AE Assarion. 5.98g, 18.9mm
MINTED: THESSALY, Koinon of Thessaly, circa AD 147-175
REF: Rogers 98a; BCD Thessaly II 966.1
OBVERSE: ΦAVCTЄINA CЄBACTH, draped bust right.
REVERSE: KOINON ΘЄCCAΛѠN, Athena Itonia striding right, hurling spear held in her right hand, shield on her left arm.
Ex BCD Collection, with his round handwritten tag stating, “T/ne coll., Dec. 97, Sfr.”
The BCD Collection was possibly the largest and most important private collection of Greek coinage ever assembled. Over the course of five decades, the collector, known publicly by the initials BCD, acquired over 50,000 coins representing the major cities and regions of ancient Greece. An accomplished numismatist, BCD studied not just the historical context but also the art and chronology of the coins, with some of the results of these studies eventually finding their way into the notes he provided for the catalogues of the sale of his coins. Many of these published catalogues are now used as the standard references for the regions they cover. A provenance to the BCD Collection is one of the most desirable that a Greek coin can possess.
Good/Fine. Dark greenish brown patina. Some pitting and surface issues.
Thessaly in central Greece was a region of fertile, grassy plains ringed by mountains, with Mount Olympus serving as a backdrop. Unlike other Greek regions which tended to cultivate primarily olives and grapes, Thessaly was best known for its magnificent horses, cattle, and sports such as bull-wrestling. Agriculture was also an important industry in Thessaly, and the region was an exporter of grain to Greek cities.
From 196 BC, the old Thessalian League was revived under Roman rule. This koinon (commonwealth of cities) continued to serve administrative functions even when the entire region was incorporated into the Roman Province of Macedonia in 146 BC. During much of the Imperial period, Thessaly was a quiet provincial region that was largely left to govern itself. Most prominently featured on the coins of the Koinon of Thessaly was Athena Itonia (Athena of Iton), whose cult was second in importance only to that of Zeus in Thessaly. The first month of the calendar of the Thessalian koinon was in fact named Itonia, in honour of the goddess, and during this month, festivals and games dedicated to Athena were held across Thessaly.
FAUSTINA II . THESSALY, Koinon of . AE Assarion . Ex BCD Collection
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