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

Hadrianopolis, Thrace

Hadrian refounded a Thracian tribal capital, changed its name to Hadrianopolis, developed it, adorned it with monuments, and made it the capital of the Roman province. The city is Edirne, Turkey today. From ancient times, the area around Edirne has been the site of no fewer than 16 major battles or sieges. Military historian John Keegan identifies it as "the most contested spot on the globe" and attributes this to its geographical location. Licinius was defeated there by Constantine I in 323, and Valens was killed by the Goths during the Battle of Adrianople in 378.


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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Hadrian refounded a Thracian tribal capital, changed its name to Hadrianopolis, developed it, adorned it with monuments, and made it the capital of the Roman province. The city is Edirne, Turkey today. From ancient times, the area around Edirne has been the site of no fewer than 16 major battles or sieges. Military historian John Keegan identifies it as "the most contested spot on the globe" and attributes this to its geographical location. Licinius was defeated there by Constantine I in 323, and Valens was killed by the Goths during the Battle of Adrianople in 378.
RP92734. Bronze AE 25, Varbanov II 3783 (R5), Jurukova Hadrianopolis 581, Lindgren 787, Mionnet Suppl. II 801, CN Online -, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, centered on a tight flan, attractive style, bumps and scratches, central depressions with light spiral marks, weight 9.263 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 45o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AV, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse A∆PIANOΠO,ΛEITΩN (last six letters in exergue), Emperor on horseback galloping right, spear overhead in right hand, reigns in left hand; scarce; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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The figure on the reverse is sometimes identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius. The inverted torch represents a life extinguished, indicating the figure is Thanatos (death). By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium rather than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.
RP89895. Bronze AE 20, Jurukova Hadrianopolis 390 (V199/R379), Varbanov II 3526 (R4), SNG Cop 571, BMC Thrace -, VF, brown tone, attractive style, slightly ragged flan with small edge splits, weight 3.986 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 30o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT K M AVP C EV - ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Thanatos standing right, winged, legs crossed, leaning on inverted extinguished torch; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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When Artemis was a child, she found five gigantic hinds (female deer) grazing in Thessaly and captured four of them to draw her chariot. The fifth escaped across a river to Mt. Cerynaea, on the border of Achaea and Arcadia. The Ceryneian or Golden Hind was sacred to Artemis. Although female, it had golden antlers like a stag and hooves of bronze. It was said that it could outrun an arrow in flight. Artemis allowed Heracles to capture the hind, his third labor, after he promised to liberate the animal after completing his task.
RP92882. Bronze tetrassarion, Jurukova 477 (V231/R463); CN Online Hadrianopolis CN_7052; Varbanov II 3724 (R4); BMC Thrace p. 120, 30; SNG Hunter -; SNG Cop -; Lindgren -, F, green patina, centered on a tight flan, central depressions, weight 10.412 g, maximum diameter 25.6 mm, die axis 180o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, c. 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse AVT K M ANT GOR∆IANOC AVΓ (VΓ ligate), laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Artemis standing facing, head left, wearing short chiton and boots, holding patera in outstretched right hand, bow in left hand, stag at her feet standing left; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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The kithara (cithara) was an ancient stringed musical instrument resembling the lyre. The lyre was a simpler folk-instrument with two strings and tortoise shell body. The kithara had seven strings and a flat back. The kithara is a symbol of Apollo and he is credited with inventing it. Its true origins were likely Asiatic.. The kithara was primarily used by professional musicians, called kitharodes. In modern Greek, the word kithara has come to mean "guitar."
RP89874. Bronze AE 26, Jurukova Hadrianopolis 547, Varbanov 3715 (R4), SNG Cop 588, Moushmov 2680, F, nice portrait, glossy dark patina, obverse slightly off center, reverse a little rough, central depressions, weight 10.328 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AV, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEIT,ΩN (last two letters in exergue), Apollo seated left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, laurel branch downward in right hand, kithara (lyre) resting on seat behind in left hand; $70.00 (€61.60)
 







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REFERENCES|

Brett, A. Catalogue of Greek Coins, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1955).
Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
Jurukova, Y. The Coinage of the Towns in Moesia Inferior and Thrace, 2nd-3rd centuries AD: Hadrianopolis. (Sophia. 1987).
Lischine, C. Collection C.N. Lischine, Monnaies grecques, Thrace. (Mâcon, France, 1902).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints from the Lindgren Collection. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins from the Lindgren Collection. (Quarryville, 1993).
Mionnet, T. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines, Supplement 2: Thrace. (Paris, 1807-1837).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
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, Italy, Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, VI. Macedonia - Thracia, Part| 3: Chersonesus Tauricus, Sarmatia, Thracia, Chersonesus Thraciae, Isole della Thracia. (Milan, 2000).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Vol. II: Thrace (from Abdera to Pautalia). (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
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Hadrianopolis