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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Thrace & Moesia ▸ NikopolisView Options:  |  |  | 

Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101-106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town peaked during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. In 447, the Nicoplis was destroyed by Attila's Huns. In the 6th century, it was rebuilt as a powerful fortress enclosing little more than military buildings and churches, following a very common trend for the cities of that century in the Danube area. It was finally destroyed by the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century.


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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The term κιψριοσ (masters or lords) rarely appears on coins. The inscription, meaning, "Nikopolis ad Istrum is thankful for our lords," is a message of congratulations from the city to the Septimius Severus and Caracalla on the occasion of Caracalla's promotion to Augustus.
RP72139. Bronze tetrassarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.18.54.3 (R5), Varbanov 2912 (R6), Moushmov 1112, AMNG I/I -, VF, green patina, marks, weight 7.794 g, maximum diameter 27.0 mm, die axis 45o, Nikopolis ad Istrum mint, 198 A.D.; obverse AY K M AςP − ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse EYTY/XΩC TOIC / KYPIOIC N/IKOΠOΛI / ΠPOC I, inscription in five lines all within laurel wreath; very rare; $250.00 (€220.00)
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101 - 106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town reached its peak during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty.
RP65521. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.26.54.24, AMNG I/I 2039, Varbanov I 3849, cf. BMC Thrace p. 51, 68 ff. (larger, bust, inscription arrangement), SNG Cop -, aEF, weight 2.273 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AY K M AYΠ ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse NI/KOΠ/OΛITΩN / ΠPOC IC/TPON, inscription in five lines within laurel wreath; ex Helios Numismatik auction 7, lot 464; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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The figure on the reverse is sometimes identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius. The inverted torch represents a life extinguished, indicating the figure is Thanatos (death). By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.
RP69742. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.16.15/16 (unlisted die combination), cf. Varbanov I 2568 (legends), AMNG I/I 1367 (same), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, unusual style, weight 2.374 g, maximum diameter 16.3 mm, die axis 45o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AV KAI CEVPO, laureate bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, winged Thanatos standing right, legs crossed legs, leaning on reversed torch on right; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; rare variant; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101-106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town peaked during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. In 447, Nicopolis was destroyed by Attila's Huns. In the 6th century, it was rebuilt as a powerful fortress enclosing little more than military buildings and churches, following a very common trend for the cities of that century in the Danube area. It was finally destroyed by the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century.
RB73701. Bronze tetrassarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.25.32.5 (R5), AMNG I/I 1806, Varbanov 3633 (R4), Moushmov 1349, SNG Cop -, VF, nice style, green patina, weight 8.672 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 45o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Marcus Agrippa, 217 - 218 A.D.; obverse K M OΠΠEΛ ANTΩNI ∆IAOYMENIANOC, bare head right; reverse YΠ AΓPIΠΠA NIKOΠOΛITΩN Π,POCICTΠ/Ω (ending in two lines in exergue), river-god seated left, nude but for cloak on his back and under him appearing like flowing water, right hand on right knee, resting left hand on toppled urn behind, from which water flows; $115.00 (€101.20)
 


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101-106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town peaked during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. In 447, Nicopolis was destroyed by Attila's Huns. In the 6th century, it was rebuilt as a powerful fortress enclosing little more than military buildings and churches, following a very common trend for the cities of that century in the Danube area. It was finally destroyed by the Avar invasions at the end of the 6th century.
RP90337. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.17.48.1 (this coin, R4), AMNG I/I 1487, Varbanov I 2849 var (CEBATH), Moushmov 1040, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, weight 3.421 g, maximum diameter 16.9 mm, die axis 45o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 194 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse IOYΛIA ∆OMNA CEBA, draped bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛIT ΠPOC ICTPON, star with central pellet and eight rays each ending with a pellet; ex Nemesis Ancients & Antiquities, the H-H-J Nikopolis plate coin; $75.00 (€66.00)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Nicopolis ad Istrum was founded by Trajan around 101 - 106, at the junction of the Iatrus (Yantra) and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria. The town reached its peak during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty.
RP73901. Bronze assarion, Varbanov 2517 (R3), H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.21.10 (R2) var (...ICT), AMNG I/I 1348 var (same), Moushmov 1020, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, weight 2.530 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 45o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 9 Apr 193 - 4 Feb 211 A.D.; obverse AV KAI CE - CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛ−IT ΠPOC IC, Hygieia standing right feeding snake in her arms, from a patera in her left hand; $75.00 (€66.00)
 


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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The reverse legend translates:
YΠ = Consular Legate (Governor)
NOBIOY POYΦOY = Nobius Rufus
NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC ICTPON = (coin) of the citizenry of Nicopolis on the Istrus (Danube)

The governor's name was T. Flavius Novius Rufus, he is also known from inscriptions.
RP76504. Bronze AE 26, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.26.35.9 (R4), Varbanov I 4047 (R3), AMNG I/I 1959, F, dark green patina, scratches, centration dimples, weight 12.697 g, maximum diameter 26.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, cos. legate Ti. Flavius Novius Rufus, 218 - 222; obverse AYT K M AYPH ANTΩNEINOC, radiate bust right, slight drapery on far shoulder, from the front; reverse YΠ NOBIOY POYΦOY NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC IC,TP−ON (the last four letters divided across the lower field), Nemesis-Aequitas standing facing, head left, scales in right hand, cubit rule in left; ex Ancient Imports; $75.00 (€66.00)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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The first of Herakles' twelve labors, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin), was to slay the Nemean lion and bring back its skin. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than swords and could cut through any armor. Herakles stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers. After slaying the lion, he tried to skin it with a knife from his belt, but failed. Wise Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told him to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt.
RP67903. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.14.25, AMNG I/I 1389, Varbanov I 2347, Moushmov 1010, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, aVF, weight 3.725 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, die axis 225o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AV K Λ C CEVHPOC, laureate bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛI ΠPOC I, Herakles standing left, strangling the Nemean lion; $50.00 (€44.00)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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The Greeks and Romans did not view snakes as evil creatures but rather as symbols and tools for healing and fertility. Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis, learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another healing herbs. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in his temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RP59381. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.47.20, Varbanov I 2546, AMNG I/I 1424, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, aVF, nice green patina, weight 2.978 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 225o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, c. 193 - 211 A.D.; obverse AY K Λ CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC ICT, snake entwined tripod; $36.00 (€31.68)
 







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REFERENCES

Hristova, H., H.-J. Hoeft, & G. Jekov. The Coins of Moesia Inferior 1st - 3rd c. AD: Nicopolis ad Istrum. (Blagoevgrad, 2014).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
Pick, B. & K. Regling. Die antiken Münzen von Dacien und Moesien. AMNG I/I. (Berlin, 1898).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 2: Macedonia and Thrace. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 7: Taurische Chersones. Sarmatien. Dacia. Moesia superior. Moesia inferior. (Berlin, 1985).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Part 1: Roman Provincial Coins: Spain - Kingdoms of Asia Minor. (Oxford, 2004).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Hungary, Budapest, Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum, III: Moesia inferior. (Milan, 2000).
Varbanov, Ivan. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Volume I: Dacia, Moesia Superior & Moesia Inferior. (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005).

Catalog current as of Saturday, February 06, 2016.
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Nikopolis ad Istrum