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

Hadrianopolis, Thrace

Hadrian refounded a Thracian tribal capital, changed its name to Hadrianopolis, developed it, adorned it with monuments, and made it the capital of the Roman province. The city is Edirne, Turkey today. From ancient times, the area around Edirne has been the site of no fewer than 16 major battles or sieges. Military historian John Keegan identifies it as "the most contested spot on the globe" and attributes this to its geographical location. Licinius was defeated there by Constantine I in 323, and Valens was killed by the Goths during the Battle of Adrianople in 378.


Julia Domna, Augusta, 194 - 8 April 217 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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Hadrian refounded a Thracian tribal capital, changed its name to Hadrianopolis, developed it, adorned it with monuments, and made it the capital of the Roman province. The city is Edirne, Turkey today. From ancient times, the area around Edirne has been the site of no fewer than 16 major battles or sieges. Military historian John Keegan identifies it as "the most contested spot on the globe" and attributes this to its geographical location. Licinius was defeated there by Constantine I in 323, and Valens was killed by the Goths during the Battle of Adrianople in 378.
SH65237. Bronze AE 25, Jurukova p. 157 & pl. XXII, 244 (V137/R244); Mionnet, Suppl. II, 658; BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Hunterian -, VF, green patina, weight 7.837 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 180o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse IOYΛIA ∆O CEBACTH, draped bust right, hair in horizontal ridges, looped plait below ear and on neck; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, galley left with four oarsmen and steersman in stern; very rare; SOLD


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis, learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one snake bringing another snake healing herbs. Hygieia, the goddess of health, was his daughter with Minerva. Woman seeking fertility, the sick, and the injured slept in Asclepius' temples in chambers where non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor and provide healing.
RP41398. Bronze AE 28, BMC Thrace p. 116, 3, aVF, weight 13.457 g, maximum diameter 27.6 mm, die axis 225o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AYTKAITAIA∆PI ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse HΓAΠOYOΠEICKOYA∆PIANOΠOΛEIT, Asklepios standing facing, looking left, staff which serpent twines in left, Hygieia standing right, patera in right hand, feeding serpent; SOLD


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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RP33641. Bronze AE 26, Varbanov II 3408 var. (shorter ethnic), aVF, weight 8.411 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 225o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AV Λ CEΠT CEVHPOC Π or similar, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse HΓE T CTA BAPBAPOY A∆PIANOΠOΛ, distyle temple of Artemis, pyramidal roof, roof-line of three rows of decorated stone, Artemis advancing right within, bow in left hand, drawing arrow from quiver with right hand, hound leaping behind; attractive green patina, some cleaning scratches; SOLD


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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Nemesis was the avenger of crimes and punisher of wicked doers.
RP37474. Bronze AE 27, Varbanov II 3825 - 7 var. (obv. legend), gVF, weight 12.317 g, maximum diameter 28.0 mm, die axis 45o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AYΓ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Nemesis standing left, cubit rule in right hand, scepter in left hand, wheel at feet left; choice portrait; scarce; SOLD


Caracalla, 28 January 198 - 8 April 217 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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The MFA Boston coin, accession number 62.428 has the same reverse type but was struck with a different reverse die and an obverse with a much older, bearded, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind. We did not find any other Caracalla type from Hadrianopolis with this heroic bust obverse.
RP68427. Bronze AE 28, apparently unpublished; cf. MFA Boston 62.428 (leg, bust), Jurukova -, Varbanov -, Moushmov -, SNG Cop -, SNG Milan -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, VF, centered, weight 13.324 g, maximum diameter 28.3 mm, die axis 45o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AYT K M AYPH ANTΩNINOX, laureate, heroic bust right, aegis on left shoulder; reverse A∆PIAN−OΠOΛIT,ΩN, Hades-Serapis seated left on throne without back, kalathos on head, reaching with his right to Cerberus (his three-headed hellhound) at his feet, long scepter vertical behind in left; extremely rare, possibly unique ; SOLD


Hadrianopolis, Thrace, c. 238 - 244 A.D.

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Hercules, assigned the labor of slaying the Hydra, quickly learned that when he cut off one of its heads two grew back. His nephew Iolaus aided him by quickly cauterizing the open stumps with a firebrand, preventing the heads from regrowing. Hera, who had created the Hydra to kill him, sent a large crab to distract him during the fight. But Hercules crushed the crab under his mighty foot and killed the Hydra.
GB56643. Bronze AE 18, Jurukova Hadrianopolis 709 (O298/R670), Moushmov 2479, Mionnet Suppl. II 604, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, SNG Fitzwilliam -, SNG Hunterian -, F, weight 2.251 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 180o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, c. 238 - 244 A.D.; obverse TON KTICTHN, bearded head of Herakles right; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Herakles raising club against the Lernaean Hydra, which has wrapped itself around his leg, tree to left, bow and quiver upright behind him; very rare; SOLD


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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Apollo's most important attribute is the tripod lebes, a cauldron in a three-legged stand used for religious rituals. The tripod lebes is symbolic of his prophetic powers. At his temple at Delphi, his priestess sat on his tripod chewing laurel leaves and inhaling hallucinating vapors from a fissure in the floor. After she mumbled her prophesy, a male priest would translate it for the supplicant.
RP28144. Bronze AE 31, Varbanov 3711, nice VF, weight 15.593 g, maximum diameter 31.3 mm, die axis 180o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AVΓ, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Apollo standing left, nude, branch in right hand, resting left on snake-entwined tripod; scarce; SOLD


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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Wandering the world in a panther-drawn chariot, Dionysus rode ahead of the maenads and satyrs, who sang loudly and danced, flushed with wine. They were profusely garlanded with ivy and held the thyrsus, a staff topped with a pine-cone, a symbol of the immortality of his believers. Everywhere he went he taught men how to cultivate vines, and the mysteries of his cult. Whoever stood in his way and refused to revere him was punished with madness.
RP29651. Bronze AE 26, Varbanov II 4004, gF, weight 10.554 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 0o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AΓ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Dionysos, thyrsos in right, reclining left on back of panther walking right; SOLD


Commodus, March or April 177 - 31 December 192 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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The river connected to Hadrianopolis is Hebros (Hebrus), today the Maritsa (or Evros), the longest river of the Balkans.
RP89884. Bronze diassarion, RPC IV online T10457 (10 spec.); Jurukova 133, pl. 14; Varbanov II 3291 (R4); Lischine 418; BMC Thrace -; SNG Cop -, Nice gF, toned brass surfaces, light marks, central depressions, weight 9.249 g, maximum diameter 23.53 mm, die axis 15o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, as caesar, 166 - 177 A.D.; obverse AY KAI Λ AY KOMO∆OC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, light beard; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEI−TΩN, river-god Hebros reclining left, holding reed in his right hand, left elbow resting on vase from which water flows, reed growing in background behind legs; very rare; SOLD


Marcus Aurelius, 7 March 161 - 17 March 180 A.D., Hadrianopolis, Thrace

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Edirne, historically known as Adrianople, Hadrianopolis in Latin, was founded by the Roman emperor Hadrian on the site of a previous Thracian settlement named Uskudama
RP89764. Bronze AE 26, RPC Online IV-1 T10606 (4 spec.), Jurukova Hadrianopolis 50, Varbanov II 3203 (R4), Moushmov 2516, gF, scratches, weight 9.378 g, maximum diameter 26.3 mm, die axis 180o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, 161 - 180 A.D.; obverse ΦAVCTEINA CEBACTH, bare-headed and draped bust right; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, river-god reclining left, cornucopia and reed in right hand, left arm resting on urn from which water flows; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 36 (27 May 2017), lot 212; only one sale recorded on Coin Archives in the last two decades - and it was this coin; very rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Brett, A. Catalogue of Greek Coins, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1955).
Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
Jurukova, Y. The Coinage of the Towns in Moesia Inferior and Thrace, 2nd-3rd centuries AD: Hadrianopolis. (Sophia. 1987).
Lischine, C. Collection C.N. Lischine, Monnaies grecques, Thrace. (M‚con, France, 1902).
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).
Mionnet, T. Description de Mťdailles antiques grecques et romaines, Supplement 2: Thrace. (Paris, 1807-1837).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
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, Italy, Milano, Civiche Raccolte Numismatiche, VI. Macedonia - Thracia, Part| 3: Chersonesus Tauricus, Sarmatia, Thracia, Chersonesus Thraciae, Isole della Thracia. (Milan, 2000).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Vol. II: Thrace (from Abdera to Pautalia). (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005).

Catalog current as of Thursday, December 12, 2019.
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Hadrianopolis