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Thessaly. Larissa. , c. 479/475-460 BC
Obol, Jason and the Argonauts
Aeson was the rightful successor for the Kingdom of Thessaly. Pelias, Aeson's half-brother, wished to gain dominion over all of Thessaly and after a bitter feud overthrew Aeson killing all Aeson’s descendants and settled in Iolcus (modern Volos). For unknown reasons he spared his half-brother, his wife Alcimede I. Aeson and Alcimede’s infant son Jason was saved from being killed when Alcimene deceived Pelias by surrounding the newborn with a cluster women around the newborn mourning as if he were still-born. Alcimede sent her son to the centaur Chiron for education. Fearing Pelias would discover the deception and kill Jason she claimed that she had been having an affair with Chiron all along. Pelias, still fearful that he would one day be overthrown, consulted an oraclea; which warned him to beware of a man with one sandal (Ο μονοσάνδαλος διαβάτης). It is said Pelias was the son of Tyro and Poseidon. Many years later when he held games in honor his father Jason was to participate. When he arrived at the river Anauros an old woman asked his assistance to cross which he did but lost one sandal in the process. The old woman however was the Goddess Hera in disguise and disapproving of Pelias’ intentions blessed him for his kindness. When Jason entered Iolcus he claimed the throne knowing that he was the rightful king. Pelias seeing Jason was a man wearing one sandal agreed but not before Jason go on a quest to find the Golden Fleece, a task laden with peril. Jason happily accepted the quest securing the Argo and recruiting the Argonauts. Obverse the nymph Larissa right with a drop earring, hair bound with a ribbon and tied at the back surrounded by a border of dots. Reverse Jason’s sandal with a upside down ΛA above it all in shallow incuse square.
Mint: Thessaly, Larissa.
Provenance: Courtesy Gemini Numismatic Auctions, LLC

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