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

Mesembria, Thrace

Mesembria (Mesambria) was a Doric settlement on an island at the Black Sea coast. Today a man-made isthmus connects it to the mainland. The modern name is Nesebar, an important seaside resort. Several ancient churches and ruins are preserved on the peninsula.

Mesembria, Thrace, 300 - 250 B.C.

|Mesembria|, |Mesembria,| |Thrace,| |300| |-| |250| |B.C.||AE| |20|
The wheel on the reverse is depicted with a degree of perspective, which is unusual on ancient coins.

(sampi) was an archaic Greek letter used between the 7th and the middle of the 5th centuries B.C., probably to denote some type of a sibilant (hissing) ΣΣ or TΣ sound, and was abandoned when the sound disappeared from Greek. The name sampi is of medieval origin. The letter's original name in antiquity is not known. Its use has been attested at the Ionian cities Miletus, Ephesos, Halikarnassos, Erythrae, and Teos, at the Ionian colony of Massalia in Gaul, on the island of Samos, and at Kyzikos, Mysia. At Mesembria, on the Black Sea coast of Thrace, it was used on coins in an abbreviation of the city's name, spelled META. In a famous painted black figure amphora from c. 615 B.C., known as the "Nessos amphora," the inscribed name of the eponymous centaur Nessus is rendered in the irregular spelling NETOΣ.
GB98883. Bronze AE 20, SNG Stancomb 229, SNG Cop 658, SNG BM 276 var. (helmet left), gF, weight 6.780 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse Thracian helmet with cheek guard right; reverse wheel with hub and four spokes, METAM/BPIANΩN (T = archaic Greek letter sampi = ΣΣ) divided, above and below; rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Mesembria, Thrace, 300 - 250 B.C.

|Mesembria|, |Mesembria,| |Thrace,| |300| |-| |250| |B.C.||AE| |22|
The wheel on the reverse is depicted with a degree of perspective, which is unusual on ancient coins.

(sampi) was an archaic Greek letter used between the 7th and the middle of the 5th centuries B.C., probably to denote some type of a sibilant (hissing) ΣΣ or TΣ sound, and was abandoned when the sound disappeared from Greek. The name sampi is of medieval origin. The letter's original name in antiquity is not known. Its use has been attested at the Ionian cities Miletus, Ephesos, Halikarnassos, Erythrae, and Teos, at the Ionian colony of Massalia in Gaul, on the island of Samos, and at Kyzikos, Mysia. At Mesembria, on the Black Sea coast of Thrace, it was used on coins in an abbreviation of the city's name, spelled META. In a famous painted black figure amphora from c. 615 B.C., known as the "Nessos amphora," the inscribed name of the eponymous centaur Nessus is rendered in the irregular spelling NETOΣ.
GB98884. Bronze AE 22, SNG Stancomb 229, SNG Cop 658, SNG BM 276 var. (helmet left), aVF, porous, oval flan, weight 4.457 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse Thracian helmet with cheek guard right; reverse wheel with hub and four spokes, METAM/BPIANΩN (T = archaic Greek letter sampi = ΣΣ) divided, above and below; rare; $90.00 SALE PRICE $81.00


Mesembria, Thrace, 3rd Century B.C.

|Mesembria|, |Mesembria,| |Thrace,| |3rd| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |16|
Mesembria (Mesambria) was a Doric settlement on an island at the Black Sea coast. Today a man-made isthmus connects it to the mainland. The modern name is Nesebar, an important seaside resort. Several ancient churches and ruins are preserved on the peninsula.

The majority of this type have the archaic letter sampi instead of sigma. Sampi was an archaic Greek letter resembling a T, probably used to denote some type of a sibilant (hissing) SS or TS sound. It was abandoned when the sound disappeared from Greek. The name sampi is of medieval. The letter's name in antiquity is not known.
GB97876. Bronze AE 16, SNG BM Black Sea 275; SNG Cop 654 corr. (META); Karayotov II p. 184, 1 ff.; SNG Stancomb -; BMC Thrace -, F, green patina, some corrosion, weight 3.647 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 3rd century B.C.; obverse crested Corinthian officer's helmet facing; reverse M-E-Σ-A counterclockwise, in the four quarters of a radiate wheel (solar disk?); $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00







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REFERENCES

Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
Hoover, O. Handbook of Coins of Macedon and Its Neighbors, Vol. 3, Part II: Thrace, Skythia, and Taurike, Sixth to First Centuries BC. HGC 3.2. (Lancaster, 2017).
Karayotov, I. The Coinage of Mesambria Vol. I: Silver and Gold Coins of Mesambria. (Sozopol, Bulgaria, 1994).
Karayotov, I. The Coinage of Mesambria. Vol. II. Bronze Coins of Mesambria. (Sozopol, 2009).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
Mller, L. Numismatique d'Alexandre le Grand; Appendice les monnaies de Philippe II et III, et Lysimaque. (Copenhagen, 1855-58).
Poole, R., ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Price, M. The Coinage in the name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. (Zurich-London, 1991).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
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 IX, British Museum, Part 1: The Black Sea. (London, 1993).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain XI, The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of the Black Sea Region. (Oxford, 2000).
Topalov, S. Messambria Pontica: Contribution to the Study the Coin Minting of the City, 5th-1st C. BC. (Sofia, 1995).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Vol. II: Thrace (Abdera to Pautalia). (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005).

Catalog current as of Friday, September 30, 2022.
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