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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, c. 275 - 225 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

|Mesembria|, |Mesembria,| |Thrace,| |c.| |275| |-| |225| |B.C.,| |Civic| |Issue| |in| |the| |Types| |and| |Name| |of| |Alexander| |the| |Great||tetradrachm|NEW
Mesembria, Nesebar Bulgaria today, was a Doric settlement on a Black Sea island just off mainland Thrace. Thrace was invaded by the Galatians in 279 B.C. Only the wealthy coastal cities, including Mesembria, withstood their attacks. Following that chaos, rule of Thrace was divided between many tribes. Philip V, 221 - 179 B.C., tried to regain control of the area for the Macedonian Kingdom, but his success was limited and short lived. Mesembria was taken by Mithradates VI in the First Mithradatic War and surrendered to Rome in 71 B.C. The city struck Alexandrine tetradrachms as early as 275 B.C., more than 50 years after Alexander's death, and probably issued the very last Alexandrine tetradrachms struck anywhere, possibly under Roman rule as late as 65 B.C.
GS112925. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov p. 83 and pl. VI, 24 (O7/R11); Price 992; Mller Alexander 436, VF, well centered, marks/scratches, rev. double struck, uneven toning, weight 16.709 g, maximum diameter 29.4 mm, die axis 45o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 275 - 225 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean Lion skin, scalp over head, forepaws tied at neck; reverse AΛΕΞANΔPOY BAΣIΛΕΩΣ, Zeus seated left, nude to waist, himation around hips and legs, right leg drawn back, eagle in extended right hand, long scepter vertical behind in left hand, Corinthian helmet right over (ΠA monogram) in inner left field under arm; $550.00 SALE PRICE $495.00


Mesembria, Thrace, 2nd Century B.C.

|Mesembria|, |Mesembria,| |Thrace,| |2nd| |Century| |B.C.||AE| |23|
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.
GB110698. Bronze AE 23, SNG BM 284 ff., SGCV I 1677, SNG Cop 660, SNG Stancomb 236, Choice F, attractive style and surfaces, edge crack, weight 7.156 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 2nd Century B.C.; obverse diademed female head right; reverse Athena Promachos advancing left holding shield and brandishing javelin, crested helmet inner left, MEΣAM/BPIANΩN in two downward lines, the first on the right, the second on the left; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00


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; $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00


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?); $50.00 SALE PRICE $45.00







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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).

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