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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., Nicopolis 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 (€217.50)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nicopolis 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.
RP70821. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.1.53, Varbanov I 2465, Moushmov 980, cf. SNG Cop 268 (eagle left), BMC Thrace -, Choice EF, sharp, well centered, nice green patina, weight 2.161 g, maximum diameter 17.4 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AV Λ CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC, eagle standing right on thunderbolt,head left, wreath in beak; ex Heritage Auctions 231407, lot 64091, ex CNG auction 161 (28 Mar 2007), lot 125 ($206 plus fees); $200.00 (€174.00)


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

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Ptolemy Soter integrated Egyptian religion with that of the Hellenic rulers by creating Serapis, a deity that would win the reverence of both groups. This was despite the curses of the Egyptian priests against the gods of previous foreign rulers (i.e Set who was lauded by the Hyksos). Alexander the Great had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but Amum was more prominent in Upper Egypt, and not as popular in Lower Egypt, where the Greeks had stronger influence. The Greeks had little respect for animal-headed figures, and so an anthropomorphic statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as the equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka (life force). Ptolemy's efforts were successful - in time Serapis was held by the Egyptians in the highest reverence above all other deities, and he was adored in Athens and other Greek cities.
RP68722. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.26.6.6 (R2, same dies), Varbanov I 3825 (R3, same dies), AMNG I/I 2018, SNG Cop -, EF, centered, green patina with a few coppery high spots, weight 3.726 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AVT M AVPH - ANΩNINO-C, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOCICTPON, draped bust of Serapis right, wearing kalathos; $195.00 (€169.65)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nicopolis 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.
RP72136. Brass tetrassarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.7.2 (R4, this coin), AMNG I/I 1290, Varbanov I 2608 (R3), Moushmov 915, aVF, nice green patina, well centered, scratches, weight 11.647 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 45o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Aurelius Gallus, 200 - 203 A.D.; obverse AY K Λ CEP CEYHPOC Π, laureate head right, bare shoulders from behind; reverse YΠ AYΠ ΓAΛΛOY NIKOΠOΛ ΠPOCI, Apollo standing left, naked except for long cloak over shoulders, holding laurel branch in left hand patera in right, altar at feet left; the H-H-J Nikopolis plate coin, ex Henrik Angdal collection; $145.00 (€126.15)


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; $135.00 (€117.45)


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 (€104.40)


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Nicopolis 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 (€100.05)


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; $85.00 (€73.95)


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nicopolis 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 (€65.25)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 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 reached its peak during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, the Antonines and the Severan dynasty. Minted under the consular legate (governor) Aurelius Gallus.
RP68415. Bronze assarion, Varbanov 2986 (R5, same dies), H-H-J Nikopolis 8.18.27.1 (R5), AMNG I/I 1492, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, nice green patina, weight 2.988 g, maximum diameter 15.7 mm, die axis 225o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, 195 - 198 A.D.; obverse M AY KA ANTΩNIN−OC, bare head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, radiate head of Sol right, whip over shoulder; scarce; $60.00 (€52.20)




  



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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 Thursday, July 30, 2015.
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Nikopolis ad Istrum