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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; $190.00 (€167.20)
 


Augustus, 16 January 27 B.C. - 19 August 14 A.D., Sestos, Thracian Chersonesos

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Sestos was an ancient town of the Thracian Chersonesos, the modern Gallipoli peninsula in European Turkey. Situated on the Hellespont opposite Abydos, it was an Aeolian colony, founded by settlers from Lesbos, and the home of Hero in the legend of Hero and Leander.
CM89992. Bronze AE 18, RPC I 1740 (2 spec.; RPC online 6 spec., 2 with c/m), Varbanov III 2967 (R7); c/m: Howqego 460 (1 spec., same coin type, same placement), VF, tight flan, reverse a bit flattened opposite countermark, weight 3.485 g, maximum diameter 17.6 mm, die axis 0o, Sestos mint, obverse CEBACTOY, bare head right, countermark: six pointed star in a 7mm round punch; reverse CHCTI, lyre; very rare; $180.00 (€158.40)
 


Gordian III, 29 July 238 - 25 February 244 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.
RP92734. Bronze AE 25, Varbanov II 3783 (R5), Jurukova Hadrianopolis 581, Lindgren 787, Mionnet Suppl. II 801, CN Online -, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, centered on a tight flan, attractive style, bumps and scratches, central depressions with light spiral marks, weight 9.263 g, maximum diameter 24.8 mm, die axis 45o, 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∆PIANOΠO,ΛEITΩN (last six letters in exergue), Emperor on horseback galloping right, spear overhead in right hand, reigns in left hand; scarce; $150.00 (€132.00)
 


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Perinthos, Thrace

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Perinthos, later called Heraclea and Marmara Eregli today, is 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is said to have been a Samian colony, founded about 599 B.C. 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.
RP92876. Bronze AE 20, CN Online Perinthos CN_4717, Schonert Perinthos 380, Varbanov III 100 (R6), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, gVF, nice portrait, uneven patina, a little off center, weight 4.140 g, maximum diameter 20.7 mm, die axis 180o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CABINA - CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse Π-EPIN-ΘIWN, Demeter standing left, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $130.00 (€114.40)
 


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; $100.00 (€88.00)
 


Sabina, Augusta 128 - c. 136 A.D., Perinthos, Thrace

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Perinthos, later called Heraclea and Marmara Eregli today, is 90 km west of Istanbul near a small pointed headland on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. It is said to have been a Samian colony, founded about 599 B.C. 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.
RP92875. Bronze AE 20, CN Online Perinthos CN_4717, Schonert Perinthos 380, Varbanov III 100 (R6), BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, green patina, well centered on a tight flan, small edge splits, porosity, weight 5.147 g, maximum diameter 19.9 mm, die axis 0o, Heraclea Perinthos (Marmara Ereglisi, Turkey) mint, 128 - c. 136 A.D.; obverse CABINA - CEBACTH, draped bust right; reverse Π-EPIN-ΘIWN, Demeter standing left, two stalks of grain in right hand, long torch vertical behind in left hand; $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; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


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)
 


Philip II, July or August 247 - Late 249 A.D., Deultum, Thrace

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The Roman Colony of Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria today) was founded during the reign of Vespasian on the west shore of Lake Mandren between Anchialus and Apollonia, and settled with veterans of Legio VIII Augusta. The town followed the usual Roman plan, with a very good water supply, sewers, and impressive baths with floor heating. It became one of the richest towns in the province. During the reign Mark Aurelius, Deultum was protected by large fortified walls and for centuries it served as an important communication point and a bulwark against barbarian raids. In 812 Khan Krum conquered Develt (its medieval name), banished the local residents to the north of Danube River, and resettled the town with Bulgarians.
RP92879. Bronze AE 17, Draganov 1931 (O175/R663), Jurukova Deultum 508, Varbanov II 3129 (R3), Moushmov 3809, CN Online -, BMC Thrace -, SNG Cop -, VF, dark patina, nice portrait, light marks and scratches, light deposit, weight 3.267 g, maximum diameter 16.7 mm, die axis 0o, Deultum (Debelt, Bulgaria) mint, as caesar, 244 - 247 A.D.; obverse M IVL PHILIPPVS CAES, laureate head right; reverse lion walking right, C F / P D (Colonia Flavia Pacensis Deultum) in two lines above and below; scarce; $90.00 (€79.20)
 




  



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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 Sunday, October 20, 2019.
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Roman Thrace