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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman Mints ▸ ThessalonicaView Options:  |  |  |   

Thessalonica, Macedonia (Salonika, Greece)

King Cassander of Macedonia founded Thessalonica in 315 B.C. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great. The Romans made Thessalonica the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia 168 B.C. In 50 A.D., the Apostle Paul founded the second Christian church on the European continent at Thessalonica and sent it his "Epistles to the Thessalonians." In 379 when the Roman Prefecture of Illyricum was divided between the East and West Roman Empires, Thessaloniki became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum. The city remained important in the Byzantine Empire. [Dates of operation: 298 or 299 - c. 460 (closed during the reign of Leo I, 457 - 474). Mintmarks: COM, COMOB, OES, SMTS, TE, TES, TESOB, TH, THES, THS, THSOB, TS, T Christogram E.


Julius Caesar, and Augustus, Thessalonica, Macedonia, After 14 A.D.

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Traditionally attributed to Thessalonica, but Touratsoglou rejected that attribution based on the style and die axis. We believe the style is not remarkably different from similar types from Thessalonica and, as discussed in RPC I, ΘE on the reverse may be an abbreviation of the ethnic.
RP88931. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 5421 (8 spec., uncertain mint); BMC Thessalonica p. 115, 61; SNG Evelpidis 1327; Varbanov 4154 (R5); SNG Cop -; Touratsoglou -, Choice aVF, glossy dark green patina, scattered light corrosion, weight 6.654 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonika (?, Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 14 A.D.; obverse ΘEOC (downward behind), bare head of Julius Caesar right; reverse CEBACTOY ΘE (clockwise from upper right), bare head of Augustus right; $260.00 (228.80)


Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.

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In 380, Rome's enemies the Germans, Sarmatians and Huns were taken into Imperial service; barbarian leaders began to play an increasingly active role in the Roman Empire.
RL74501. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC IX Thessalonica 62(a)1 (S), LRBC II 1864, SRCV V 20340, Cohen VIII 12 corr., VF, interesting turrets, tight and slightly irregular flan, weight 0.925 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 345o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 384 - 28 Aug 388 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA REIPVBLICE (glory of the Republic), campgate with two turrets, A left, TES in exergue; $70.00 (61.60)


Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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In 318, Constantine the Great was given the title Britannicus Maximus, for successful engagements in Britain. The details of the battles are unknown.
RL79956. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 33, SRCV IV 15382, Cohen VII 222, gVF, much silvering, well centered on a tight flan, weight 3.740 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 318 - 319 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassed bust right; reverse VOT XX / MVLT / XXX / TSA, within wreath; scarce; $65.00 (57.20)


Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.

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On 1 March 317, Constantine the Great and co-emperor Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still an baby) and Licinius II to Caesars. After this arrangement, Constantine ruled the dioceses Pannonia and Macedonia, and established his residence at Sirmium, from where he prepared a campaign against the Goths and Sarmatians.
RL79649. Billon reduced follis, RIC VII Thessalonica 20 (R4), SRCV IV 16702B, Cohen VII 109, F, full circles centering, dark green patina, weak centers, weight 2.822 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBILISSIMVS CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PRINCIPIA IVVENTVTIS (in honor of the Prince of Youth), soldier standing right, spear in right hand, shield on ground in left, TSΓ in exergue; rare; $50.00 (44.00)


Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D.

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In 370, Valentinian I and Valens banned the importation of wine and olive oil from areas controlled by the barbarians and banned marriages between Romans and barbarians under penalty of death.
RL88731. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX 27(a)xxxiii, LRBC II 1806, SRCV V 19518, Cohen VIII 37, Hunter V -, VF, tight flan, earthen deposits, weight 2.448 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SECVRITAS REIPVBLICAE (security of the Republic), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left hand, Z left, A right, TES in exergue; $19.00 (16.72)


Licinius Junior, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 18 September 324 A.D.

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TS in the mintmark abbreviates Thessalonika. E is the Greek numeral five, for the 5th officina (mint workshop). The significance of the VI is uncertain. It may be a mark of value but that would make it difficult to explain why VII is found on some similar issues.
RL88780. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 114 (R3), SRCV IV 15444, Cohen VII 8, Hunter V 23 var. (no star), aVF, well centered, dark patina, light scratches, coppery high points, earthen deposits, spots of porosity, weight 2.4171 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 320 A.D.; obverse LICINIVS IVN NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust left; reverse CAESARVM NOSTRORVM (our prince), VOT / V in two lines within wreath, wreath tied at the bottom and closed the top with a star, TSEVI in exergue; scarce; $15.00 (13.20)


Gratian, 24 August 367 - 25 August 383 A.D.

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At the beginning of the 16th century nearly 20,000 Sephardic Jews immigrated to Greece from Spain following their expulsion. By 1519, 15,715 Jews lived in Thessaloniki, 54% of the population. After the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 left 72,000 people homeless, unable to stay and survive, nearly half of the Jewish population emigrated to France, the United States and Palestine. On April 22, 1941, Thessaloniki fell to Nazi Germany. 50,000 Jews, 95% of the Jewish population, were sent to concentration camps where most were murdered in the gas chambers. Another 11,000 Jews were sent to forced labor camps, where most also perished. Only 1200 Jews live in the city today.
RL88714. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Thessalonica 26(c)xxi, LRBC II 1764, SRCV V 20071, Cohen VIII 23, F, dark green patina, bumps and marks, porous, exergue unstruck, weight 2.131 g, maximum diameter 16.8 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 24 Aug 367 - 17 Nov 375 A.D.; obverse D N GRATIANVS P F AVG (unbroken), pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), Emperor forcing barbarian captive to kneel with right, labarum (Chi-Rho standard) in left, wreath in left field, pellet over Γ right, TES in exergue; scarce; $14.00 (12.32)


Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.

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At the beginning of the 16th century nearly 20,000 Sephardic Jews immigrated to Greece from Spain following their expulsion. By 1519, 15,715 Jews lived in Thessaloniki, 54% of the population. After the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 left 72,000 people homeless, unable to stay and survive, nearly half of the Jewish population emigrated to France, the United States and Palestine. On April 22, 1941, Thessaloniki fell to Nazi Germany. 50,000 Jews, 95% of the Jewish population, were sent to concentration camps where most were murdered in the gas chambers. Another 11,000 Jews were sent to forced labor camps, where most also perished. Only 1200 Jews live in the city today.
RL88729. Billon centenionalis, RIC VII Thessalonica 153, LRBC I 829, SRCV IV 16254, Cohen VII 454, aVF, ragged chipped edge, areas of corrosion, weight 1.908 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 225o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 326 - 328 A.D.; obverse CONSTAN-TINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse PROVIDENTIAE AVGG (to the foresight of the two emperors), campgate with two turrets, top row decorated with pellets and arches, star above, dot right, SMTS[E?] in exergue; $14.00 (12.32)


Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D.

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In 1423, Despot Andronicus, who was in charge of the Thessaloniki, ceded it to the Republic of Venice in the hope that it could be protected from the Ottomans who were besieging the city (there is no evidence to support the oft-repeated story that he sold the city to them). The Venetians held Thessaloniki until it was captured by the Ottoman Sultan Murad II on the 29th of March, 1430. Murad II took Thessaloniki with a brutal massacre and enslaved roughly one-fifth of the city's native population. During the First Balkan War, on 26 October 1912, the feast day of the city's patron saint, Saint Demetrius, the Greek Army accepted the surrender of the Ottoman garrison at Thessalonika; after the Second Balkan War, in 1913 Thessaloniki was annexed to Greece by the Treaty of Bucharest.
RL88736. Bronze centenionalis, RIC IX Thessalonica 16(a)ii (S), LRBC II 1708, SRCV V 19453, Cohen VIII 12, Hunter V -, VF, green patina, well centered, irregular flan, scratches and marks, a little rough, weight 2.481 g, maximum diameter 18.2 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 367 - 375 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse GLORIA ROMANORVM (glory of the Romans), emperor walking left, dragging captive with right, labarum (chi rho Christogram standard) in left, TESB in exergue; $14.00 (12.32)


Maximinus II Daia, Late 309 - 30 April 313 A.D.

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Jupiter or Jove, Zeus to the Greeks, was the king of the gods and god of the sky and thunder, and of laws and social order. As the patron deity of ancient Rome, he was the chief god of the Capitoline Triad, with his sister and wife Juno. The father of Mars, he is, therefore, the grandfather of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome.
RL88739. Billon follis, RIC VI Thessalonica 50a, SRCV IV 14866, Cohen VI 113, Hunter V 21 var. (1st officina), F, well centered, dark patina, light marks, light deposits, weight 5.289 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 305 - 306 A.D.; obverse MAXIMINVS P F AVG, laureate head right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI (to Jupiter the protector), Jupiter standing half left, nude but for paludamentum over shoulders and left arm, globe in right hand, long scepter vertical in left hand, wreath left, Γ right, SMTS in exergue; $14.00 (12.32)




  



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Thessalonica