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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. 275 - 225 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.
SH71566. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov p. 83 and pl. VI, 24 (O7/R11); Price 992; Mller Alexander 436, EF, superb style, nick on reverse right side edge, weight 16.858 g, maximum diameter 31.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 275 - 225 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY BAΣIΛEΩΣ, Zeus seated left, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right, long scepter vertical behind in left, Corinthian helmet right over ΠA monogram in inner left field under arm; $630.00 (548.10)


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; $170.00 (147.90)


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; $135.00 (117.45)


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; $95.00 (82.65)


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; $90.00 (78.30)


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.
GB75131. Bronze AE 22, SNG Stancomb 229, SNG Cop 658, SNG BM Black Sea 276 var (helmet left), VF, weight 5.837 g, maximum diameter 21.9 mm, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse Thracian helmet with cheek guard right; reverse MEΣAMBPIANΩN, wheel with hub; rare; $75.00 (65.25)


Mesembria, Thrace, c. 3rd Century B.C.

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(sampi) was an archaic Greek letter used between the 7th and the middle of the 5th centuries B.C., probably to denote some type of a sibilant (hissing) ΣΣ or TΣ sound, and was abandoned when the sound disappeared from Greek. The name sampi is of medieval origin. The letter's original name in antiquity is not known. Its use has been attested at the Ionian cities Miletus, Ephesos, Halikarnassos, Erythrae, and Teos, at the Ionian colony of Massalia in Gaul, on the island of Samos, and at Kyzikos, Mysia. At Mesembria, on the Black Sea coast of Thrace, it was used on coins in an abbreviation of the city's name, spelled ΜΕTΑ. In a famous painted black figure amphora from c. 615 B.C., known as the "Nessos amphora," the inscribed name of the eponymous centaur Nessus is rendered in the irregular spelling ΝΕΤΟΣ.
GB71906. Bronze AE 17, SNG BM 275, SGCV I 1675, SNG Cop 654, aVF, weight 3.797 g, maximum diameter 17.3 mm, die axis 315o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 3rd century B.C.; obverse crested Corinthian officer's helmet facing; reverse M-E-T-A (T = archaic Greek letter sampi = ΣΣ) counterclockwise, in the four quarters of a radiate wheel (solar disk?); $70.00 (60.90)


Mesembria, Thrace, 3rd - 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.
GB66024. Bronze AE 18, SNG BM 280 ff., SNG Cop 661, SGCV I 1676, gVF, encrustations, weight 5.312 g, maximum diameter 18.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 3rd - 2nd century B.C.; obverse diademed female head right; reverse METAM/BPIANΩN, Athena Alkidemos advancing left, shield in right, brandishing spear in left; $60.00 (52.20)


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; $50.00 (43.50)


Mesembria, Thrace, c. 351 - 88 B.C.

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(sampi) was an archaic Greek letter used between the 7th and the middle of the 5th centuries B.C., probably to denote some type of a sibilant (hissing) ΣΣ or TΣ sound, and was abandoned when the sound disappeared from Greek. The name sampi is of medieval origin. The letter's original name in antiquity is not known. Its use has been attested at the Ionian cities Miletus, Ephesos, Halikarnassos, Erythrae, and Teos, at the Ionian colony of Massalia in Gaul, on the island of Samos, and at Kyzikos, Mysia. At Mesembria, on the Black Sea coast of Thrace, it was used on coins in an abbreviation of the city's name, spelled ΜΕTΑ. In a famous painted black figure amphora from c. 615 B.C., known as the "Nessos amphora," the inscribed name of the eponymous centaur Nessus is rendered in the irregular spelling ΝΕΤΟΣ.
BB54675. Bronze AE 11, SNG BM 278, SNG Cop 656, Topalov Mesembria 11, VF, weight 1.030 g, maximum diameter 11.0 mm, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 351 - 88 B.C.; obverse Athena in crested helmet right; reverse M-E-T-A (T = archaic Greek letter sampi = ΣΣ) counterclockwise, in the four quarters of a radiate wheel (solar disk?); scarce; $45.00 (39.15)







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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).
Mller, L. Numismatique dAlexandre 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 Sunday, August 02, 2015.
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Mesembria