found on early issues of Alexander III of Macedon (the ‘eagle’ coinage, cf. Price pl. CXLIII). A secure date and historical context await further research or evidence.