Larissa AR Stater in 14Kt Frame on Sterling Necklace with 14Kt Toggle Clasp. Head of the nymph Larissa facing slightly left / [ΛΑ]ΡΙΣ-ΑΙΩΝ, horse standing right, preparing to lie down.
In Greek mythology, Larissa was a nymph of Argos who was a lover of Poseidon. She bore him three sons, Achaios, Phthios, and Pelasgos. She was the daughter of Pelasgus, who may have been the King of Argos. The city of Larissa and the fortress nearby were both named for Larissa. When Larissa ceased minting the federal coins it shared with other Thessalian towns and adopted its own coinage in the late fifth century B.C., it chose local types for its coins. The obverse depicted the local fountain nymph Larissa, for whom the town was named, probably inspired by the famous coins of Kimon depicting the Syracusan nymph Arethusa.
The reverse depicted a horse in various poses. The horse was an appropriate symbol of Thessaly, which was well-known for its horses.
A vast plain enclosed by mountain barriers and drained by the river Peneios, Thessaly was famed for its horses and horsemen. Larissa and surrounding communities provided some of the finest horses of the ancient world to the cities and armies of the Greek states. Each of the cities of Thessaly made proud use of the horse as civic symbols for their coinage. The Thessalian pride in their horses is reflected in the caring, realistic representations on their coinage.
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