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Roman Provincial Coins from Thrace

Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D., Perinthus, Thrace

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In 46 A.D., after the death of the Thracian king Rhoemetalces III and after an unsuccessful anti-Roman revolt, the Thracian Kingdom was annexed by Claudius as the Roman province of Thracia. Perinthus was made the capital of Roman Thracia. Although the denomination is uncertain, RPC I suggests it is a sestertius.
RP87197. Brass provincial sestertius, Schonert Perinthos 233 - 235; RPC I 1754; Varbanov III 20 (R4); Moushmov 4421; BMC Thrace p. 148, 13 var. (obv. leg.); SNG Cop -, F, dark patina, some porosity, central cavities, weight 20.839 g, maximum diameter 33.2 mm, die axis 0o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 63 - 9 Jun 68 A.D.; obverse NEPΩN KΛAY∆IOΣ KAIΣAP ΣEBAΣTOΣ, laureate head left; reverse ΠEPIN/ΘIΩN in two lines within oak wreath tied at the bottom; $215.00 (€189.20)
 


Trajan, 25 January 98 - 8 or 9 August 117 A.D., Abdera, Thrace

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RPC III notes Abdera issued this denomination in two variants, one with laureate heads right and this type with laureate, draped and cuirassed busts right, seen from behind. The laureate head type reverse portrait is older and has been identified as possibly as the deified Nerva or Trajan Pater. The portrait on this type is younger and also appears on coinage of Hadrian. RPC III notes that long ago Pellerin (Mélanges II, Paris, 1756, p. 85) proposed identification of the portrait as Timesios of Clazomenae, the founder of Abdera.
RP89295. Bronze AE 19, RPC III 673 (9 spec.), SNG Cop 387, AMNG II 249, Chryssanthaki-Nagle 897 - 900, VF, dark green, slightly porous patina, weight 6.306 g, maximum diameter 19.3 mm, die axis 180o, Abdera mint, 25 Jan 98 - 8/9 Aug 117 A.D.; obverse AYTO TPAIANW KAICAPI CEBACTW, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust of Trajan right, seen from behind; reverse ΓEP ∆AKI AB∆HPEITAI, Laureate, draped and cuirassed male bust (Timesios of Clazomenae, the founder of Abdera?) right, seen from behind; ex Numismatik Naumann Auction 35 (6 Sep 2015), lot 368; very rare; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


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; $135.00 (€118.80)
 


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

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The figure on the reverse is sometimes identified as Eros (Cupid) or a generic winged Genius. The inverted torch represents a life extinguished, indicating the figure is Thanatos (death). By the Severan Era, there was increased hope for an afterlife in pleasant Elysium rather than in dismal Hades. Thanatos was associated more with a gentle passing than a woeful demise. Thanatos as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid, with crossed legs and an inverted torch, became the most common symbol for death, depicted on many Roman sarcophagi.
RP89895. Bronze AE 20, Jurukova Hadrianopolis 390 (V199/R379), Varbanov II 3526 (R4), SNG Cop 571, BMC Thrace -, VF, brown tone, attractive style, slightly ragged flan with small edge splits, weight 3.986 g, maximum diameter 19.6 mm, die axis 30o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, obverse AVT K M AVP C EV - ANTΩNEINOC, laureate head right; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEITΩN, Thanatos standing right, winged, legs crossed, leaning on inverted extinguished torch; $120.00 (€105.60)
 


Antoninus Pius, August 138 - 7 March 161 A.D., Coela, Thracian Chersonesos

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Coela in Chersonesos Thraciae (on the Gallipoli peninsula) issued gold and silver coins under Alexander the Great and from the early 2nd century A.D. struck Roman provincial and colonial coins.
RP84057. Bronze AE 17, SNG Cop 872 (same dies), Varbanov 2888 (R6) var. (legends, grain above prow), SNG Tüb -, SNG Hunterian -, SNG Dreer -, BMC Thrace -, Lindgren -, VF, nice green patina, tight flan cutting off much of the legends, marks, weight 4.166 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 135o, Coela mint, Aug 138 - 7 Mar 161 A.D.; obverse IMP CAES - ANTONINVS (or similar), laureate head right; reverse AEL MVNI COELANI (or similar), war galley prow left; very rare; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


Hadrian, 11 August 117 - 10 July 138 A.D., Perinthus Thrace

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Perinthos an ancient Ionian colony from Samos, was situated between Bisanthe and Selymbria, on the northern shore of the Propontis. It is famous chiefly for its stubborn and successful resistance to Philip II of Macedon in 340 B.C.; at that time it seems to have been more important than Byzantium itself. In Roman times it was called Heraclea Thraciae (or Heraclea Perinthus). Today it is Marmara Ereglisi in the European part of Turkey.
RP89164. Bronze AE 27, RPC III online 712 (3 spec.); CNT_2485; Schonert Perinthos p. 154 & pl. 20, 376; Varbanov III 88 (R7), aVF, green patina with edge flaking (now stable), tight flan, edge split, weight 10.555 g, maximum diameter 27.2 mm, die axis 270o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 119 - 10 July 138 A.D.; obverse AY TPAIANOC A∆PIANOC KAICAP CEBA, laureate bust of Hadrian, aegis on left shoulder; reverse ΠEΠINΘIΩN, Apollo advancing right, nude but for fluttering chlamys, drawing arrow in right hand from bow in left hand, star with six rays between his legs; very rare; $110.00 (€96.80)
 


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

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A neocorate was a rank or dignity granted by the Roman Senate and the Emperor to certain cities which had built temples to the Emperor or had established cults of members of the Imperial family. The city itself was referred to as neokoros (pl. neokoroi). A temple dedicated to the emperor was also called neocorate. Starting in the 2nd century CE, the title appeared on many coins. There were approximately 37 cities holding the neocorate, concentrated in the province of Asia, but also in neighboring provinces. Severus rewarded Perinthus with the title Neokoros for the first time for their support against Pescennius Niger. The city received a second neocorate under Elagabalus.
RP83931. Bronze tetrassarion, CNT_2626, Schonert Perinthos 466, Varbanov III 193 (R5), Moushmov 4524, SNG Cop 741 var. (draped and cuirassed), BMC Thrace -, F, nice portrait, green patina, scratches, small edge crack, central cavities, weight 15.690 g, maximum diameter 31.4 mm, die axis 225o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 196 - 211 A.D.; obverse AY KΛ CEΠ CEYHPOC ΠE, laureate head right; reverse facade of a octastyle temple on double crepidoma with eight Corinthian columns, shield with umbo on pediment and acroteria on roof, ΠE−PIN/ΘI−ΩN flanking across field in two divided lines, NEΩKOPΩC in exergue; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Kingdom of Thrace, Rhoemetalces I, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D., Augustus Reverse

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When the Cotys VII, King of Thrace, died about 48 B.C. Rhoemetalces I became the guardian of his nephew Rhescuporis I, his brother's young son and heir. In 13 B.C., Rhescuporis I was defeated and slain in battle by Vologases, chief of the Thracian Bessi, who was leading a revolt against Rome. As Rhescuporis I had left no heir, Rhoemetalces became king. An ally of Augustus, the Roman Historian Tacitus described Rhoemetalces as attractive and civilized. After his death, Augustus divided his realm, half for his son Cotys VIII and the other half for Rhoemetalces' brother Rhescuporis II. Tacitus states that Cotys received the cultivated parts, most towns and most Greek cities of Thrace, while Rhescuporis received the wild and savage portion with enemies on its frontier.
RP88895. Bronze AE 20, RPC I 1718; Youroukova 194; BMC Thrace p. 209, 7; SNG Cop 1192; SNG Tüb 974; SNG Evelpidis 1124, VF, well centered, green patina, weight 4.515 g, maximum diameter 19.7 mm, die axis 180o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, c. 11 B.C. - 12 A.D.; obverse BAΣIΛEΩΣ POIMHTAΛKOY, diademed head of Rhoemetalces I right; reverse KAIΣAPOΣ ΣEBAΣTOY, bare head of Augustus right; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Nero, 13 October 54 - 9 June 68 A.D.

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C. Howgego suggests that this might belong with the Thracian group of Neronian coins in Latin (RPC I 1758 ff.).
RP91898. Bronze semis, RPC I Supplement (online) S2-I-5487 (4 spec.), RIC I -, Cohen I -, BMCRE I -, BnF I -, aF, weight 3.052 g, maximum diameter 19.4 mm, die axis 0o, uncertain (Perinthus, Thrace?) mint, c. 64 A.D.; obverse NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG GERM P M TR, bare head right; reverse VICTORIA AVGVSTI (the victory of the Emperor), Victory walking left, wreath in right hand, palm frond in left; very rare; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


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

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The kithara (cithara) was an ancient stringed musical instrument resembling the lyre. The lyre was a simpler folk-instrument with two strings and tortoise shell body. The kithara had seven strings and a flat back. The kithara is a symbol of Apollo and he is credited with inventing it. Its true origins were likely Asiatic.. The kithara was primarily used by professional musicians, called kitharodes. In modern Greek, the word kithara has come to mean "guitar."
RP89874. Bronze AE 26, Jurukova Hadrianopolis 547, Varbanov 3715 (R4), SNG Cop 588, Moushmov 2680, F, nice portrait, glossy dark patina, obverse slightly off center, reverse a little rough, central depressions, weight 10.328 g, maximum diameter 25.9 mm, die axis 180o, Hadrianopolis (Edirne, Turkey) mint, 29 Jul 238 - 25 Feb 244 A.D.; obverse AYT K M ANT ΓOP∆IANOC AV, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from behind; reverse A∆PIANOΠOΛEIT,ΩN (last two letters in exergue), Apollo seated left, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, laurel branch downward in right hand, kithara (lyre) resting on seat behind in left hand; $70.00 (€61.60)
 




  



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REFERENCES|

Burnett, A., M. Amandry, et al. Roman Provincial Coinage. (London, 1992 - ).
Corpus Nummorum Thracorum - http://www.corpus-nummorum.eu/
Imhoof-Blumer, F. ed. Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands. (Berlin, 1898 - 1913).
Lindgren, H. Ancient Greek Bronze Coins: European Mints. (San Mateo, 1989).
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins. (Quarryville, 1993).
Mionnet, T. Description de Médailles antiques grecques et romaines. (Paris, 1806-1837).
Mouchmov, N. Antichnitie Moneti na Balkanskitiia Poluostrov i Monetite Tsare. (1912).
Poole, R. ed. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Thrace, etc. (London, 1877).
Roman Provincial Coinage Online - http://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/
Sear, D. Greek Imperial Coins and Their Values. (London, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Austria, Klagenfurt, Landesmuseum für Kärnten, Sammlung Dreer, Part 3: Thracien-Macedonien-Päonien. (Klagenfurt, 1990).
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, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 2: Taurische Chersones-Korkyra. (Berlin, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VII, Manchester University Museum. (London, 1986).
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).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, United States, The Collection of the ANS, Part 7: Macedonia 1 (Cities, Thraco-Macedonian Tribes, Paeonian kings). (New York, 1997).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Volume II: Thrace (from Abdera to Pautalia). (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2005).
Varbanov, I. Greek Imperial Coins And Their Values, Volume III: Thrace (from Perinthus to Trajanopolis), Chersonesos Thraciae, Insula Thraciae, Macedonia. (Bourgas, Bulgaria, 2007).

Catalog current as of Monday, July 22, 2019.
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Roman Thrace