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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |Roman Mints| ▸ |Serdica||View Options:  |  |  | 

Serdica, Dacia Mediterranea (Sophia, Bulgaria)

Sofia was originally a Thracian settlement called Serdica, probably named after the Celtic tribe Serdi that had populated it. Around 29 B.C., Sofia was conquered by the Romans and renamed Ulpia Serdica. When Emperor Diocletian divided the province of Dacia into Dacia Ripensis (on the banks of the Danube) and Dacia Mediterranea, Serdica became the capital of Dacia Mediterranea. Serdica was of moderate size, but magnificent as an urban concept of planning and architecture, with abundant amusements and an active social life. Dates of operation: 272 - 282, 303 - 308 and 313 - 314. Mintmarks: SD, SER, SERD, SMSD.

Tacitus, 25 September 275 - June 276 A.D.

|Tacitus|, |Tacitus,| |25| |September| |275| |-| |June| |276| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Serdica prospered under Rome. Turrets, protective walls, public baths, administrative and cult buildings, a civic basilica and a large amphitheater were built. When Diocletian divided Dacia into Dacia Ripensis (on the banks of the Danube) and Dacia Mediterranea, Serdica became the capital of Dacia Mediterranea. The city was destroyed by the Huns in 447, but was rebuilt by Justinian and surrounded with great fortress walls whose remnants can still be seen today. Although also often destroyed by the Slavs, the town remained under Byzantine dominion until 809. Serdica is today Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
RB111872. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 3897 (11 spec.), RIC V-1 192, BnF XII 1779, Cohen VI 26, La Venra 2391, aVF, dark patina, scratches, porosity, tiny edge split, weight 3.425 g, maximum diameter 22.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, issue 2, early 276; obverse IMP C M CL TACITVS AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONSERVAT MILIT, Mars on left, standing right, wearing helmet and military garb, holding spear in left hand, offering globe in right hand to Tacitus, Emperor on right, standing left, wearing military garb, receiving globe with right hand, long scepter or inverted spear in left hand, A in center, KA in exergue; ex Glen W Woods; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

|Probus|, |Probus,| |Summer| |276| |-| |September| |282| |A.D.||antoninianus|
Probus started as a simple soldier but advanced to general and was declared emperor after the death of Tacitus. Florian's murder left him as undisputed ruler. His leadership brought peace and prosperity but he was murdered by mutinous soldiers, enraged at being employed on public building projects.
RA111887. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 862, Cohen VI 655, SRCV III -, Hunter IV 303 var. (2nd officina), VF, much silvering remaining, weight 3.013 g, maximum diameter 23.8 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 277 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate bust left in consular robe, eagle-tipped scepter in right; reverse SOLI INVICTO (to the invincible sun god), Sol in a spread quadriga facing, radiate, cloak billowing out behind, raising right hand commanding sunrise, whip in left hand, KAΔ in exergue; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00


Caracalla, 198 - 217 A.D., Serdica, Thrace

|Serdica|, |Caracalla,| |198| |-| |217| |A.D.,| |Serdica,| |Thrace||tetrassarion|
Ex Klner Mnzkabinett, Auction 112 (19 October 2019), lot 123; ex Roma Numismatics, E-sale 80 (04 Feb 2022), lot 804.

Serdica prospered under Rome. Turrets, protective walls, public baths, administrative and cult buildings, a civic basilica and a large amphitheater were built. When Diocletian divided Dacia into Dacia Ripensis (on the banks of the Danube) and Dacia Mediterranea, Serdica became the capital of Dacia Mediterranea. The city was destroyed by the Huns in 447, but was rebuilt by Justinian and surrounded with great fortress walls whose remnants can still be seen today. Although also often destroyed by the Slavs, the town remained under Byzantine dominion until 809. Serdica is today Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
RP110638. Bronze tetrassarion, H-J Serdica 12.18.32.13, cf. Ruzicka Serdica 281 (obv. leg., etc.), Varbanov III 2434 (same), VF/aVF, superb portrait, dark brown patina, near centered, central dimples, weight 17.519 g, maximum diameter 30.1 mm, die axis 45o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, obverse AYT K M AYP CEY ANTΩNEINOC, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust to right; reverse OYΛΠIAC CEP,ΔIKHC (ending in exergue), river-god reclining to left, head facing, right hand on knee, left arm resting on inverted vase from which water flows; ex Roma Numismatics e-sale 80 (04 Feb 2022), lot 804; ex Klner Mnzkabinett auction 112 (19 Oct 2019), lot 123; very rare; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

Gautier, G. "Le monnayage d'argent de Serdica aprs la rforme de Diocltien" in RN XXXIII (1991).
Gysen, P. "Nouvelles donnes concernant l'atelier de Serdica sous le rgne de Probus" in RBN CXLVI (2000).
Zanchi, P. "Quelques nouveaux antoniniens de Serdica" in SM 120 (November 1980).

Catalog current as of Thursday, June 1, 2023.
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