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Home>Catalog>GreekCoins>Geographic-AllPeriods>Thrace&Moesia>Nikopolis

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.


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo 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; $220.00 (€165.00)

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo 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.
RP64058. Bronze AE 22, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.18.32.2 (R4, same dies), Varbanov 3056 (R4, same dies), AMNG I/I -, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, aVF, well centered, attractive, open flan crack, weight 10.551 g, maximum diameter 22.3 mm, die axis 45o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Aurelius Gallus, 201 - 203 A.D.; obverse AY K M AY ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse YΠA AYP ΓAΛΛOY NIKOΠOΛITΩ, ΠPOC ICTP, river god Istros reclining left, nude to the waist, right hand rests on galley at his side in background, right arm rests on overturned urn from which water flows, reeds in right hand; $135.00 (€101.25)

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo 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, AMNG I/I 2039, Varbanov I 3849, 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 (€101.25)

Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Nicopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo Nicopolis ad Istrum can be said to have been the birthplace of Germanic literary tradition. The Gothic bishop, missionary and translator Ulfilas (Wulfila) obtained permission from Constantius II to immigrate with his flock of converts to Moesia and settle near Nicopolis ad Istrum in 347. There, he invented the Gothic alphabet and translated the Bible from Greek to Gothic.
RP34260. Bronze AE 27, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.36.46.6 (R4), Varbanov I 4227, gVF, nice green patina, weight 11.818 g, maximum diameter 26.9 mm, die axis 195o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Sabinius Modestus, 241 - 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANTΩNIOC ΓOP∆IANOC, radiate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse YΠ CAB MO∆ECTOY NIKOΠOΛEITΩN ΠPOC ICTPON, tetrastyle temple containing statue of Herakles(?) resting on club(?) in right, pellet on pediment; bargin priced!; $110.00 (€82.50)

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo 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, AMNG I/I 1389, Varbanov I 2347, 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 strangling the Nemean lion; $70.00 (€52.50)

Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo 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 corr. (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; $70.00 (€52.50)

Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo 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.
RP39114. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.26.47.6 (R3), Varbanov I 3859, AMNG I/I 2028 var (laureate head right), SNG Cop -, VF, weight 2.121 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 180o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AVT K M ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC ICTPON, Nike standing right, and Elagabalus standing left holding spear, they erect a trophy of captured arms with two bound captives at the base; nice patina; scarce; $60.00 (€45.00)

Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior
Click for a larger photo 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 AE 18, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.47.20, Varbanov I 2546, AMNG I/I 1424, SNG Cop -, 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; $40.00 (€30.00)


ITEMS PER PAGE 13510203050



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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, 2012).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: 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, Denmark, 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 Chersonesos, 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).
Varbanov, Ivan. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Volume I: Dacia, Moesia Superior & Moesia Inferior. (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005).

Catalog current as of Sunday, October 26, 2014.
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Nikopolis ad Istrum