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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Greek Coins ▸ Geographic - All Periods ▸ Macedonia ▸ ThessalonikaView Options:  |  |  | 

Thessalonika, Macedonia

Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.


Macedonia, Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 95 - 70 B.C.

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This type was apparently intended to encourage Macedonian pride by portraying the legendary national hero of the Macedonians, and at the same time clearly communicate Roman authority with name and symbols of the Roman quaestor.
SH77214. Silver tetradrachm, Bauslaugh Group VIII (O90/R328); SNG Ashmolean 3305; AMNG III 224; SNG Cop 1330; SGCV I 1439, VF, rose toning, crowded flan, die wear, weight 16.397 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 95 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon and flowing hair, Θ behind, MAKE∆ONΩN below; reverse AESILLAS above money-chest (cista), club, and Q over quaestor's chair (sella curulis), all within laurel wreath, pellet on chest handle, pellet at center of wreath knot, pellet at end of Q; $320.00 (€272.00)
 


Macedonia, Roman Rule, Quaestor Aesillas, 95 - 70 B.C.

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This type was apparently intended to encourage Macedonian pride by portraying the legendary national hero of the Macedonians, and at the same time clearly communicate Roman authority with name and symbols of the Roman quaestor.
RS77035. Silver tetradrachm, Bauslaugh Group VI (O76), SNG Lockett 1543, SNG Cop 1330, SNG Ashmolean 3305, AMNG III 223, SGCV I 1439, VF, toned, porous, light deposits of copper salts, weight 11.862 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 95 - 70 B.C.; obverse head of Alexander the Great right with horn of Ammon and flowing hair, Θ behind, MAKE∆ONΩN below; reverse AESILLAS above money-chest (cista), club, and Q over quaestor's chair (sella curulis), all within laurel wreath, pellet below sella, pellet at end of Q; $260.00 (€221.00)
 


Augustus and Gaius Caesar, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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Caius Caesar, born in 20 B.C. and Lucius Caesar, born in 17 B.C., were the sons of Agrippa and Julia, and the grandsons of Augustus. Augustus adopted them and designated them as his successors. As boy's, they were declared consul elect, princeps juventutis, honored with priesthoods, and admitted to the senate. In 1 A.D. Caius was consul and was sent to Armenia, where he showed talent for both civil government and military enterprise. In 2 A.D., rather than invade, Gaius met with King Phraates V and concluded peace with the Parthians, who recognized Roman claims to Armenia. The brothers seemed destined for greatness. But Lucius, the younger of the two, died suddenly at Marseilles on 20 August 2 A.D. And, on his return from Armenia, Caius was treacherously wounded by a local Roman magistrate, fell into a lingering illness, and on 21 February 4 A.D., at the early age of 24, died at Limyra in Lycia. Augustus' wife, their step-mother, Livia, was rumored to have arranged both of their deaths to advance her son Tiberius, who was later adopted as Augustus' son and heir.
RP87431. Bronze AE 23, Touratsoglou 160 (V46/R143 ); RPC I 1564 (10 spec.); BMC Macedonia p. 117, 73; SNG Cop -, VF, blue-green patina, light scratches, light corrosion/porosity, weight 9.708 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 90o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 1 - 4 A.D.; obverse ΘEΣΣAΛONIKEΩN, laureate head of Augustus right; reverse ΓAIOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY YIOΣ, bare head of Gaius Caesar right; $185.00 (€157.25)
 


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.
RP79950. Bronze AE 27, Touratsoglou p. 246, 5 (V6/-, unlisted rev. die); SNG Cop 422; Varbanov III 4471 (R3); BMC Macedonia p. 123, 109; SNG ANS 873 var. (bust from behind), VF, well centered and struck, nice green patina, small edge split, flan crack, light marks, weight 11.341 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 13 Mar 222 - Mar 235 A.D.; obverse AV K M AV CEV AΛEΞAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKEΩN, Nike advancing left, Kabeiros in extended right hand, palm frond in left hand; scarce; $105.00 (€89.25)
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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The god Kabeiros is similar in appearance to Dionysos and the rites of his cult were likely similar to those of the Dionysian mysteries. The attributes of Kabeiros are a rhyton and hammer.
RP83493. Bronze AE 26, Touratsoglou p. 262, 25 (V2/R20), Varbanov III 4545 (R3), SNG Hunterian 714, SNG Cop 426, SNG Evelpidis 1348, BMC Macedonia p. 124, 116, aVF, excellent portrait, green patina, large centration dimple on obverse, bumps and marks, some light corrosion, weight 9.207 g, maximum diameter 25.7 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AV K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKEΩN, Nike advancing left, Kabeiros holding hammer in her right hand, palm frond in her left hand; $105.00 (€89.25)
 


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.
RP83478. Bronze AE 24, Touratsoglou 158 (V25/R55), McClean 3793, Varbanov 4416 (R6), Moushmov 6753, SNG Cop -, SNG ANS -, BMC Macedonia -, F, green patina, a few minor scratches, edge bump, weight 6.654 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 90o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse AV K M AVP ANTΩNINOC, laureate head right; reverse ΘECCAΛONKEΩN, Nike standing right, left foot on helmet, shield held with both hands and resting on left knee; $100.00 (€85.00)
 


Philip I the Arab, February 244 - End of September 249 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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The god Kabeiros is similar in appearance to Dionysos and the rites of his cult were likely similar to those of the Dionysian mysteries. The attributes of Kabeiros are a rhyton and hammer.
RP59998. Bronze AE 25, Varbanov III 4709, BMC Macedonia p. 127, 133, SNG Cop -, VF, nice green patina, light scratches, weight 8.831 g, maximum diameter 25.2 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, obverse AYK K M IOY ΦIΛIΠΠOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKEΩN ΠYΘIA, Apollo standing left, small Kabeiros in right, laurel branch in left, at his feet, agonistic urn containing a palm branch rests on a table; scarce; $95.00 (€80.75)
 


Maximinus I Thrax, 20 March 235 - Late May 238 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

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Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.
RP87299. Bronze AE 25, Touratsoglou 42 (V12/R34), Varbanov III 4504 var. (obv. leg.), SNG ANS -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Cop -, BMC Macedonia -, VF, superb portrait, green patina, cleaning marks, weight 10.963 g, maximum diameter 25.3 mm, die axis 30o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, 20 Mar 235 - late May 238 A.D.; obverse AVT K Γ IOVΛ OVHP MAΞIMINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse ΘECCAΛONIKEΩN, Nike alighting right, wreath in extended right right hand, palm frond over left shoulder in left hand; ex CNG auction 423 (27 Jun 2018), lot 310; ex Belgica Collection; $95.00 (€80.75)
 







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REFERENCES

Bauslaugh, R. A. Silver Coinage with the Types of Aesillas the Quaestor. ANSN Numismatic Studies 22. (New York, 2000).
Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol. II: Macedon, Thrace, Thessaly, NW, central & S. Greece. (London, 1924).
Gaebler, H. Die antiken Münzen von Makedonia und Paionia, Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. III. (Berlin, 1906).
Head, B. V. British Museum Catalogue of Greek Coins, Macedonia, etc. (London, 1879).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
MacKay, P. A. "Bronze Coinage in Macedonia, 168-166 B.C." in ANSMN 14 (1968), pp. 5 - 13, pl. III.
Mionnet, T. E. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines. (Paris, 1807-1837).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. The History and Coinage of the Roman Imperators 49 - 27 BC. (London, 1998).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Austria, Klagenfurt, Landesmuseum für Kärnten, Sammlung Dreer, Part 3: Thracien-Macedonien-Päonien. (Klagenfurt, 1990).
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 V, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Part 3: Macedonia. (London, 1976).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XII, The Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, Part 1: Roman Provincial Coins: Spain-Kingdoms of Asia Minor. (Oxford, 2004).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Schweiz II. Münzen derAntike. Katalog der Sammlung Jean-Pierre Righetti im Bernischen Historischen Museum. (Bern, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, USA, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 7: Macedonia 1 (Cities, Thraco-Macedonian Tribes, Paeonian kings). (New York, 1997).
Touratsoglou, I. Die Münzstätte von Thessaloniki in der römischen Kaiserzeit. AMUGS XII. (Berlin, 1988).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Vol. III: Thrace (from Perinthus to Trajanopolis), Chersonesos Thraciae, Insula Thraciae, Macedonia. (Bourgas, 2007).

Catalog current as of Friday, October 19, 2018.
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Thessalonika