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

Serdica, Thrace

Serdica was originally a Thracian settlement, probably named after the Celtic Serdi tribe. For a short time in the 4th century B.C., the city was possessed by Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great. Around 29 B.C., Sofia was conquered by the Romans and renamed Ulpia Serdica. It became a municipium (the center of an administrative region) during the reign of Trajan. The city expanded, as turrets, protective walls, public baths, administrative and cult buildings, a civic basilica and a large amphitheater were built. When Diocletian divided the province of Dacia into Dacia Ripensis (on the banks of the Danube) and Dacia Mediterranea, Serdica became the capital of Dacia Mediterranea. The city expanded for the next century and a half, which caused Constantine the Great to call it "my Rome." Serdica was destroyed by the Huns in 447, but was rebuilt by Justinian and surrounded with great fortress walls whose remnants can still be seen today. Although often destroyed by the Slavs, the town remained under Byzantine dominion until 809. Serdica is today Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

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

|Roman| |Thrace| |and| |Black| |Sea|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |27|
Triptolemus was a demigod of the Eleusinian mysteries who presided over the sowing of grain-seed and the milling of wheat. His name means He who Pounds the Husks. In myth, Triptolemos was one of the Eleusinian princes who kindly received Demeter when she came mourning the loss of her daughter Persephone. The young goddess was eventually returned to her from the Underworld. Demeter, in her munificence, instructed Triptolemos in the art of agriculture and gave him a winged chariot drawn by serpents so that he might travel the world spreading her gift.
RP55003. Bronze AE 27, H-J Serdica 12.18.23.2 (R7), Varbanov III 2469, Mionnet I 371, F, weight 15.711 g, maximum diameter 27.4 mm, die axis 0o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K M AYΠ CEY ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse OYΛΠIAC CEP∆IKHC, Triptolemos nude except for billowing mantle, right hand raised, driving biga of winged serpents right; rare; SOLD


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

|Roman| |Thrace| |and| |Black| |Sea|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |29|
Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. She was believed to lead soldiers into battle as the war goddess Athena Promachos. The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis was dedicated to her, along with numerous other temples and monuments across Europe, West Asia, and North Africa. Her usual attribute is the owl and Nike is her frequent companion.
RP65167. Bronze AE 29, apparently unpublished and no examples found online; H-J Serdica -, Ruzicka Serdica -, Varbanov III -, Moushmov -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, extremely rare and possibly unique, weight 15.248 g, maximum diameter 29.3 mm, die axis 45o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 198 - 217 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AVP CEVH ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse OYΛΠIAC CEΠ∆IKH,C (final C in exergue), Athena seated left, patera extended in right, long scepter in left hand, shield at side leaning against seat; SOLD


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

|Caracalla|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |31|
Serdica is today called Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
RP39115. Bronze AE 31, Varbanov III 2368-9 var. (bust type), aVF, weight 17.196 g, maximum diameter 30.7 mm, die axis 0o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 198 - 217 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AVPH CEVH ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse OVΛΠIAC CEP∆IKHC, Hermes standing half-left, purse in right, caduceus in left; good centering; SOLD


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

|Serdica|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |30|
Serdica today is Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
RP68286. Bronze AE 30, H-J Serdica 12.18.38.-, Varbanov III 2477 (R4), Ruzicka Serdica 325, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, aVF, weight 15.478 g, maximum diameter 29.6 mm, die axis 225o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 211 - 217 A.D.; obverse AYT K M AYP CEYH ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse OYΛΠIAC CEP∆IKHC, Tyche-Fortuna standing facing, head left, kalathos on head, rudder on globe held by tiller in right, cornucopia in left; SOLD


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Serdica, Thrace

|Septimius| |Severus|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |31|
RP34835. Bronze AE 31, Varbanov III 1948 (R6), F, weight 14.962 g, maximum diameter 30.9 mm, die axis 180o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AV K Λ CEΠ CEVHPOC Π, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse HΓ M CTA BAPBAPOY CEP∆ΩN, Zeus standing left holding patera and scepter, eagle at feet; rare; SOLD


Gallienus, August 253 - September 268 A.D., Serdica, Thrace

|Gallienus|, |Gallienus,| |August| |253| |-| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |27|
RP38136. Billon AE 27, Varbanov III 2638, F, weight 10.196 g, maximum diameter 26.5 mm, die axis 0o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 260 - 268 A.D.; obverse AYT K ΓAΛΛIHNOC, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse OYΛΠIAC CEP∆IK−HC, Nike advancing right holding wreath and palm; rare; SOLD


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

|Serdica|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |18|
This is the first example of the type handled by Forum. H-J Serdica and Varbanov both share the same plate coin. Perhaps this type is rarer than the references estimate. This is the finest example of the only three specimens known to Forum.
RP90349. Bronze AE 18, H-J Serdica 12.18.48.1 (R3), Varbanov III 2454 (R5), Moushmov 4854, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, Lindgren -, VF, green patina, obverse off-center cutting off right side of legend, light corrosion, weight 3.420 g, maximum diameter 18.4 mm, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 28 Jan 198 - 8 Apr 217 A.D.; obverse AVK M ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse OVΛΠIAC CEP∆IKHC, eight point star, pellet off each point; scarce; SOLD


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

|Caracalla|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |29|
Homonoia was the goddess (or spirit or personification) of harmony, concord, unanimity, and oneness of mind. She is usually depicted either seated or standing with a cornucopia.
RP29041. Bronze AE 29, cf. Varbanov III 2383 - 2384, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F, weight 15.613 g, maximum diameter 29.0 mm, die axis 0o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 198 - 217 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AV CEV ANTΩNEINOC, laureate heroic bust left, from behind, wearing aegis; reverse OYΛΠIAC CEP∆IKH-C, Homonoia seated left, patera in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; both the obverse bust type and reverse type (R4) are scarce, the combination is unpublished; unpublished variation; SOLD


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

|Caracalla|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |30|
RP29042. Bronze AE 30, Varbanov III 3227, F, weight 16.725 g, maximum diameter 30.0 mm, die axis 195o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 198 - 217 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AVP CEVH ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse OYΛΠIAC CEΠ∆IKHC, Hera seated left, patera extended in right, long scepter vertical in left; SOLD


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

|Roman| |Thrace| |and| |Black| |Sea|, |Caracalla,| |28| |January| |198| |-| |8| |April| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace|, |AE| |19|
Serdica is today Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
RP62288. Bronze AE 19, H-J Serdica 12.18.53.4 (R2), Varbanov III 2108 var. (obv. legend), VF, weight 4.401 g, maximum diameter 18.6 mm, die axis 180o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 198 - 217 A.D.; obverse AY K M ANTΩN or similar, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse CEP∆ΩN, Lion walking right; scarce; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - ).
Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
Hristova, N. & G. Jekov. The Local Coinage of the Roman Empire - Thrace, I - III c. A.D., Serdica. (Blagoevgrad, 2007).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Mionnet, T.E. Description de Mdailles antiques grecques et romaines. (Paris, 1807-1837).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
RPC Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/
Ruzicka, L. Die Mnzen von Serdica, Numismatische Zeitschrift Bd. VIII. (Vienna, 1915).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
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, SNG Grce, Collection Rna H. Evelpidis, Part 1: Italie. Sicile - Thrace. (Athens, 1970).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II. Mnzen derAntike. Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (1993).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Vol. III: Thrace (Perinthus to Trajanopolis), Chersonesos Thraciae, Insula Thraciae, Macedonia. (Bourgas, 2007).

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