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

Thessalonica, Macedonia (Salonika, Greece)

King Cassander of Macedonia founded Thessalonica in 315 B.C. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great. The Romans made Thessalonica the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia 168 B.C. In 50 A.D., the Apostle Paul founded the second Christian church on the European continent at Thessalonica and sent it his "Epistles to the Thessalonians." In 379 when the Roman Prefecture of Illyricum was divided between the East and West Roman Empires, Thessaloniki became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum. The city remained important in the Byzantine Empire. [Dates of operation: 298 or 299 - c. 460 (closed during the reign of Leo I, 457 - 474). Mintmarks: COM, COMOB, OES, SMTS, TE, TES, TESOB, TH, THES, THS, THSOB, TS, T Christogram E.

Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.

|Licinius| |I|, |Licinius| |I,| |11| |November| |308| |-| |18| |September| |324| |A.D.||follis|
At the beginning of the 16th century nearly 20,000 Sephardic Jews immigrated to Greece from Spain following their expulsion. By 1519, 15,715 Jews lived in Thessaloniki, 54% of the population. After the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 left 72,000 people homeless, unable to stay and survive, nearly half of the Jewish population emigrated to France, the United States and Palestine. On April 22, 1941, Thessaloniki fell to Nazi Germany. 50,000 Jews, 95% of the Jewish population, were sent to concentration camps where most were murdered in the gas chambers. Another 11,000 Jews were sent to forced labor camps, where most also perished. Only 1200 Jews live in the city today.
RT110035. Billon follis, Hunter V 85 (also 1st officina), RIC VI Thessalonica 60, SRCV V 15251, gVF, thin flan with areas unstruck, green patina, well centered, weight 2.456 g, maximum diameter 24.7 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 312 - 313 A.D.; obverse IMP LIC LICINIVS P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse IOVI CONSERVATORI AVGG NN (to Jove the protector of our two Emperors), Jupiter standing slightly left, head left, nude but for cloak on left shoulder, Victory on globe in right hand, long scepter in left hand, eagle with wreath in beak at feet on left, TSA in exergue; $45.00 SALE PRICE $40.50

Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Thessalonica, Macedonia

|Thessalonica|, |Augustus,| |16| |January| |27| |B.C.| |-| |19| |August| |14| |A.D.,| |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia||AE| |23|
Under Roman rule, the importance of Thessalonica grew until it became the Roman administrative center for all of Greece. Its location at the nexus of both the East-West trading route and the North-South route was ideal.
SH59996. Bronze AE 23, RPC I 1557; BMC Macedonia p. 116, 70; SNG Cop 396; SNG ANS 829; Varbanov III 4137 (R4), gVF, weight 8.264 g, maximum diameter 23.1 mm, die axis 0o, Thessalonika (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 27 - 23 B.C.; obverse KANTIΣANTP ΣΕBANTΣTOΣ, laureate head of Augustus right; reverse ΘΕΣΣAΛO/NIKΕΩN in two lines within laurel wreath; SOLD

Julius Caesar, and Augustus, Thessalonica, Macedonia, After 14 A.D.

|Thessalonica|, |Julius| |Caesar,| |and| |Augustus,| |Thessalonica,| |Macedonia,| |After| |14| |A.D.||AE| |20|
Traditionally attributed to Thessalonica, but Touratsoglou rejected that attribution based on the style and die axis. We believe the style is not remarkably different from similar types from Thessalonica and, as discussed in RPC I, ΘE on the reverse may be an abbreviation of the ethnic.
RP88931. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 5421 (8 spec., uncertain mint); BMC Thessalonica p. 115, 61; SNG Evelpidis 1327; Varbanov 4154 (R5); SNG Cop -; Touratsoglou -, Choice aVF, glossy dark green patina, scattered light corrosion, weight 6.654 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonika (?, Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 14 A.D.; obverse ΘEOC (downward behind), bare head of Julius Caesar right; reverse CEBACTOY ΘE (clockwise from upper right), bare head of Augustus right; SOLD

Krannon, Thessaly, Greece, 400 - 344 B.C.

|Thessalonica|, |Krannon,| |Thessaly,| |Greece,| |400| |-| |344| |B.C.||dichalkon|
The city of Krannon was located in Thessaly near the source of the river Onchestus. It was the home of the powerful Scopadae family. BCD and BMC identify the head on the obverse as Zeus. Rogers identifies the head as Poseidon. Since Krannon was named for the son of Poseidon, we agree with Rogers.
GB87125. Bronze dichalkon, Rogers 183 var.; BCD Thessaly 1081.2 var.; SNG Cop 39 var.; BMC Thessaly p. 17, 9 var.; HGC 4 384 (all diff. ethnic arrangements), Nice VF, attractive style and brown toned surfaces, centered on a tight flan, weight 5.186 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 270o, Krannon mint, 400 - 344 B.C.; obverse laureate head of Poseidon right; reverse KPA-N-ΩNI, horseman galloping right, wearing petasos and chlamys; ex BCD collection with his handwritten round tag, noting, "T/ne ex Fe. ex Thess., Aug. 89, 4000 drs."; unpublished variety; SOLD

Honorius, 23 January 393 - 15 August 423 A.D.

|Honorius|, |Honorius,| |23| |January| |393| |-| |15| |August| |423| |A.D.||solidus|
Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.
SH53618. Gold solidus, RIC X Arcadius 38 (R2); Depeyrot p. 225, 44/2; DOCLR 756; SRCV V 20900, gVF, weight 4.379 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 397 - 402 A.D.; obverse D N HONORIVS P F AVG, helmeted bust facing, diademed, cuirassed, cross on breast plate, spear in right over right shoulder behind head, shield decorated with horseman on left arm; reverse CONCORDIA AVGG (harmony between the two emperors), Constantinopolis enthroned facing, head right, holding long scepter and Victory on globe, foot on prow, COMOB in exergue; very rare; SOLD

Maximian, 285 - 305, 306 - 308, and 310 A.D.

|Maximian|, |Maximian,| |285| |-| |305,| |306| |-| |308,| |and| |310| |A.D.||argenteus|
SH32813. Silver argenteus, RIC VI Thessalonica 15b, Choice EF, weight 3.004 g, maximum diameter 20.0 mm, die axis 195o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 302 A.D.; obverse MAXIMIANVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse VIRTVS MILITVM (courage of the soldiers), campgate with three turrets, TSΓ in exergue; full circles strike; rare (R4); SOLD

Jovian, 27 June 363 - 17 February 364 A.D.

|Jovian|, |Jovian,| |27| |June| |363| |-| |17| |February| |364| |A.D.||double| |maiorina|
The labarum, was a type of Roman cavalry standard, a vexillum with a military ensign marked with the Christogram (Greek monogram of Christ). It was an object of religious veneration amongst the soldiers, who paid it divine honors.
SH34261. Bronze double maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 235 or 238, gVF, weight 8.038 g, maximum diameter 29.7 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 27 Jun 363 - 17 Feb 364 A.D.; obverse D N IOVIANVS P F AVG, laurel and rosette diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse VICTORIA ROMANORVM (the Roman victory), Jovian standing facing, head right, holding Victory on globe and Chi-Rho standard, TESA in exergue; rare; SOLD

Valentinian I, 25 February 364 - 17 November 375 A.D.

|Valentinian| |I|, |Valentinian| |I,| |25| |February| |364| |-| |17| |November| |375| |A.D.||double| |maiorina|
References examined list only the first officina (TESA) striking this extremely rare type at Thessalonica. We know of examples from each of the first four officianae (A, A, Γ, Δ). There are only four examples of this type from Thessalonica on Coin Archives and only one of the four was struck by the second officina.
RL85726. Billon double maiorina, RIC IX Thessalonica 15 (R4) var. (officina), LRBC II 1701 var. (same), SRCV V 19398 var. (same), Cohen VIII 20 var. (mint), Hunter V -, gVF, well centered and struck, sharp detail, light corrosion, weight 8.389 g, maximum diameter 27.3 mm, die axis 180o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 25 Feb 364 - 24 Aug 367 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVTOR REIPVBLICAE, emperor standing facing, head right, labarum in right, Victory on globe offering wreath in left, TESB in exergue; extremely rare; SOLD

Vetranio, 1 March - 25 December 350 A.D.

|Vetranio|, |Vetranio,| |1| |March| |-| |25| |December| |350| |A.D.||maiorina|
The reverse of this coin is dedicated to harmony with the army. Nothing was more important to Vetranio. The soldiers had made him emperor; yet, as had been proven time and again, an emperor was always at risk that his soldiers would betray and assassinate him.
SH26416. Billon maiorina, RIC VIII Thessalonica 132 (S), LRBC II 1658, Voetter 1, SRCV V 18904, Cohen VIII 1, nice VF, weight 5.125 g, maximum diameter 23.5 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N VETRANIO P F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse CONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), emperor holding two standards decorated with Chi-Rho, star above, A in left field, B in right, TSA in exergue; scarce; SOLD

Byzantine Empire, Alexius III Angelus-Comnenus, 8 April 1195 - 17 July 1203

|Alexius| |III|, |Byzantine| |Empire,| |Alexius| |III| |Angelus-Comnenus,| |8| |April| |1195| |-| |17| |July| |1203||tetarteron|
According to the Golden Legend, a plague-bearing dragon lived in a lake near a city called Silene, in Libya. To appease the dragon, the people fed it two sheep every day. When the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery. It happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter, Sabra. Sabra was sent out to the lake, dressed as a bride, to be fed to the dragon. Saint George was ridding past when dragon reared out of the lake. He fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross charged it on horseback with his lance, and gave it a grievous wound. He then called to the princess to throw him her girdle. After he put it around its neck, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash. The princess and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene. It terrified the people at its approach, but Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptized, he would slay the dragon. The king and the people converted to Christianity and George slew the dragon. On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.
BZ99288. Bronze tetarteron, DOC IV-1 5a.2; CLBC I 8.4.3; Morrison BnF 1; Hendy p. 152 & pl. 23, 9; Wroth BMC 39; Grierson 1138; Ratto 2214; SBCV 2015; Sommer 66.6, F, near black patina, tight square flan, some corrosion, weight 4.411 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 8 Apr 1195 - 17 Jul 1203; obverse half-length facing bust of St. George, beardless and nimbate, wearing military attire: cuirass and sagion, transverse spear in right hand, left hand resting on hilt of sword, O / ΓE/WP-ΓI/OC (in columns in left and right fields); reverse AΛEΣIOC - ΔECΠOTHC (or similar), half length figure of Alexius standing facing, wearing crown, divitision, and chlamys, labarum in right hand, globus cruciger in left hand; from the S. Lindner Collection; rare; SOLD


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