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

Thracian Tribes

Divided into numerous tribes, the Thracians did not recognize themselves as a single group. Thrace and Thracians were names given them by the Greeks. The Thracians did not form a lasting political organization until the Odrysian state was founded in the 5th century B.C. The 4th century was a time of strife and Macedonian encroachment. The coins of the Thracian rulers, which were struck in the Greek cities of the kingdom, are so scarce that they may have been struck more symbolic of regal authority than to meet the needs of trade.


Kings of Thrace, Thracian Kainoi, Mostis, c. 126 - 86 B.C.

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Mostis, reigned c. 126 - 86 B.C., was king of the Thracian Kainoi (Caeni) tribe in South East Thrace to Strandzha mountain, territory in Bulgaria and Turkey today. He king is best known from his coinage, which includes bronze coins and rare tetradrachms.
GB77206. Bronze AE 20, SNG BM 311 - 312, Youroukova 134, SNG Stancomb -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, VF, green patina, some light corrosion, weight 4.750 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, c. 126 - 86 B.C.; obverse jugate heads of Zeus and Hera right; countermark: monogram; reverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ / MOΣTI∆OΣ, eagle standing left on thunderbolt, monogram above right; very rare; SOLD


Kings of Thrace, Dynast Skostokos, c. 281 - 245 B.C., In the Name of Lysimachos, Portrait of Alexander the Great

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According to Youroukova and Mørkholm, Skostokos was a Thracian dynast who proclaimed himself an independent ruler in the unsettled period following Lysimachos' death. Based on the herm control symbol, scholars generally believe that his territory was in south-eastern Thrace near Sestos. Youroukova believes the bronze coinage may have been struck earlier, but the silver was struck during the brief period 281 - 279 B.C. Youroukova and Mørkholm both identify the likely mint for his silver coinage as Ainos, where Skostokos tetradrachm finds have been reported. Youroukova notes there was a Skostokos contemporary with Philip II, so some scholars refer to this ruler as Skostokos II.
SH79680. Silver drachm, apparently unpublished; cf. Fischer-Bossert Skostokos pl. III, 2 - 3 (tetradrachms), Youroukova -, Thompson - , Müller -, SNG Cop -, VF, superb portrait of Alexander, toned, well centered, some light marks and porosity, weight 3.314 g, maximum diameter 18.5 mm, die axis 90o, Thrace, Ainos(?) mint, c. 281 - 279 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena enthroned left, Nike standing left crowning name in her right hand, resting left arm on round shield behind, transverse spear against right side, herm facing inner left, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on right, ΛYΣIMAXOY downward on left; ex Rauch e-auction 17 (10 July 2015), lot 52; this is the only example of this Skostokos drachm type known to Forum; unique(?); SOLD


Thracians, Odrysian Kingdom, Kotys I 384 - 359 B.C.

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Soon after he became king, Kotys allied with Athens and married his daughter to the Athenian general Iphicrates, who became his second in command. With the help of Iphicrates, Kotys expanded his kingdom, but his success led to increasing tensions with Athens. The Second Athenian Confederacy was founded as a safeguard against Kotys. In 365 B.C., Kotys went to war with the Athenians for the Thracian Chersonese. Around this time, Kotys' treasurer Miltokythes rebelled. Iphicrates and Kotys' mercenary commander Charidemus bribed the Athenian commanders to help suppress the rebellion. In 361 B.C., Charidemus returned to Athens with a treaty from Kotys, proclaiming him an ally. By 360 B.C., Kotys controlled the whole Chersonese peninsula. Late Sep. 360 B.C., Kotys was murdered by two of Plato’s students, Python and Heraclides. Advisers to the King, they murdered him under the pretext that he had wronged their father. In Athens, they were proclaimed honorary citizens and rewarded with gold wreaths.

Kypsela, Thrace, was located in the region between the river Nestos to the river Hebros.
GS86792. Silver diobol, Winzer 31.3; SNG Ashmolean 3719; Topalov 96; Peter p. 114 var. (KO/T-Y and no ivy leaf), gVF, toned, light marks, slightly grainy/porous, weight .0793 g, maximum diameter 11.3 mm, die axis 0o, Kypsela mint, 384 - 359 B.C.; obverse bare head left, with beard and moustache; reverse two-handled vessel (Odrysian dynastic symbol?), KO above, ivy leaf right; very rare; SOLD


Thraco-Macedonian Tribes, Mygdones or Krestones, c. 480 - 470 B.C.

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Previously attributed to Aigai, Macedonia, Cathy Lorber has reattributed these coins as tribal issues from an area west or southwest of Bisaltia, probably inhabited by the Mygdones or Krestones.
CE83467. Silver diobol, SNG Berry 11 (same dies, Aigai); SNG ANS 60 (same); SNG Cop 30 (Aigai); AMNG III 15 (Aigai); Lorber Goats 15, VF, well centered, etched surfaces, weight 1.017 g, maximum diameter 10.7 mm, die axis 180o, tribal mint, issue 2, c. 480 - 470 B.C.; obverse male goat half-kneeling right, head turned left, pellets around; reverse quadripartite incuse square; SOLD


Thraco-Macedonian Tribes, c. Mid 5th Century B.C.

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Monkeys were kept as pets in antiquity. We know of only two ancient coin types depicting monkeys. One is this very rare type, with the monkey squatting either left or right. The other is an electrum hemihekte from Kyzikos, Mysia with fewer than five known specimens.
CE84168. Silver tetartemorion, Tzamalis 67 var. (monkey left); cf, Svoronos HPM pl. 7, 13 (different reverse, damaged die?), aEF, very tiny coin, obverse a little off center, porous, weight 0.209 g, maximum diameter 6.3 mm, uncertain mint, c. mid 5th century B.C.; obverse monkey squatting right; reverse round shield within incuse square; ex Numismatik Naumann auction 39 (3 Jan 2016), lot 47; very rare; SOLD


Thraco-Macedonian, Mid 5th - 4th Century B.C.

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A Gorgoneion was a horror-creating apotropaic Gorgon head pendant. The name derives from the Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful." The Gorgons were three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying face that turned those who saw it to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal, but their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by Perseus. Zeus, Athena, Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors wore Gorgoneion for protection. Images of the Gorgons were also put upon objects and buildings for protection. A Gorgon image is at the center of the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece from about 600 B.C.
GS92897. Silver hemiobol, Unpublished in the standard references; Roma Numismatics e-sale 41 (2 Dec 2017), lot 180 (the only other example known to FORVM), VF, well centered, toned, weight 0.300 g, maximum diameter 6.0 mm, tribal mint, Mid 5th - 4th Century B.C.; obverse facing head of gorgoneion Medusa; reverse incuse facing head of a lion or panther; SOLD


Thracians, Odrysian Kingdom, Kersebleptes, 359 - 340 B.C.

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The Odrysian Kingdom was a state union of Thracian tribes that endured between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC. It consisted mainly of present-day Bulgaria, spreading to parts of Northern Dobruja, parts of Northern Greece and parts of modern-day European Turkey. King Seuthes III later moved the capital to Seuthopolis.|Odrysian| |Kingdom|
SH14398. Bronze AE 12, Topalov Thrace 26.1, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, SNGvA, SGCV I -, SNG Turkey -, gF, weight 1.79 g, maximum diameter 12.2 mm, die axis 135o, Thrace mint, 359 - 340 B.C.; obverse head of Demeter left; reverse KEP around a cup with two handles, grain below; rare; SOLD


Odrysian Kingdom of Thrace, Teres III, 356 - 342 B.C.

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Divided into numerous tribes, the Thracians did not recognize themselves as a single group. Thrace and Thracians were names given them by the Greeks. The Thracians did not form a lasting political organization until the Odrysian state was founded in the 5th century B.C. The 4th century was a time of strife and Macedonian encroachment. The coins of the Thracian rulers, which were struck in the Greek cities of the kingdom, are so scarce that they may have been struck more symbolic of regal authority than to meet the needs of trade.
GB65967. Bronze AE 20, Topalov Thrace 107, Youroukova 59 (Teres II, caduceus not described or visible in plate), SNG Cop -, SNG BM -, SNG Stancomb -, VF, unusually thick flan (but usual for the type), weight 12.355 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Maronaea mint, 356 - 342 B.C.; obverse bipennis, THPEΩ around, the T formed by the axe shaft, dot border; reverse Five bunches of grape on vine inside linear square, caduceus left, all within a shallow square incuse; rare; SOLD


Thracians, Odrysian Kingdom, Seuthes III, c. 330 - 295 B.C.

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Seuthopolis, in the Tundza River valley, near the modern town of Kazanluk, was almost completely excavated in 1948 - 1954 prior to the building of a dam, which then flooded the settlement remains. In 2005, Bulgarian architect Zheko Tilev proposed a project to uncover, preserve and reconstruct the city of Seuthopolis (the best preserved Thracian city in Bulgaria) by means of a dam wall surrounding the ruins in the middle of the dam, enabling the site's designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and making it a tourist destination of world importance. Tourists would be transported to the site by boats. The round wall, 420 metres in diameter, would enable visitors to see the city from 20 metres above and would also feature "hanging gardens", glass lifts, a quay, restaurants, cafés, shops, ateliers, etc. It would be illuminated at night.  See http://www.eikongraphia.com/?p=2626.
GB39288. Bronze AE 21, Youroukova p. 76 & pl. XI, 68; Peter p. 184, 7; SNG Cop 1072; SNG BM 317; SNG Stancomb 293, VF/gF, weight 6.810 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 315o, Seuthopolis (near Kazanlak, Bulgaria) mint, c. 323 - 316 B.C.; obverse laureate, bearded head of Seuthus III right; reverse ΣEYΘOY, horseman cantering right, wreath below; SOLD


Thracians, Odrysian Kingdom, Seuthes III, c. 330 - 295 B.C.

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Youroukova notes, "In front of the horse traces of restriking - wreath." Our coin is from different dies, also overstruck, and also has the wreath. The wreath detail is sharp and it is double struck matching the rest of the reverse. Topalov does not mention the wreath but it is present on his plate image. A few examples online also have the wreath. The wreath is clearly from the Seuthes die.
GB90512. Bronze AE 24, Youroukova p. 79 & pl. XI, 87; Topalov 116 corr. (wreath); cf. Peter p. 182, 4 (no wreath); SNG Stancomb 294 (same); SNG Cop 1073 (same); SNG BM -, EF, overstruck on a Philip II of Macedonia bronze, double struck, nice green patina, weight 2.662 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 45o, Seuthopolis (near Kazanlak, Bulgaria) mint, c. 323 - 316 B.C.; obverse laureate, bearded head of Seuthus III right; undertype: head of Apollo right (eye and nose on Seuthus' forehead); reverse ΣEYΘOY, horseman cantering right, eight pointed star below horse's belly, wreath on right before horse; undertype: a horseman right (similar to overtype!); scarce; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
Fischer-Bossert, W. "Die Lysimachaeier des Skostokos" in Revue Belge de Numismatique et de Sigillographie CLI. (2005).
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, 1935).
Grose, S. W. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fizwilliam Museum, Vol. II: The Greek mainland, the Aegean islands, Crete. (Cambridge, 1926).
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).
Lorber, C. "The Goats of 'Aigai'" in pour Denyse.
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Peter, U. Die Münzen der Thrakischen Dynasten (5-3. Jahrhundert v. Chr.). (Berlin, 1997).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Sear, D.R. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
Svoronos, J. L'hellénisme primitif de la Macédoine, prouvé par la numismatique et l'or du Pangée. (Paris/Athens, 1919).
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, Volume IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain, Volume XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, United States, Burton Y. Berry Collection, Part 1: Macedonia to Attica. (New York, 1961).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, United States, The Collection of the American Numismatic Society, Part 7: Macedonia 1 (Cities, Thraco-Macedonian Tribes, Paeonian kings). (New York, 1987).
Topalov, S. Ancient Thrace: Contributions to the Study of the Early Thracian Tribal Coinage and its Relations to the Coinage of the Odrysians and the Odrysian Kingdom During 6th-4th C. B.C. (Sophia, 2003).
Tzamalis, A.P. "Uncertain Thraco-Macedonian Coins" in NK 16-18 (1997-1999).
Youroukova, Y. The Coins of the Ancient Thracians. (Oxford, 1976).

Catalog current as of Sunday, October 20, 2019.
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Thracian Tribes