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Sizing Range: 7-14
Denomination: Bronze AE Date: 3rd-2nd century BCE
Thessalian League. 196-146 B.C. Laureate head of Artemis right / Athena Itonia standing right, with shield & about to hurl spear, ΘΕΣΣ − ΑΛΩΝ on sides, magistrate's name above.
Thessaly, modern day Thessalia, is a region of northern Greece that is just south of Macedonia. In Neolithic times it was a distinct cultural hub nestled in a fertile valley that remained isolated from Greece for hundreds of years. Tribal in nature the region never truly united as one organized nation, instead it was conquered by the nearby Greeks, then taken by the Persians after the Greco-Persian War, next it was absorbed into the growing Macedonian Kingdom, and then annexed into Rome with Macedonia. With so many governmental changes the region was always rather politically unstable, yet remained culturally unique. The valley was full of grasslands and fertile plains so herding and horse breeding was a staple for the people. Colonies of modern herdsmen descended from their ancient counterparts still reside in Thessalia.
Artemis in Greek mythology was the daughter of Zeus and of Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. She was one of the most widely venerated of the gods and manifestly one of the oldest deities. In later times she was combined with the Roman goddess Diana. In Etruscan mythology, she took the form of Artume. Deer and cypress are sacred to her, and she is often portrayed with her silver bow and arrow.
Athena, shown with a spear and a shield on the reverse of the coin was one of the most important goddesses in Greek mythology. She sprang full-grown and armored from the forehead of the god Zeus and was his favorite child. The Parthenon, in Athens, became hers as a result of her gift of the olive tree to the Athenian people.