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Research Coins: Feature Auction

 
89000726

Skotussa

Triton XV, Lot: 726. Estimate $200.
Sold for $500. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

Skotoussa (IACP 415)

Skotoussa was in Thessaly proper and was famous for its tree oracle of Zeus Phegonaios, supposedly the forerunner of the more famous one at Dodona. The fertility of the land brought considerable wealth to Skotoussa, especially from the 6th century BC on. Alexander of Pherai conquered the city in 367/6 BC, and as a gesture of reconciliation invited the members of the assembly to meet in the theater. After they all had entered he had them massacred. Philip V had the city fortified. After the Roman conquest the city continued to exist throughout the late Hellenistic period, but by the time Pausanias came to visit in the 2nd century AD, Skotoussa had been abandoned.

As for coinage, the city issued very rare League issues in the mid 5th century BC, and then, around the end of the century, a more substantial series with drachms and a variety of smaller denominations. There was considerable coinage until 367 BC, when there was a break until the city recovered its independence and issued a very small amount of coins around the middle of the century. Finally, the remaining coinage all seems to be late 3rd or early 2nd century BC.

THESSALY, Skotussa. Late 2nd quarter of the 5th century BC. AR Obol (10.5mm, 0.71 g, 7h). Bull’s head and neck r., its head turned to face the viewer; to l., half figure of hero r., holding a band with both hands above the forehead of the animal; all in dotted circle / 𐌔[K] r. down, O above l., head and neck of bridled horse r., all in incuse square. Liampi, Corpus, p. 107, C 3 (V3/R1), pl. 5, 4 (this coin); see also Lanz 114 (26 May 2003) 109 (same dies). Near VF, toned; edge partly rough; rev. a little off centre and with a die flaw behind the horse’s head; very rare.

This pair of dies was copied by Christodoulos and is very dangerous; by the time Liampi’s corpus was written, three dealers had already offered in their catalogues a forgery from these dies as genuine; it is also listed as a genuine coin of Krannon in A. Moustaka, Kulte und Mythen auf Thessalischen Münzen, p. 102, 33 and pl. 3, 33, where the reference to Schulman, New York should be corrected to read J. Schulman, Amsterdam.