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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); $145.00 (€123.25)
 


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; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


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 his cousin King Eurystheus, 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.
SH68062. Bronze assarion, Varbanov I 2347; H-H-J Nikopolis p. 83, 8.14.14.24 corr. (same dies, R2); cf. AMNG I/I 1390 (obverse) and 1389 (reverse), EF, sharp, beautiful patina, weight 4.220 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 225o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AV K Λ C CEVHPOC Π, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛIT ΠPOC I, Herakles standing right, wrestling with the Nemean lion; SOLD










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, June 21, 2018.
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Nikopolis ad Istrum