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

Tomis, Moesia Inferior

Tomis (Constanta, Romania today) was a Greek colony founded on the Black Sea shore around 600 B.C. for trade with the local Getic populations. In 29 B.C. the Romans captured the region, which they called Limes Scythicus, from the Odryses. The Roman poet Ovid was banished by Augustus to Tomis in 8 A.D. and died there eight years later. By his account, Tomis was "a town located in a war-stricken cultural wasteland on the remotest margins of the empire." The city was later in the Province of Moesia, and, from the time of Diocletian, it was the metropolis of Scythia Minor. During Maurice's Balkan campaigns, in the winter of 597/598, Tomis was besieged by the Avars. Tomis was within the Bulgarian Empire for over 500 years, later in the independent principality of Dobrotitsa/Dobrotici, in Wallachia under Mircea I of Wallachia, and under Ottoman rule from around 1419. Tomis was renamed "Kwnstantia" ("Constantia") in honor of Constantia, the half-sister of Constantine the Great sometime before 950.

Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., In the Name and Types of Lysimachos

|Pontic| |Kingdom|, |Pontic| |Kingdom,| |Mithradates| |VI,| |c.| |120| |-| |63| |B.C.,| |In| |the| |Name| |and| |Types| |of| |Lysimachos||stater|
Mithradates VI Eupator "the Great" expanded his Pontic Kingdom through conquest, which inevitably brought him into conflict with Rome. He regarded himself as the champion of the Greeks against Rome, however, after three years of war, he was defeated by Pompey the Great. The design of this coin is taken from a coin of Lysimachos, bodyguard of Alexander the Great, and King of Thrace, 323 - 281 B.C. The Lysimachos coin depicted Alexander the Great on the obverse. The features of the portrait on this type are those of Mithradates VI.
SH98723. Gold stater, Callata p. 141, pl. 37 (D3/R1); AMNG I/II 2480; SNG Cop 1091 (Thrace); HGC 3.2 1931 (R1), gVF, struck with worn dies, tight flan, weight 8.352 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, First Mithradatic War, c. 88 - 86 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great right wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena Nikephoros seated left, wearing crested helmet, Nike in extended right hand, resting left elbow on grounded round shield behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ΛYΣIMAXOY downward on left, ΘEM (magistrate) inner left, TO under throne, ornamented trident in exergue; ex Tauler & Fau auction 85 (25 May 2021), lot 7030; SOLD


Pontic Kingdom, Mithradates VI, c. 120 - 63 B.C., Lysimachos Type

|Pontic| |Kingdom|, |Pontic| |Kingdom,| |Mithradates| |VI,| |c.| |120| |-| |63| |B.C.,| |Lysimachos| |Type||stater|
Mithradates VI Eupator "the Great" expanded his Pontic Kingdom through conquest, which inevitably brought him into conflict with Rome. He regarded himself as the champion of the Greeks against Rome, however, after three years of war, he was defeated by Pompey the Great. The design of this coin is taken from a coin of Lysimachos, bodyguard of Alexander the Great, and King of Thrace, 323 - 281 B.C. The Lysimachos coin depicted Alexander the Great on the obverse. The features of the portrait on this type are those of Mithradates VI.
SH85133. Gold stater, De Callata p. 141, pl. 37 (D1/R1); AMNG I/II 2477; SNG Cop 1090 (Thrace); HGC 3.2 1931 (R1), VF, die wear, weight 8.395 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, Moesia Inferior, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, First Mithradatic War, 88 - 86 B.C.; obverse diademed head of Alexander the Great (with the features of Mithradates VI), wearing the horn of Ammon; reverse Athena Nikephoros seated left, wearing crested helmet, Nike in extended right hand, resting left elbow on grounded round shield behind, BAΣIΛEΩΣ (king) downward on right, ΛYΣIMAXOY downward on left, monogram and V above knee, TO on throne, ornamented trident in exergue; ex CNG e-auction 92 (23 Jun 2004), lot 27; rare; SOLD


Pertinax, 31 December 192 - 28 March 193 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Pertinax|, |Pertinax,| |31| |December| |192| |-| |28| |March| |193| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||tetrassaria|
This puzzling reverse, perhaps either a procession or a mythological scene, remains unexplained.
SH46863. Bronze tetrassaria, Varbanov I 4791, AMNG I/II 2732, Moushmov 1869, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, F, weight 10.633 g, maximum diameter 27.5 mm, die axis 180o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, Jan - 28 Mar 193 A.D.; obverse AYT K Π EΛB ΠEPTINAZ, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse MHTPOΠ ΠONTOY TOMEΩC, uncertain male (the emperor?) in a cart pulled left by an ox, led by woman with a plectrum in right and a lyre in left, ∆ (mark of value)above; extremely rare; SOLD


Maximus, Caesar, 235 or 236 - 24 June 238 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Tomis|, |Maximus,| |Caesar,| |235| |or| |236| |-| |24| |June| |238| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||AE| |27|
Nemesis, the winged balancer of life, is the goddess of revenge, the avenger of crimes and punisher of wicked doers. She distributes fortune, good or bad, in due proportion to each according to what is deserved. The wheel of fate rests against her side. She holds a lorum, a long scarf worn by Roman magistrates, to symbolize her authority as judge, and holds the scales and cubit rule to measure each man's just deserts.
RP49048. Bronze AE 27, Varbanov I 5519, AMNG I/II 3348a, VF, attractive dark green patina, weight 10.460 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 180o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, obverse Γ IOYΛ OYH MAΞIMOC KAIC, bare-headed, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MHTPO ΠONTOY TOMEΩC, Nemesis standing facing, head left, wand in right hand, scepter in left hand, wheel at feet, ∆ (mark of value) in left; scarce; SOLD


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Tomis|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||tetrassaria|
Hygieia is usually said to be a daughter of Asklepios, along with her sisters, Panacea and Iaso. Hygieia, though, was the most important of the attendants of Asklepios and was thought by some in antiquity to be not his daughter but his wife. She was more important than other members of the family and more on par with Asklepios himself. Hygieia is remembered today in the word, "hygiene." She appears on numerous coins, usually depicted feeding the sacred snake from a patera. She was often identified with Salus, an old Roman goddess.
RP48578. Bronze tetrassaria, Varbanov I 5363, AMNG I/II 3193, gVF, weight 10.524 g, maximum diameter 26.1 mm, die axis 0o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, obverse AYT K M AYP CEY AΛEZAN∆POC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MHTPO ΠONTOY TOMEΩ,C, Hygieia standing right, patera in right hand, feeding serpent held in left, ∆ (mark of value) left, ς in exergue; superb sharp obverse, nice surfaces; SOLD


Septimius Severus, 9 April 193 - 4 February 211 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Tomis|, |Septimius| |Severus,| |9| |April| |193| |-| |4| |February| |211| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||tetrassaria|
Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the god of commerce and thieves. He was the son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. His symbols include the caduceus and winged sandals.
RP53792. Bronze tetrassaria, Varbanov I 4812, AMNG I/II 2743, VF, weight 11.522 g, maximum diameter 27.32 mm, die axis 225o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, obverse A K Λ CEΠT CEYHPOC Π, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MHTPO ΠONTOY TOMEC, Hermes standing left, holding purse in right, caduceus in left, ram at feet, ∆ (mark of value) in left field; well centered, nice green patina, some light cleaning scratches; SOLD


Severus Alexander, 13 March 222 - March 235 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Tomis|, |Severus| |Alexander,| |13| |March| |222| |-| |March| |235| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||tetrassaria|
The Romans, whose fondness for new gods increased with the influence of their foreign conquests, introduced the worship of Serapis within the walls of their city; not, however, without some opposition and resistance from the Senate. Through the influence of P. Victor an altar was erected to Serapis in the Circus Flaminii, and it quickly assumed the form of a superb temple which, after its Alexandrine prototype, was called the Serapeon. The principal Italian cities, never far behind Rome, soon imitated her example, and it was not long before the worship of Serapis was extended from Italy by the different colonies sent from that country into Asia Minor.
RP49046. Bronze tetrassaria, Varbanov I 5419, AMNG I/II 3155, VF, weight 12.131 g, maximum diameter 18.3 mm, die axis 180o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, 222 - 235 A.D.; obverse AVT K M AVP CEV AΛEZAN∆POC, laureate head right; reverse MHTPO ΠONTOY TO, MEΩC ∆, bust of Serapis facing, resting on spread wings of eagle facing, head left, standing on base; very rare type; SOLD


Elagabalus, 16 May 218 - 11 March 222 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Tomis|, |Elagabalus,| |16| |May| |218| |-| |11| |March| |222| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||tetrassaria|
Demeter in Greek mythology is the goddess of grain and fertility, the pure; nourisher of the youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death; and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century B.C. she is invoked as the "bringer of seasons," a subtle sign that she was worshiped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian Mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon.
RP54146. Bronze tetrassaria, Unpublished variety; Varbanov 5195 var. (obverse legend, ∆ in ex), AMNG I/II -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, SNG Righetti -, VF, weight 11.932 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 0o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, obverse AVT KAI M AVP ANTΩNEINOC, laureate and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse MHTPO ΠONTOY TOMEΩC, Demeter seated left, stalk of grain in right, serpent entwined long torch in left, ∆ (mark of value) in left field; very rare; SOLD


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Tomis|, |Antoninus| |Pius,| |August| |138| |-| |7| |March| |161| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||assarion|
This is the only example of this type known to Forum. A similar larger, Antoninus Pius Tyche-Fortuna type from Tomis is published but has a bare-head and a longer reverse legend.
RP63000. Bronze assarion, apparently unpublished, Varbanov I -, AMNG I/II -, SNG BM -, SNG Stancomb -, SNG Cop -, BMC Thrace -, Moushmov -, SGICV -, aVF, over-cleaned or perhaps a river find, slightly off-center on a tight flan cutting off parts of legends, weight 3.686 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse AVT KAI ADRI ANTWNINOC, laureate head right; reverse TOMHΩN MHTPOΠ, Tyche-Fortuna standing slightly left, head left, rudder held by tiller in right hand, cornucopia in left hand; possibly unique; SOLD


Caligula, 16 March 37 - 24 January 41 A.D., Tomis, Moesia Inferior

|Tomis|, |Caligula,| |16| |March| |37| |-| |24| |January| |41| |A.D.,| |Tomis,| |Moesia| |Inferior||AE| |20|
Although Varbanov does not list this coin as rare, RPC lists only two specimens and Coin Archives lists only one sale of the type in the last two decades.

Tomis (Constanta, Romania today) was founded by Greek colonists around 600 B.C. on the Black Sea shore for trade with the local Getic population. The Roman poet Ovid was banished by Augustus to Tomis in 8 A.D. and died there eight years later. By his account, Tomis was "a town located in a war-stricken cultural wasteland on the remotest margins of the empire."
RP85844. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 1825 (2 specimens), AMNG I/II 2577, Varbanov I 4631 (R7), Moushmov 1789, SGICV 382; BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, SNG Munchen -, aF, very porous, edge crack, weight 3.757 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Tomis (Constanta, Romania) mint, 16 Mar 37 - 24 Jan 41 A.D.; obverse ΓAIOC KAICAP (counterclockwise from upper left), laureate head right; reverse Dioscuri on horseback right, TOMITΩN HΓHTO in two lines below; ex Moneta Numismatic Services; very rare; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (1992 - ).
Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
de Callata, F. L'histoire des guerres Mithridatiques vue par les monnaies. (Louvain-La-Neuve, 1997).
Mionnet, T. E. Description de Mdailles antiques grecques et romaines. (Paris, 1807-1837).
Moushmov, N. Ancient Coins of the Balkan Peninsula. (1912).
Pick, B. and K. Regling. Die antiken Mnzen von Dacien und Mesien, Die antiken Mnzen Nord-Griechenlands Vol. I/II. (Berlin, 1910).
Poole, R.S. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
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, Deutschland, Mnchen Staatlische Mnzsammlung, Part 7: Taurische Chersonesos, Sarmatien, Dacia, Moesia superior, Moesia inferior. (Berlin, 1985).
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).
Varbanov, Ivan. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, (English Edition), Volume I: Dacia, Moesia Superior & Moesia Inferior. (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005).

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