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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.


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


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

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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.
SH60004. Bronze AE 21, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.26.46.8, Varbanov I 3830, AMNG I/I 2017 var. (obv. legend), aEF, weight 5.811 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AVT K M AVPH ANTΩNINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPOC I, CTPON in ex, City gate flanked by two towers; rare; SOLD


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moesia Inferior

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In Greek mythology, Priapus was a minor rustic fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens and male genitalia. Priapus is marked by his oversized, permanent erection, which gave rise to the medical term priapism. He became a popular figure in Roman erotic art and Latin literature, and is the subject of the often humorously obscene collection of verse called the Priapeia.
SH77305. Bronze AE 18, H-H-J Nikopolis 8.14.17.4 (R5), AMNG I/I 1380, Moushmov 988, Varbanov I 2530 (R3), VF, well centered, green patina, flan cracks, weight 2.895 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 225o, Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikyup, Bulgaria) mint, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D.; obverse AV KAI CEΠ CEVHPOC, laureate head right; reverse NIKOΠOΛI−TΩN ΠPOC IC, Priapus standing half left with enormous phallus; SOLD







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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 Monday, December 10, 2018.
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Nikopolis ad Istrum