Thessaly, Pharsalos, 500-400 BC


ID Number: AC03-0402
Category: Ancient Coins
Description: Thessaly, Pharsalos, 500-400 BC
Country or State: Thessaly, Pharsalos
Year: 424-404 BC
Period: Late 5th Century BC
Head of State/Ruler:  
Currency: Drachme
Face Value:  
Obverse: Head of Athena right, wearing Attic helmet with raised cheek pieces
Obverse Legend:  
Obverse Designer:  
Reverse: Thessalian cavalryman on horse prancing to right, wearing petasos, chlamys and short chiton, holding a lagobolon over his right shoulder; all in shallow incuse square with rounded corners.
Reverse Legend:  
Reverse Designer:  
Edge: Irregular
Note: Signed by the engraver Telephantos on both the obverse and reverse, and by the engraver Ip.... on the obverse
Mint Mark:  
Composition: Silver (Ag)
Diameter: ~20.0 mm (irregular)
Thickness: 3-4 mm
Weight: 5.8 grams
Krause & Mishler Number:  
Other Catalog Number: Hirsch 275, No. 3541; Ex Lanz 48, 1989, No. 216; Lavva 149 No. 99; SNG Lockett 1603; SNG Copenhagen 220
State of Conservation: Very Fine (VF), Well preserved with signes of wearing

Proof (Prf) € -
Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) € -
Mint State/Mint Condition (MS) € -
Uncirculated (Unc) € -
Extremely Fine (XF) € -
Very Fine (VF) € -
Fine (F) € -
Very Good (VG) € -
Good (G) € -


The Homeric Phthia of the Mycenaean period, capital of the Kingdom of the Myrmidons and of Peleus, father of Achilles, has sometimes been identified with the later city of Pharsalos (Greek: Φάρσαλος), now Farsala. A Cyclopean Wall which protected a city still exists today near modern Farsala, as does a vaulted tomb from that period.

The Pharsalos of the historic era was built over a hillside of the Narthacius mountains at an elevation of some 160 m, where modern Farsala stands. It was one of the main cities in Thessaly and was the capital of the Phthian tetrarch. In the Persian Wars it sided with the Athenians. A distinctive tribe of the city was that of Echecratidon. In the early 4th century BC, the city was a part of the Thessalian Commons. Later, it joined the Macedonian Kingdom under Philip II. The area became a theatre of war where the Aetolians and the Thessalians clashed with the Macedonians, especially during the Second and the Third Macedonian Wars. After the defeat of the Macedonian Kingdom, Pharsalos and the whole area became a part of the Roman Republic. The whole area suffered great destruction during the Roman Civil War. The Battle of Pharsalus took place in 48 BC in the fields of the Pharsalian Plain, where Julius Caesar defeated Pompey.