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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Thrace & Moesia ▸ MarcianopolisView Options:  |  |  | 

Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

Renamed by Trajan after his sister, Ulpia Marciana, Marcianopolis was an important strategic center, part of Roman Thrace until c. 190, and then belonged to Moesia inferior. Marcianopolis' prosperity was ended by Gothic raids in 248 and 249, another in 267 or 268, and other barbarian invasions from the north. The city recovered and under Diocletian Marcianopolis became the center of the province Moesia Secunda of the Diocese of Thrace, and was thoroughly rebuilt in the late 3rd and early 4th century. During Valens' conflict with the Goths (366 - 369), Marcianopolis was a temporary capital of the empire and the largest city of Thrace. In 447, it was destroyed by the Huns under Attila, immediately after the bloody Battle of the Utus River. Justinian I restored and fortified it, but it was subject to regular barbarian attacks. An Avar raid finally destroyed it in 614 or 615.


Macrinus and Diadumenian, 11 April 217 - 8 June 218 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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Renamed by Trajan after his sister, Ulpia Marciana, Marcianopolis was an important strategic center for centuries. The city was repeatedly destroyed by barbarian raids (Goths, Huns, Avars and others) but also was repeatedly rebuilt and prospered. During Valens' conflict with the Goths, Marcianopolis was a temporary capital of the empire and the largest city in Thrace. An Avar raid destroyed the city in 614 or 615.
RP70334. Bronze pentassarion, H-J Marcianopolis 6.24.34.2, AMNG I/I 778, Varbanov I 1290, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, attractive green patina, a few minor scratches, flan crack, centration dimples, weight 10.894 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Pontianus, 217 - 218 A.D.; obverse AYT K OΠEΛ CEYH MAKPEINOC K M OΠEΛ ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head of Macrinus right confronted with bare-head of Diadumenian left; reverse YΠ ΠONTIANOY MAPKIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Macrinus standing left, laureate, wearing military garb, right foot on helmet, Victory on globe offering wreath in his right hand, reversed spear vertical in left hand, two oval shields at feet on left, E in left field; ex CNG e-auction 278, lot 179; $215.00 (€191.35)
 


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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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.
RP68282. Bronze AE 19, H-J Marcianopolis 6.14.14.3, Varbanov I 733 var. (obv. legend), AMNG I/I 585 var. (same), VF, tight flan, weight 4.951 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 225o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AV Λ CEΠT CEVHPOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MAPKIANOΠOΛITΩN, Herakles standing left, nude, fighting the Nemean lion, which appears to be biting off his finger; $150.00 (€133.50)
 


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

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The ancients did not all agree on the attributes of Serapis. A passage in Tacitus affirms that many recognized in this god, Aesculapius, imputing healing to his intervention; some thought him identical with Osiris, the oldest deity of the Egyptians; others regarded him as Jupiter, possessing universal power; but by most he was believed to be the same as Pluto, the "gloomy" Dis Pater of the infernal regions. The general impression of the ancients seems to have been that by Serapis, was to be understood the beginning and foundation of things. Julian II consulted the oracle of Apollo for the purpose of learning whether Pluto and Serapis were different gods; and he received for an answer that Jupiter-Serapis and Pluto were one and the same divinity.
RP77300. Bronze pentassarion, H-J Marcianopolis 6.37.1.3 (R5), AMNG I/I 1121-2, Moushmov 797 800, gVF, well centered and struck, nice green patina (enhanced?), centration dimples, weight 11.423 g, maximum diameter 27.9 mm, die axis 0o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, magistrate Tullius Menophilus, 239 - 240 A.D.; obverse ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AVG, AVT K M (ending below busts), laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Gordian III right, confronting draped bust of Sarapis left; reverse VP MHNOΦIΛOV MAPKIANOΠOΛI,T/Ω (final two letters in right field), Zeus standing left, nude but for cloak over shoulders, thunderbolt in right hand, long scepter vertical in left, eagle left at feet on left, E (mark of value) upper left field; ex Gerhard Hirsch Nachfolger auction 271 (17 Feb 2011), lot 2516; $125.00 (€111.25)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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Renamed by Trajan after his sister, Ulpia Marciana, Marcianopolis was an important strategic center for centuries. The city was repeatedly destroyed by barbarian raids (Goths, Huns, Avars and others) but also was repeatedly rebuilt and prospered. During Valens' conflict with the Goths, Marcianopolis was a temporary capital of the empire and the largest city in Thrace. An Avar raid destroyed the city in 614 or 615.
RP67780. Bronze AE 23, H-J Marcianopolis 6.18.36.13, Varbanov I 905 (R3), AMNG I/I 631, SNG Cop -, VF, broad flan for the type, nice dark green patina, centration dimples, weight 6.801 g, maximum diameter 22.6 mm, die axis 45o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, 119 - 217 A.D.; obverse AY K M AYP ANT−ΩNINOC Π AY−Γ (final Γ below the bust), laureate head right; reverse MAPKIANOΠΛITΩN (AP ligate), Homonoia standing slightly facing, head left, kalathos on head, sacrificing from patera in right over flaming altar at feet on left, cornucopia in right; $115.00 (€102.35)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Marcianopolis, Moesia Inferior

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Hygieia is usually said to be a daughter of Asklepios, along with her sisters, Panacea and Iaso. Hygieia, though, was the most important of the attendants of Asklepios and was thought by some in antiquity to be not his daughter but his wife. She was more important than other members of the family and more on par with Asklepios himself. Hygieia is remembered today in the word, "hygiene." She appears on numerous coins, usually depicted feeding the sacred snake from a patera. She was often identified with Salus, an old Roman goddess.
RP77446. Bronze tetrassaria, H-J Marcianopolis 6.32.21.9 (R3, unlisted dies), Varbanov I 1722 (R3, noted as unpublished var.), AMNG I/I 1028.4, Moushmov 724, SNG Cop -, BMC -, VF, excellent portrait, well centered, right side of reverse legend unstruck, weight 11.131 g, maximum diameter 26.05 mm, die axis 45o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Umbrius Tereventinus, 225 - 229; obverse AVT K M AVR CEVH AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse HΓ OVM TEPEBENTEINOV MAPKIANOΠOΛIT,ΩN (OV's ligate, ΩN letters in exergue), Hygieia standing right, feeding serpent held in right hand, from patera in left hand; ραρε ϖαριετψ; $75.00 (€66.75)
 


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

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Renamed by Trajan after his sister, Ulpia Marciana, Marcianopolis was an important strategic center for centuries. The city was repeatedly destroyed by barbarian raids (Goths, Huns, Avars and others) but also was repeatedly rebuilt and prospered. During Valens' conflict with the Goths, Marcianopolis was a temporary capital of the empire and the largest city in Thrace. An Avar raid destroyed the city in 614 or 615.
RP70504. Bronze pentassarion, H-J Marcianopolis 6.37.5.- var. (R6, obv legend, reverse legend arrangement), Varbanov I 1976 ff. var. (R3, same); SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, scratches, flan cracks, centration dimples, weight 11.799 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 0o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, consular legate Tullius Menophilus; obverse M ANTΩNIOX ΓOP∆IANOC AY, confronted busts; Gordian on left, laureate, draped, and cuirassed from behind; Serapis on right, draped, kalathos on head; AYT K M below; reverse YΠ MHNOΦIΛOY MAPKIANOΠOΛ,I/T/Ω/N (last four letters in right field), Demeter standing facing, wearing kalathos, grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand, E in left; an unpublished variation of a scarce type; $70.00 (€62.30)
 


Click for a larger photo
Renamed by Trajan after his sister, Ulpia Marciana, Marcianopolis was an important strategic center for centuries. The city was repeatedly destroyed by barbarian raids (Goths, Huns, Avars and others) but also was repeatedly rebuilt and prospered. During Valens' conflict with the Goths, Marcianopolis was a temporary capital of the empire and the largest city in Thrace. An Avar raid destroyed the city in 614 or 615.
RP72568. Bronze AE 28, H-J Marcianopolis 6.14.36.18 (R2); AMNG I/I 580; Varbanov I, p. 118, 816 (R3); BMC Thrace p. 28, 5; Moushmov 385, F, tight flan, porous, weight 12.144 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 225o, Markianopolis (Devnya, Bulgaria) mint, magistrate Flavius Ulpianus, 210 - 211 A.D.; obverse AV K Λ CEΠ CEVHPOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse V ΦΛ O ΛΠIANOV MAPKIANOΠOΛITOΛI, Homonoia (Fortuna) standing facing, head left, kalathos on head, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; $32.00 (€28.48)
 


The Local Coinage of the Roman Empire - Moesia Inferior, I - III c. A.D., Marcianopolis

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This catalogue introduces the coinage of Marcianopolis and also assists in identifying and evaluating the coins of the city. This catalogue identifies degrees of rarity from R1 to R10.
BK10064. The Local Coinage of the Roman Empire - Moesia Inferior, I - III c. A.D., Marcianopolis by Nina Hristova and Gospodin Jekov, in Bulgarian and English, 1st edition, 2 color plates, 248 pages, NOT the latest edition, worn ex Forum copy; $20.00 (€17.80)
 







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REFERENCES

Hristova, N. & G. Jekov. The Local Coinage of the Roman Empire - Moesia Inferior, I - III c. A.D., Marcianopolis. (Blagoevgrad, 2006).
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 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, January 19, 2017.
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Marcianopolis