AE Chalkous. 2.75g, 14.2mm
MINTED: THESSALY, Kierion, early-mid 4th century BC
REF: Rogers 173a var. (ethnic); BCD Thessaly II 107.4 var. (same); HGC 4, 679
OBVERSE: Head of Zeus right.
REVERSE: Arne seated right on ground, head left, casting astragaloi; KIEP in exergue.
Fine. Dark brown patina.
Charming reverse type. A scarcer variety with the ethnic in exergue rather than in the field.
Ex BCD Collection, with his tag noting, "S. ex Thessaly, Aug. 1994, SFr. 50"
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.
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, agriculture, and sports such as bull-wrestling.
Kierion was located on the western edges of Thessaly, some distance south of the city of Metropolis. According to tradition, it was originally settled by Aeolian Greeks, who had called the city Arne, after the daughter of King Aeolus, their legendary king. Sixty years after the Trojan War (circa 1260–1180 BC), most of the Aeolians were expelled by the Thessalians, who occupied the city and renamed it Kierion. The city's old name, however, would live on in the depiction of Arne on its coinage, characteristically kneeling on one leg while casting her astragaloi (knucklebones). Astragaloi were typically made from the knucklebones of sheep or goats, and were used in children's games as well as for oracular divinations.
THESSALY, Kierion . 4th Century BC . AE14 . Arne with Astragaloi . *Ex BCD*
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