Jason of Pherae – episode shownotes.

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If you haven’t listened to the episode then you can listen below (or find on the platform you use. As I mentioned in the podcast you can find me on twitter (@ancientblogger) and now my podcast has its own twitter profile as well – @HoundAncient. Still on TikTok btw and putting out ancient history content there, no dancing though.

I was joined by Dr Michael Furman, you can find him on twitter @ProfBoeotia or via his email mfurman@fsu.edu   – he was a great guest to have and thanks again to him.

Where is Thessaly?

It’s a good question, initially I checked on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (always good for a screenshot!). But it wasn’t there. Oh well, hopefully the below will help.

Jason hailed from Pherae.

Myths.

Thessaly was the home of Achilles, Jason (of the Argonauts fame), Lapiths and centaurs. Mount Olympus and Mount Pelion also stand here. Euripides’ play Alcestis was based in Pherae, though it may have been seen as distant it embraced a lot of mainstay characters.

Don’t forget that the war between Titans and Olympians took place in Thessaly (according to Hesiod).

Cavalry.

Due to its geography Thessaly was able to train, feed and use cavalry with a high level of skill. If you needed quality horsemen, Thessaly was your choice. The Athenian tyrant Hippias deployed 1,000 Thessalian cavalry to help repel a Spartan attack and in the 5th century. Thessalian cavalry also fought alongside Athens in 431.

Thessalian coin dating 368-358 BCE. It features a young Jason (it was issued by his son) and on the other side a hoof. 

It was the Thessalian cavalry which Alexander the Great deployed on his left flank. Greece wasn’t a place where cavalry could be easily deployed (it’s not the flattest of places). However, it was a key ingredient to any army and could often make the difference.

Further Reading.

Obviously Mr Michael Furman should be your first port of call but just in case!

Slawomir Sprawski – various topic areas all about Thessaly.

Dr Emma Aston (University of Reading). Various as well and also including the mythology of Thessaly.

 

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