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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 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.


Macrinus, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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The reverse legend identifies the Consular Legate (Governor) Statius Longinus.
RP85598. Bronze AE 25, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.23.1.6 (R5), Varbanov I 3486 (R3), AMNG I/I 1721 var. (cuirassed), Moushmov 1249; BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, nice style, green patina, some light corrosion, edge crack, weight 8.601 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Statius Longinus, 217 - 218 A.D.; obverse AVT K M OΠEΛ CEV - MAKPINOC, laureate head right; reverse VΠ CTA ΛONΓINOV NIKOΠOΛITΩN Π,POC ICT (ending in exergue), Zeus seated left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right foot drawn back, patera in extended right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand; ex Forum (2009); $165.00 SALE PRICE $149.00
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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Artemis, Diana to the Romans, was one of the most venerated ancient Greek deities. The name, and the goddess herself, may have been pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals. The Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter. In the classical period, Artemis was described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows. The deer and the cypress were sacred to her. In later Hellenistic times, she even assumed the ancient role of Eileithyia in aiding childbirth.
RP77042. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.6.13.3 (R5), AMNG I/I 1222, Moushmov 873, Varbanov I 2118 (R6) var. (laureate), VF, green patina, porous, weight 5.358 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 210o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse AVT AI A∆PIA ANTΩNEIN, bare head right; reverse NEIKOΠOΛEITΩN, Artemis standing right, bow in left hand, drawing arrow from quiver on shoulder with right hand; rare; $105.00 SALE PRICE $95.00
 


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, 16 May 218 - 11 Mar 222 A.D.; 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; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
 


Geta, 209 - c. 26 December 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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This is the first and only known specimen of a new type combining two dies published in H-H-J Nicopolis. The obverse is a die match to H-H-J Nicopolis 8.22.6.3, struck for Geta. The reverse is a die match to a contemporary type struck for his brother Caracalla, H-H-J Nicopolis 8.18.14.29. It is a new discovery but not completely unexpected because parallel issues for members of the imperial family were normal at Nikopolis.
RP84573. Bronze AE 18, Unpublished, confirmed as a new type by J. Hoeft, VF, green patina, nice style, part of obverse legend weak, tight flan, scratches, weight 3.149 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, die axis 225o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, Middle May - 8 June 218 A.D.; obverse Λ AVP KΛ - ΓETAC, bare-head, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC IC, head of bearded Herakles right, protruding chin; extremely rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00
 


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 ICTPΩ = (coin) of the citizenry of Nicopolis on the Istrus (Danube)

The governor's full name was Tiberius Flavius Novius Rufus, he is also known from inscriptions.
RP84565. Bronze AE 27, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.26.6.5 (R3), Varbanov I 4058 (R3), AMNG I/I 1901, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, green patina, die break on obverse at beginning of legend, some flatness of strike, weight 12.513 g, maximum diameter 26.6 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, cos. legate Ti. Flavius Novius Rufus, 218 - 222; obverse AVK M AVP ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse YΠ NOBIOY POUΦ-OY - NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I,CTP-ON (last five leters in divided line across field), Serapis standing facing, kalathos on head, raising right hand, long scepter in left; ex Agora Auctions, sale 53, lot 70; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00
 


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

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Zeus was the ancient Greek sky and thunder god, who ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His Roman equivalent was Jupiter. Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach. He married Hera, by whom he fathered Ares, Hebe, and Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was also infamous for his erotic escapades. These resulted in many godly and heroic offspring, including Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the Muses. He was respected as an allfather who was chief of the gods and assigned the others to their roles: "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence." His symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak.
RP77829. Bronze AE 25, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.26.1.9 (R3), AMNG I/I 1897, Moushmov 1404, Varbanov 4098 (R3), SNG Cop -, F, corrosion, weight 11.331 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Novius Rufus, 218 - 219 A.D.; obverse AVT M AVP ANΩNINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse YΠ NOBIOY POYΦOY NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠP,OC I-CTP/O-N (ending in two divided lines across field), Zeus standing slightly left, nude, patera in right hand, long scepter vertical in left; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00
 







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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 Wednesday, February 21, 2018.
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Nikopolis ad Istrum