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

Mesembria, Thrace

Mesembria (Mesambria) was a Doric settlement on an island at the Black Sea coast. Today a man-made isthmus connects it to the mainland. The modern name is Nesebar, an important seaside resort. Several ancient churches and ruins are preserved on the peninsula.


Mesembria, Thrace, c. 125 - 65 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland Thrace. Today it is a seaside resort and a man-made isthmus connects it to the coast. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms possibly as early as 275 B.C. It is likely Mesembria issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms, possibly even under Roman rule, as late as 65 B.C.
GS79628. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov I 264 (O44/R121); Price 1085; MŁller Alexander 461; Topalov Messambria 18; Callatay p. 330, a/D18-R2, gVF, attractive Herakles, scratches, scrapes on reverse, light corrosion, edge bent chipped, weight 16.177 g, maximum diameter 33.8 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 125 - 65 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, clad in Nemean Lion scalp headdress tied at neck; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ AΛEΞAN∆POY, Zeus AŽtophoros enthroned left, eagle extended in right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, right leg drawn back, ΠPO over Corinthian helmet inner left under arm, HPA (HP ligate) monogram under throne; $275.00 SALE PRICE $248.00


Mesembria, Thrace, 300 - 250 B.C.

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The wheel on the reverse is depicted with a degree of perspective, which is unusual on ancient coins.
GB71334. Bronze AE 18, SNG Stancomb 229, SNG Cop 658, SNG BM Black Sea 276 var. (helmet left), VF, weight 4.093 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, die axis 270o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse Thracian helmet with cheek guard right; reverse MEΣAMBPIANΩN, wheel with hub; rare; $150.00 SALE PRICE $135.00


Mesembria, Thrace, 300 - 250 B.C.

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The wheel on the reverse is depicted with a degree of perspective, which is unusual on ancient coins.
GB68697. Bronze AE 20, SNG Stancomb 229, SNG Cop 658, SNG BM Black Sea 276 var. (helmet left), VF, green patina, weight 4.348 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 90o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse Thracian helmet with cheek guard right; reverse MEΣAMBPIANΩN, wheel with hub; ex Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann, auction 7, lot 49; rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00


Gallic(?) Tribes in Thrace, c. 250 - 230 B.C., Imitative of Mesembria

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The crude style and inscriptions indicate this was probably not an official issue of Mesembria, but rather an imitative issue from a nearby Gallic tribes. Kavaros who ruled 230 - 218 B.C., was the last Gallic king in Thrace and the only Gallic king in Thrace to strike coins. He issued coins with the same types but replaced the city ethnic with his name. Perhaps an earlier Gallic king anonymously issued this cruder coin.
GB68053. Bronze AE 21, for prototype see SNG BM 280 ff., SNG Cop 661, SGCV I 1676, VF, weight 5.568 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 315o, tribal mint, c. 250 - 230 B.C.; obverse diademed female head right; reverse METAM/BPIANΩN, Athena Alkidemos advancing left, shield in right, brandishing spear in left; $85.00 SALE PRICE $76.50


Mesembria, Thrace, 2nd Century B.C.

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Mesembria (Mesambria) was a Doric settlement on an island at the Black Sea coast. Today a man-made isthmus connects it to the mainland. The modern name is Nesebar, an important seaside resort. Several ancient churches and ruins are preserved on the peninsula.
GB90758. Bronze AE 22, SNG BM 284 ff., SGCV I 1677, SNG Cop 660, SNG Stancomb 236, Choice F, weight 8.434 g, maximum diameter 23.2 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, obverse diademed female head right; reverse MEΣAMBPIANΩN, Athena Promachos advancing left holding shield and brandishing javelin, crested helmet inner left; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


Mesembria, Thrace, 300 - 250 B.C.

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The wheel on the reverse is depicted with a degree of perspective, which is unusual on ancient coins.
GB90743. Bronze AE 20, SNG Stancomb 229, SNG Cop 658, SNG BM Black Sea 276 var. (helmet left), F, encrusted, weight 6.375 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 270o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse Thracian helmet with cheek guard right; reverse MEΣAMBPIANΩN, wheel with hub; rare; $40.00 SALE PRICE $36.00







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REFERENCES

Karayotov, I. The Coinage of Mesambria Vol. I: Silver and Gold Coins of Mesambria. (Sozopol, Bulgaria, 1994).
Karayotov, I. The Coinage of Mesambria. Vol. II. Bronze Coins of Mesambria. (Sozopol, 2009).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
MŁller, L. Numismatique díAlexandre le Grand; Appendice les monnaies de Philippe II et III, et Lysimaque. (Copenhagen, 1855-58).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Price, M. J. The Coinage in the name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (Zurich-London, 1991).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
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, 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).
Topalov, S. Messambria Pontica: Contribution to the Study the Coin Minting of the City, 5th-1st C. BC. (Sofia, 1995).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Vol. II: Thrace (Abdera to Pautalia). (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005).

Catalog current as of Monday, July 25, 2016.
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Mesembria