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Ancient Greek Coins from Thrace and Moesia

Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Viminacium, Moesia Superior

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Viminacium was a Roman Colony founded by Gordian III in 239 A.D. The usual legend is P.M.S. COL. VIM., abbreviating Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium. The usual type is a female personification of Moesia standing between a lion and a bull. The bull and the lion were symbols of the Legions VII and IV, which were quartered in the province.
SL84535. Bronze AE 28, H-J Viminacium 24 (R2); Varbanov I 130; AMNG I/I 96; BMC Thrace p. 16, 17; SGICV 3874; Mousmov 36, ANACS F12 (4988740), maximum diameter 28 mm, die axis 225o, Viminacium (Stari Kostolac, Serbia) mint, autumn 243 - autumn 244 A.D.; obverse IMP M IVL PHILIPPVS PIVS FEL AVG P M, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse P M S COL VIM (Provinciae Moesiae Superioris Colonia Viminacium), Moesia standing facing, head left, extending hands over bull on left standing right and lion on right standing left, AN V (year 5 of the Viminacium colonial era) in exergue; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection; $80.00 (€71.20)


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Serdica, Thrace

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Asklepios was the son of Apollo and a mortal woman named Coronis. Apollo killed Coronis for being unfaithful but rescued the unborn Asklepios from her womb. Apollo carried the baby to the centaur Chiron who raised Asclepius and instructed him in the art of medicine. In return for some kindness, a snake taught him secret knowledge of healing. Asclepius became so proficient as a healer that he surpassed both Chiron and his father, Apollo. Asclepius was even able to evade death and to bring the dead back to life. Zeus killed him to restore balance to the human population but later resurrected Asclepios as a god to prevent a feud with Apollo. Zeus instructed Asclepios to never revive the dead without his approval.
RP84488. Bronze AE 30, H-J Serdica 12.18.20.13 (R5), Varbanov III 2204 var. (obv. leg.), Moushmov 154 var. (same), SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, nice green patina, smoothing, some light corrosion, centration dimples, weight 14.349 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 180o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AVK M AVPH ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right; reverse OVΛΠIAC CEP∆IKHC, Asclepius seated left on throne without back, torso bare, himation around hips and leges and over left shoulder, patera in right hand, snake-coiled staff in left hand; from the Dr. Sam Mansourati Collection, ex CNG e-auction 320 (12 Feb 2014), lot 281; this coin is the only example of the type on Coin Archives; very rare; $285.00 (€253.65)


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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The Three Graces, named Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia, were the attendants of Venus (Aphrodite). They are shown on Roman provincial coins as a statuary group, nude and sometimes holding apples.
RP84853. Bronze AE 21, H-J Marcianopolis 6.36.26.3 (same dies), Varbanov 1908, AMNG I -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, Mionnet -, Moushmov -, VF, dark green patina, porous, centration dimples, weight 4.432 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Marcianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, 240/241 A.D.; obverse M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AVT, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from the front; reverse MAPKIANOΠOΛITΩN (the final N in exergue), The Three Graces standing, nude, the outer two facing, with heads turned outward and holding apples in outer hand, the middle with back facing and with arms around other two; ex CNG e-auction 225, lot 242; ex Mark Staal Collection of the Three Graces; ex Palladium, Sep 1997; rare; $135.00 (€120.15)


Julia Domna, Augusta 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Plotinopolis, Thrace

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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.
RP84571. Bronze AE 21, Varbanov III 1842 (R9, same dies, noted as otherwise unpublished), AMNG I/I -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, SGIC -, VF, excellent portrait, attractive glossy dark green patina, tight flan, some legend unstruck or off flan, centration dimples, weight 4.601 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Plotinopolis (Didimochito, Greece) mint, 211 - 217 A.D.; obverse IOVΛ ∆O - CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse ΠΛΩTEINO-ΠOΛEITΩN, Tyche-Fortuna standing facing, head left, kalathos on head, grounded rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; extremely rare; $100.00 (€89.00)


Philip I and Otacilia Severa, 244 - 249 A.D., Marcianopolis, 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 snake bringing another snake 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.
RP83492. Bronze pentassarion, H-J Marcianopolis 6.41.22.1 (R6), Varbanov I 2083, AMNG I/I 1206, Mouchmov 850, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, gVF, green patina, porous, small edge splits, centration dimples, weight 12.529 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 180o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Prastina Messallinus, 244 - 247; obverse AYT M IOYΛ ΦIΛIΠΠOC AVΓ M WTAK, CEBHPAC / E (ending in two lines in exergue), confronted busts of Philip I on left, facing right, laureate, draped, and cuirassed, and Otacilia Severa, on right, facing left, diademed and draped; reverse YΠ ΠPACT MECCAΛΛEINOY MAPKIANOΠOΛEIT,ΩN (final two letters in column in right field), serpent in four coils, erect head nimbate right, E (mark of value) in left field; $190.00 (€169.10)


Diadumenian, Mid May - 8 June 218 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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Diana is depicted here in the same pose as The Diana of Versailles, a slightly over life-size Roman marble statue from the 1st or 2nd century A.D., copying a lost Greek bronze original attributed to Leochares, c. 325 B.C. The sculpture may have come from a sanctuary at Nemi or possibly from Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. In 1556, it was given by Pope Paul IV to Henry II of France, a subtle allusion to the king's mistress, Diane de Poitiers. It is now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
RP84156. Bronze triassarion, H-J Marcianopolis 6.25.13.2 (R3); Varbanov I 1311 (R3); AMNG I/I 787; BMC Thrace p. 33, 40; SNG Cop -, VF, grainy, large flan split/crack, centration dimples, weight 8.989 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 0o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, 217 - 218 A.D.; obverse M K OΠEΛAION ANTΩNEINOC K, Bare headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse MAPKIANO-ΠOΛEITΩN, Artemis advancing right, bow in left hand, drawing arrow from quiver with right hand, hound at feet springing right on her far side, Γ (mark of value) behind; $90.00 (€80.10)


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; $105.00 (€93.45)


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.
BB83890. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.9.27 (R2), AMNG I/I 1371, Moushmov 920, Varbanov I 2526 (R4) corr. (obv. leg), SNG Cop -, F, green patina in fields with coppery types and legends, rough, tight and slightly ragged flan, weight 1.361 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AV KAI CE - CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOPC IC, head of bearded Herakles right, protruding chin; extremely rare; $105.00 (€93.45)


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.
BB83890. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.9.27 (R2), AMNG I/I 1371, Moushmov 920, Varbanov I 2526 (R4) corr. (obv. leg), SNG Cop -, F, green patina in fields with coppery types and legends, rough, tight and slightly ragged flan, weight 1.361 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AV KAI CE - CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOPhead of bearded Herakles right, protruding chin; extremely rare; $105.00 (€93.45)


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.
BB83890. Bronze assarion, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.9.27 (R2), AMNG I/I 1371, Moushmov 920, Varbanov I 2526 (R4) corr. (obv. leg), SNG Cop -, F, green patina in fields with coppery types and legends, rough, tight and slightly ragged flan, weight 1.361 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AV KAI CE - CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOPOΛIT-ΩN ΠPOC IC, Nike standing left, leaning with left forearm on a waist-high column, wreath downward in right hand, palm frond in left hand and cradled in left arm; $19.00 (€16.91)


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; $90.00 (€80.10)


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

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Istros was the ancient Thracian name for the Danube, Europe's second-longest river.
RP77985. Bronze AE 26, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.23.32.7 (R4, same dies), Varbanov I 3467 (R4), BMC Thrace p. 48, 48, AMNG I/I 1761, SNG Cop -, F, well centered, light encrustations, light corrosion, weight 10.298 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 11 Apr 217 - 8 Jun 218; obverse AVTK M OΠEΛΛ CEV MAKPINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse VΠ CTA ΛONΓINOV NIKOΠOΛITΩN, ΠPOC IC (ending in exergue), youthful river-god Istros reclining left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, right elbow rests on right leg, right hand rest on prow on his far side, left hand rests on toppled vase behind, from which water flows; struck under the consular legate Statius Longinus; from the Butte College Foundation, ex Lindgren; scarce; $30.00 (€26.70)











Catalog current as of Sunday, April 30, 2017.
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Thrace & Moesia