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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. 250 - 175 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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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.
SH91294. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov p. 83 & pl. VI, 21 - 22 (O7/R10, same die break on exergue line); Price 992; Müller Alexander 436, Mektepini 9, HGC 3.2 1567 (R1), VF, attractive style, well centered and struck, light toning, weight 17.003 g, maximum diameter 27.7 mm, die axis 30o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 250 - 175 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on left, Zeus Aëtophoros 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; $350.00 (€308.00)
 


Mesembria, Thrace, c. 250 - 175 B.C., Civic Issue in the Types and Name of Alexander the Great

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In 279 B.C., Ptolemy Keraunos, the son of Ptolemy I, was captured and killed by Galatian Celts who overran Thrace and established a Celtic kingdom at Tylis. Mesembria, Odessos, Kallatis, and Istros, later followed by Cabyle, Dionysopolis and Tomis began striking gold and silver coins in the name of Alexander the Great along with autonomous civic bronze coinage. Much of the silver and gold coinage was likely needed to pay tribute to the new Celtic rulers of the hinterland until the destruction of the Kingdom of Tylis, c. 218 B.C.
SH91296. Silver tetradrachm, Karayotov p. 83 & pl. VI, 21 - 22 (O7/R10, same die break on exergue line); Price 992; Müller Alexander 436, Mektepini 9, HGC 3.2 1567 (R1), VF, attractive style, well centered on a tight flan, light marks, struck with a slightly dirty reverse die, weight 16.601 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 30o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, c. 250 - 175 B.C.; obverse head of Herakles right, wearing Nemean lion-scalp headdress; reverse AΛEΞAN∆POY downward on right, BAΣIΛEΩΣ downward on left, Zeus Aëtophoros 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; $350.00 (€308.00)
 


The Coinage of Messambria Volume I

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Silver and Gold Coins of Mesambria. Thracia Pontica Series IV. Thracia Maritima, Corpus Numorum.
BK13345. The Coinage of Messambria Volume I: Silver and Gold Coins of Mesambria by Ivan Karayotov, 1994, 134 pages, 4 plates, map, new; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Mesembria, Thrace, 3rd - 2nd Century B.C.

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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.
GB85183. Bronze AE 18, SNG BM 280 ff., SNG Cop 661, SGCV I 1676, VF, attractive brown copper surfaces, well centered on a tight flan, weight 5.276 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 3rd - 2nd century B.C.; obverse diademed female head right; reverse METAM/BPIANΩN (T = archaic Greek letter sampi = ΣΣ), Athena Alkidemos advancing left, shield on right arm, brandishing spear in left hand; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Mesembria, Thrace, 3rd - 2nd Century B.C.

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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.
GB87732. Bronze AE 20, SNG BM 280 ff., SNG Cop 661, SGCV I 1676, VF, toned bronze, small green encrustations, crowded round flan, weight 6.584 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 3rd - 2nd century B.C.; obverse diademed female head right; reverse METAM/BPIANΩN (T = archaic Greek letter sampi = ΣΣ), Athena Alkidemos advancing left, shield on right arm, brandishing spear in left hand; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


Mesembria, Thrace, 300 - 250 B.C.

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The wheel on the reverse is depicted with a degree of perspective, which is unusual on ancient coins.
GB68697. Bronze AE 20, SNG Stancomb 229, SNG Cop 658, SNG BM 276 var. (helmet left), VF, green patina, weight 4.348 g, maximum diameter 20.3 mm, die axis 90o, Mesambria (Nesebar, Bulgaria) mint, 300 - 250 B.C.; obverse Thracian helmet with cheek guard right; reverse wheel with hub, METAM/BPIANΩN (T = archaic Greek letter sampi = ΣΣ) above and below; ex Pecunem Gitbud & Naumann, auction 7, lot 49; rare; $60.00 (€52.80)
 







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REFERENCES|

Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
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).
Müller, L. Numismatique d?Alexandre le Grand; Appendice les monnaies de Philippe II et III, et Lysimaque. (Copenhagen, 1855-58).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Price, M. J. 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 Sunday, October 20, 2019.
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Mesembria