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Coin Detail
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ID:     81000380
Type:     Greek
Region:     THESSALY
City:     Aenianes
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Triobol
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC Late 5th-early 4th centuries
Weight:     2.31 g
Die Axis:     11 h
Obverse Description:     Laureate head of Zeus left
Reverse Legend:     ΑΙΝΙΑΝΩΝ
Reverse Description:     Warrior (Phemios), holding shield and cloak, wearing sword, preparing to throw javelin right
Mint:     Aenianes
Primary Reference:     Liampi, Beitrag, group I, 1
Reference2:     Moustaka 146
Reference3:     SNG Cop 1
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     Good VF
Notes:     Although Thessaly was a fertile territory renowned for producing superior cavalry, its original social and political arrangement affected its subsequent situations. The population was divided into three groups, along lines similar to those of the Lakonians. The first group, the ruling Thessalians, were originally immigrant conquerers who controlled the majority of the fertile land. The second, the remaining indigenous population, although dependent on the ruling class and similar to the Lakedaimonian perioikoi, or free non-citizens, retained their original names, as well as seats on the Amphyctionic council. These were the Perrhaiboi, the Magnetes, the Achaioi, the Dolopes, and the the Malioi, all of whom made up Thessaly’s borders. The third, the ΠΕΝέΣΤΑΙ, or serfs, were, like the Lakonian helots, dependent on their masters, though their conditions were not nearly as harsh as those of their Lakonian counterparts. The remaining territory was divided into four regions - Thessaliotis, Pelasgiotis, Histiaiotis, and Phiotis - all nominally united under the rule of the tagos, a chief magistrate, apparently appointed at time of war. The regional cities - among them Larissa, Krannon, Magnesia, Pharsalos, and Pherai - each operated independently of one another under the control of local powerful families. Although Thessaly early on did actively try to expand its regional influence by attempting to come together as a league, the inter-civic rivalries of the main Thessalian cities and their leading families weakened this organization’s defensive capabilities against outside invaders, particularly Persia. As a result, some Thessalian cities Medized, while the Aleuadai, then the most powerful family and reputed by Herodotos to be “kings of Thessaly” (Her. 7.6), had actively counseled the Persian to invade Greece. Many Thessalians, however, urged for Greek assistance against Persia, and it was only after the Spartan defeat at Thermopylai, that the remaining cities of Thessaly too submitted to Persia.Between the end of the Persian Wars and almost the end of the Peloponnesian War, many cities in Thessaly began striking their own coinage: many of the smaller cities struck either bronze coins only, or only silver fractions in addition to the bronze coins. Larissa was the only city in Thessaly to strike the larger silver staters and drachms in any regular quantity. At the same time, the Thessalian League, still in existence, also struck a very rare series of hemidrachms. Beginning sometime toward the end of the Peloponnesian War, the city of Pherai began to gain ascendancy through its tyrant, Lycophron, who had the support of Sparta and its king, Agesilaus. Lycophron’s successor, Jason (who may also have been his son), sought to expand the successes of his predecessor. Elected tagos of Thessaly in 374 BC, he established the so-called Thessalian League. Unlike its earlier version, which was essentially that loose confederation of the major Thessalian cities, this new league was Jason’s personal force. Comprising 8,000 cavalry and more than 20,000 infantry, the league was allied with the kingdom of Epeiros and, more importantly, the kingdom of Macedon. Consequently, the Thessalian League became the greatest Greek force in central Greece at the time and, following an alliance with Thebes, it became a threat to the power of Lakedaimon, Jason’s former supporter. War with Sparta was averted only after Jason was assassinated in 307 BC.In the years immediately following Jason’s assassination, his brothers, Polydoros and Polyphron, attempted to wrest control of the league from one another. This infighting prompted the other Thessalian cities, Larrissa in particular, to apply for aid from Alexander II of Macedon. Although Alexander II successfully gained control of Larissa and several other Thessalian cities, he went back on his earlier promises and garrisoned them with Macedonian troops.