The identification key can be used to determine whether a facing head drachm is early, middle, or late, and to place it in its proper subgroup. Common obverse dies can then usually be matched in the easy reference guide. For more detailed information, see the Lorber-Shahar illustrated catalogues below. The text catalogues (in PDF) include even more specimens, stylistic links, and literature citations. The catalogue of staters (didrachms) appears at the bottom of the panel.
Identification Key (PDF)
Easy Reference of Obverse Dies
The die study of Early Larissian facing head drachms published by Catharine Lorber in Florilegium Numismaticum (1992) is revised and significantly expanded based on new materials, die links, and stylistic links.
Thumbnails & Descriptions
The Entire Catalogue in PDF Format

The intermediate phase of Larissian facing head drachm production, identified from overlapping hoards, involves a number of distinctive reverse types. This catalogue is the first die study ever offered of Larissa's middle facing head drachms.

Thumbnails & Descriptions
The Entire Catalogue in PDF Format

This catalogue is under development.

Thumbnails & Descriptions
The Entire Catalogue in PDF Format

This catalogue is the first die study ever offered for Larissian staters. It is based on specimens recorded from commerce, as well as the holdings of some major public collections.

Thumbnails & Descriptions
The Entire Catalogue in PDF Format
A basic reference regarding the history of Larissian Thessaly and the evolution of facing head coinage in this region.

Introduction to Larissian Thessaly
Evolution of Larissian Coinage

Thessaly is a region in East Central Greece. The ancient area corresponded roughly to the modern one. It is bordered by Macedonia in the north, Epirus in the west, Central Greece in the south and the Aegean Sea in the east. Larissa was the chief city of ancient Thessaly, and a major cultural and economic centre of the region.
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This is a presentation of other facing head coinage of ancient Greece. Facing heads were very difficult to engrave, and only the most talented and confident die cutters attempted to construct them. The facing heads are among the most striking and realistic of ancient coin depictions, and in some examples, reflect an ethereal beauty that is difficult to define.

Note that only silver coins are represented below, and no denominations less than drachms. This presentation is meant to show various facing head styles within regions, and is not intended to represent an exhaustive depiction of die types. The aim is mainly for comparison purposes. Please click on samples from:

Aenus
Amphipolis
Audoleon
Camarina
Carian Satraps
Catana
Clazomenae
Cnidus
Croton
Heraclea
Hyria
Issus
Lycia
Metapontum
Rhodes
Syracuse
Tarsus
Thebes
Tyra
Velia
Here is a subjective assessment of the most appealing Larissian facing head coins based on artistic merit and emotional appeal. The presentation looks at early facing drachms, middle/late facing drachms, and staters.
Pretty coins

Some interesting and important details that a collector of Larissian facing head coins might want to consider.
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We would like to thank the following sources for their generous use of materials. Please click on the links provided for access to the sites in question.
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If you have digital images of Larissian facing head drachms or staters, or any helpful information, please let us know. We may consider including such materials in our catalogues.
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This website was created by Charles Shahar (webmaster) and Catharine C. Lorber (numismatic consultant). We appreciate any comments or suggestions.
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