Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by nicholasz219, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    I've just been lurking for the past few months as I took a new job that has me working some long hours. Keeping up with cataloging coins as they are bought and arrive has been sort of a challenge. But I do enjoy writing the occasional little article with my coins attached. So every so often I can get my stuff together and put something on the forum.

    Since I've already covered my pieces from Nikopolis ad Istrum in Moesia Inferior, let me head back east to Markianopolis. Both towns in Moesia Inferior are located in modern day Bulgaria in the northeast corner close to the coast of the Black Sea. The city of Devnya, Bulgaria exists in generally the same space as ancient Markianopolis. The ruins of the amphitheater as well as mosaic artwork can still be seen at sites in Devnya today.

    After the Second Dacian War ended in 106AD, Trajan renamed the town of Parthenopolis for his sister, Ulpia Marciana. As it lies on important trade routes, the city grew in importance within the Roman Empire with the peak of its influence during the Severan Dynasty.

    On this fancy map that I took from Google Images, look at the coast of the Black Sea for Odessos and trace your finger about a half inch west.

    With it's strategic importance and trade routes, Markianopolis was a favorite of barbarian invaders. It was invaded and sacked a few times but restored under Gallienus, elevated to temporary capital by Valens before finally being destroyed in 614-615AD.


    In any case, with the prosperity the city enjoyed, Markianopolis issued many examples of fine coinage. As a collector of Septimius Severus, it is a pleasure to find some of these very affordable examples.

    This is one of my finer pieces, with a lovely green patina.

    6627 6628.jpg

    Provincial, Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, AE21, MAPKIANOΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ
    Roman Provincial: Markianoplis, Moesia Inferior
    Septimius Severus
    Augustus: 193 - 211AD
    21.0mm 6.52gr 8h
    O: AνΚ Λ CεΠ CεΟνΗΡΟC; Laureate head, right.
    R: MAPKIANO-ΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ; Tyche standing left, wearing kalathos on head, holding rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand.
    Varbanov 739

    Here is a slightly porous Julia Domna with the three Graces. Even with the porosity, I had to buy this coin. It is funny how many eagle or Tyche reverses you will see compared to one of the Graces.

    8207 8208.jpg

    Provincial, Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, AE25, MAPKIANΟΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ
    Roman Provincial: Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior
    Julia Domna
    Born circa: 170AD - Died: 217AD
    Augusta: 193 - 217AD
    25.0mm 8.26gr 1h
    O: IΟνΛΙA ΔΟΜΝΑ CΕΒ; Draped bust, hair in bun, right.
    R: MAPKIANOΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ; Statuary group of the three Graces, standing. Outer two facing, with heads turned inward. Middle with back facing and arms around other two.
    Markianapolis, Moesia Inferior Mint
    AMNG I 603; H & J Markianopolis (I believe); Varbanov 887 var. (Obv. legend); Moushmov 417.
    Based on, the identification listed above is the best I could surmise without having all of these references to look at. Any further clarification on this attribution would be welcome.

    6762 6763.jpg

    Provincial, Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, AE26, νφΛ ΟνΛΠΙΑΝΟΥ
    Roman Provincial: Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior.
    Septimius Severus
    Augustus: 193 - 211AD
    Issued: 210 - 211AD
    Consular Legate: Flavius Ulpianus
    26.0 x 25.0mm 8.10gr 7h
    O: AνK Λ CεΠT CενΗΡΟC; Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
    R: νφΛ ΟνΛΠΙΑ-ΝΟΥ ΜΑΡΚΙΑ-ΝΟΠΟΛ; Kybele seated, right arm outstretched, holding patera, left arm resting on drum. Lions at either side at feet.
    Hristov & Jekov var. (rev. legend); Varbanov 827 var. (rev. legend); AMNG I 579 var. (rev. legend).

    With the larger coin sizes, there is plenty of room for magistrates' names. Even, as in this case, at the expense of the city name on the right hand side.

    6766 6767.jpg

    Provincial, Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, AE26, νφΛ ΟνΛΠΙΑΝΟΥ
    Roman Provincial: Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior
    Septimius Severus
    Augustus: 193 - 211AD
    Issued: 210 - 211AD
    26.0mm 10.19gr 2h
    O: [AVT Λ CεΠ] CεΟνΗΡΟC; Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, right.
    R: νφΛ ΟνΛΠΙΑΝΟΥ ΜΑΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛΙΤΩ; Homonoia standing left, wearing kalathos on head, holding patera in right hand and cornucopia in left hand.
    Pick 580; Moushmov 385; Varbanov 833.

    Sometimes, you are lucky and find an excellent piece with all of the legends fully displayed.

    5876 5877.jpg

    Provincial, Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, AE26, VI φΑνCTINIA MAΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛITΩN
    Roman Provincial
    Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior
    Magistrate: Julius Faustinianus
    Septimius Severus
    Augustus: 193 - 211AD
    26.0mm 11.71gr 7h
    O: AV K A CεΠ CενΗΡΟC; Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, right, seen from behind.
    R: VI φΑνCTINIA MAΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛITΩN; Tyche standing left, holding rudder and cornucopia.
    Markianopolis Mint
    Varbanov 802; Moushmov 394.2

    And of course, my favorite, the eagles.

    6257 6258-1.jpg

    Provincial, Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, AE27, VΦΛ OVΛΛΠIANOV MAPKIANOΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ
    Roman Provincial
    Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior
    Magistrate: Flavius Ulpianus
    Septimius Severus
    Augustus: 193 - 211AD
    27.0mm 10.4gr 7h
    O: AV K Λ CεΠ CεVHPOC; Laureate and draped bust, right.
    R: VΦΛ OVΛΛΠIANOV MAPKIANOΠΟΛΙΤΩΝ; Eagle standing facing, head right on thunderbolt, wreath in beak.
    Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior Mint
    Moushmov 390

    6064 6065-1.jpg

    Provincial, Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, AE27, VI φΑνCTINIANOY MAΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛITΩN
    Roman Provincial
    Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior
    Magistrate: Julius Faustinianus
    Septimius Severus
    Augustus: 193 - 211AD
    Issued: 207 - 210AD
    27.0mm 10.8gr 2h
    O: AY Λ CεΠΤΙ CεΥΗΡΟC Π; Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust, right, seen from behind.
    R: VI φΑνCTINIANOY MAΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛITΩN; Eagle standing facing on thunderbolt, head left, wreath in its beak.
    AMNG I 576, var. (obverse legend); SNG Copenhagen 270; SNG Budapest 71; Varbanov 770, var. (obverse legend); BMC 8.

    I appreciate everyone looking. I know there are some fellow Markianopolis collectors out there. Please jump in! Any provincial coins that you really enjoy, please share here.

    Here are links to my Forvm collections of Severus and Domna.
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  3. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Well-Known Member

    Nice collection @nicholasz219 , here are a few of mine -

    Macrinus & Diadumenian
    Caracalla & Julia Domna
    IMG_4985.JPG IMG_4986.JPG
    Elagabalus & Julia maesa
    IMG_4978.JPG IMG_4979.JPG
  4. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Markianopolis really is a source of beautiful coins. Here is one of my finest coins:
    Macrinus&Diadumenian, AD 217-218
    AE 28, 13.42g, 28.01mm, 0°
    struck under governor Furius Pontinianus
    Confronted heads of Macrinus, laureate, r., and Diadumenian, bare-headed, l.
    Athena, wearing Corinthian helmet, in long high-girded chiton with aegis, std. l., resting with l. arm on arm of throne, feeding snake which coiled around olive-tree in front of her; side of throne decorated with a winged Sphinx, std. l.; r. behind her, shield, seen from inside, on the edge owl std. l.
    ref. a) AMNG I/1, 736, pl. XV, 28 (1 ex., Weiss, same dies)
    b) Varbanov (engl.) 1174
    c) Hristova/Jekov (2013) No. (plate coin)
    very rare, good VF, beautiful brown patina with a hint of green, exceptional rev., the nicest of this city!

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2018
  5. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray David Hendin Fan Supporter

    Great post, @nicholasz219 ! Congratulations on your new job. Thank you posting and no longer lurking :singing: ;) Here are a few of my favorite provincials. I have more that I need to post. Your excellent thread has inspired me to do so.

  6. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Beautiful coins. Thanks for the write-up. I really love those large bronzes from Markianopolis.
    nicholasz219 and Deacon Ray like this.
  7. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    Moesian cities produced some wonderful provincials! There are some gorgeous and very interesting coins in this thread.

    I have just a few from this city. Catalog numbers are copied from the seller attribution or compared to coins in CNG's archive. I really need to expand my provincial library!

    MOESIA INFERIOR, Markianopolis. Commodus
    AE 25mm, 8.5 gm
    circa CE 177-192
    Obv: ΑΥ ΚΑΙ Λ ΑΥΡΗ ΚΟΜΟΔΟС; bareheaded, draped, and cuirassed bust right
    Rev: ΜΑΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛЄΙΤΩΝ; the Three Graces standing facing, heads left, right, and right, respectively: the left holds amphora over dolphin, the center drapes arms over others, and the right holds wreath over amphora
    Ref: Hristova & Jekov; RPC IV online 4319; Varbanov 702 corr. (direction of heads).

    MOESIA INFERIOR. Markianopolis. Elagabalus (218-222)
    AE 17, 2.5 gm
    Obv: AVT K M AVP ANTΩNINOC; laureate head right.
    Rev: MAPKIANOΠOΛITΩN; Telesphorus standing facing.
    Ref: Varbanov 1422.

    MOESIA INFERIOR, Markianopolis
    Macrinus and Diadumenian, CE 217-218
    AE pentassarion, 27 mm, 12.3 gm
    Obv: AYT K M OΠEΛ CEV MAKPEINOC K M OΠE ANTΩNINOC; Laureate head of Macrinus left and bare head of Diadumenian right, confronted
    Rev: VΠ ΠONTIANOV MAPKIANOΠOΛEITΩN; Artemis advancing right, reaching for an arrow in quiver at shoulder and holding bow, hound at foot, E in left field
    Ref: Varbanov 1159 var. (obverse legend); Megaw MAR5.12d; Hristova/Jekov
  8. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member

    I have had trouble finding examples of the earlier magistrates from Marcianopolis with early style portraits of Septimius Severus. This is Cosconius Gentianus with a very worn Zeus reverse.
    I also lack Auspex, the first legate under Septimius, but have seen coins of his using this same obverse die and suspect they are not numerous.

  9. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Lovely coins and fantastic, informative write-up, @nicholasz219

    Some of my favorite and most interesting coins come from Marcianopolis. Here are a few:

    This one of Septimius Severus, which led me to wonder if the die-engraver at nearby Anchialus worked at the Marcianopolis mint as well:

    Severus Markianopolis Cybele.JPG

    These coins of the Three Nymphs and Three Graces, which are an obverse die match to yours. Read more here:

    Domna Marcianopolis Three Graces a.jpg
    Domna Marcianopolis Three Nymphs.jpg

    This one of Caracalla and Julia Domna has a cool reverse type, depicting Apollo preparing to slay Python, the subject of many subsequent works of art and also of this thread:

    Caracalla and Domna Marcianopolis Apollo A.jpg
    This one of Plautilla, which may have been produced by only a single pair of dies:

    Plautilla Marcianopolis.jpg

    This one of Elagabalus, in which he looks like a caveman and on which Homonoia appears on the reverse:

    Elagabalus Homonoia Marcianopolis.jpg

    This unlisted Severus Alexander and Julia Mamaea pentassarion, which I wrote about 2-1/2 years ago:

    Severus Alexander and Julia Mamaea Marcianopolis 2.jpg

    And a couple of Gordian III with Tranquillina pentassaria, one of which depicts Tyche in a temple and was apparently struck with a single pair of dies, and another featuring Nemesis -- one of my favorite goddesses -- on the reverse.

    Gordian III and Tranquillina Marcianopolis Tyche in temple.jpg

    Gordian III and Tranquillina Marcianopolis Nemesis.jpg
  10. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Not just for @TIF , but for anyone wanting to learn more about coins of Dacia and Moesia, AMNG (Pick) Ia and Ib are available online!
    nicholasz219, Deacon Ray and TIF like this.
  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Also, Coins of the Balkan Penninsula by Nikola Moushmov has been translated into English and posted online, courtesy of Denitsa Genkova, Dave Surber and Slavei Slaveev:
  12. Alegandron

    Alegandron "ΤΩΙ ΚΡΑΤΙΣΤΩΙ..." ΜΕΓΑΣ ΑΛΕΞΑΝΔΡΟΣ, June 323 BCE

    I have posted this one a few times, however, it is my ONLY MARKIANOPOLIS:

    RI Didumenian and Macrinus 217-218 CE AE28 Markianopolis mint Serapis.jpg
    RI Didumenian and Macrinus 217-218 CE AE28 Markianopolis mint Serapis
  13. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Another Beauty:


    Macrinus&Diadumenian, AD 217-218
    AE 26, 9.34g, 26.14mm, 225°
    struck under governor Furius Pontianus
    confronted busts of Macrinus, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r., and Diadumenian, draped and cuirassed, bare-headed, l.
    Tyche (Fortuna Redux?), in long garment, std. l. on throne with lion-feet, holding rudder on globe in r. hand and cornucopiae in l. arm; wheel under throne
    in r. field E (for Pentassarion)
    ref. a) AMNG I/1, 775, pl. XIX, 11 (1 ex., Bukarest)
    b) Varbanov (engl.) 1225 var. (cites AMNG 775, but has on obv. heads only)
    c) Hristova/Jekov (2013) No. (plate coin!)

    Very rare, VF/EF, some scratches on obv., phantastic details on reverse
    One of the most beautiful spec. of this type!

  14. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Septimius Severus 20.jpg
    OBVERSE: AV K L CEPTI CEVHROC P, laureate, draped, cuirassed bust right
    REVERSE: U FL OULPIANOU MARKIANOPOLITWN, Apollo standing facing, head right, bow in left hand, right hand over head, serpent-entwined tree before, altar or statue to left
    Struck at Markianopolis, Moesia, 145-211 AD
    12.5g, 27mm
    Varbanov 824
    Macrinus 2.jpg
    AE 26
    OBVERSE: ΑΥ Κ ΟΠΕΛ ΣΕΥ ΜΑΚΡΕΙΝΟΣ Κ Μ ΟΠΕΛ ΑΝΤΩΝΕΙΝΟΣ Κ, laureate head of Macrinus right facing bare headed head of Diadumenian left
    REVERSE: ΥΠ ΠΟΝΤΙΑΝΟΥ ΜΑΡΚΙΑΝΟΠΟΛΕΙΤΩ/Ν, Artemis, huntress, advancing r., reaching for an arrow in quiver at shoulder and in her l. hand holding a bow; below a hound. E to centre l
    Struck at Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, 217 - 218 AD
    10.4g, 26mm
    Moushmov 532
    Macrinus 4.jpg
    Pentassarion AE28
    REVERSE: VP PONTIAN-OV MARKIANO/ POLIT, Coiled serpent with radiate head
    Struck at Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, Magistrate Pontianus; 217 - 218 AD
    12.6g, 28mm
    Hr & J (2012)
    Diadumenian 4.jpg
    Bare headed and draped bust right – seen from behind
    Aesklepios staff, with serpent entwining
    Struck at Markianopolis, Moesia Inferior, 218 AD
    3.07, 17mm
    Varbanov 1354
    Philip II 3.jpg
    OBVERSE: M IOVLIOC FILIPPOC, KAICAP below, confronted draped busts of Philip II & Serapis
    REVERSE: MARKIANOPOLEITWN, Aesklepios standing right, head left, leaning on serpent-entwined staff; E in right field
    Struck at Markianopolis
    9.8g, 27mm
    Moushmov 858; Varbanov 2090
  15. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter


    City/Mint Markianopolis
    Size (mm) 16
    Weight (g) 2.99
    Ob. Desc. Bare headed and draped bust of Diadumenian, right
    Meaning Marcus Opellius Antonius

    Rev. Desc. Eros/Thanatos standing left, resting chin on palm, leaning on (extinguished) inverted brand
    Meaning (Coin) of the people of Markianopolis – A prince crowned by the gods
  16. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Hallo Clavdivs!

    AMNG I/1, 796; Hristova/Jekov (2014) (same dies), scarce

    Best regards
    ominus1 likes this.
  17. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you @Jochen ... I will correct my records.
    Wasn't a bad find for $6.45
    Curtisimo and ominus1 like this.
  18. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    Marcianopolis with Septimius Severus, Julia Domna, Caracalla and Geta standing on triumphal arch or city gate.
    TIF, chrsmat71, Marsyas Mike and 10 others like this.
  19. benhur767

    benhur767 Sapere aude

    Great history and coins, @nicholasz219. Thanks! My only Marcianopolis coin is not in great shape, but a rarity:
    ela-mae_var1638_h_mk_2016_0719_01.jpg Elagabalus and Julia Maesa. Moesia Inferior, Marcianopolis, minted under Legate (Governor) Julius Antonius Seleucus, ca. 220-221 CE. Æ Pentassarion (30mm, 13.57g, 12h). Julius Antonius Seleucus, legatus consularis. Æ27, 11.09g. Moushmov 682, Varbanov 1638 (R5), Zhekov/Jekov (R6), P.R. 969, H.M. 682. Obv: AVT K M AVΡH ANTΩNEINOC AVΓ IOVΛIA MAICA AVΓ; laureate head of Elagabalus r., facing diademed and draped bust of Maesa l. Rx: VΠ • IOVΛ ANT • CEΛE – VKOV MAΡKIANOΠOΛI / TΩN in exergue; Liberalitas standing l., holding coin counter and cornucopia; in field r., Є. Very rare. F.

    This coin is a die duplicate of an example found at (author unidentified); however, the reverse type of that coin is misdescribed as Libertas (rather than the correct Liberalitas), and the obverse head of Elagabalus is misdescribed as bust, draped and cuirassed.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
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  20. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    A beauty from Markianopolis

    Macrinus&Diadumenian, AD 217-218
    AE 27 (Pentassarion), 13.58g, 26.91mm, 45°
    struck under governor Furius Pontianus
    below in 3 lines KM OPPEL AN / TWNINOC DI / ADOVMEN
    confronted heads of Diadumenian, bare-headed, r., and Macrinus, laureate, l.
    Female figure, with chignon, reclining on rock l., holding in extended r. hand bunch of flowers(?), resting with l. arm on font(?), rabbit r. on Ground
    in l. field E (for Pentassarion)
    ref. a) AMNG I/1, 755 (only 1 ex. in Bukarest, but rabbit not mentioned!)
    b) Varbanov (engl.) 1265 (here called Elpis!)
    c) Hristova/Jekov (2013) No. corr. (plate coin, writes DIA - DOVMEN in error, figure called Demeter or Moesia(?))
    Rare, VF/about EF, the most beautiful specimen known!


    The female figure could be the mountain nymph Rhodope (Seguin, Paris 1665) or perhaps Moesia itself (Pat Lawrence). Due to the running discussion on the Forum there is a very strong resemblance to the HISPANIA coins of Hadrian with Hispania reclining l., holding branch, rabbit below. (Curtis Clay)

    For an indeep discussion of this type please look at the thread 'Unknown beauty from Marcianopolis' on the board 'Classical Numismatics' at Forum Ancient Coins.

    Best regards
    TIF, Ancient Aussie, Orfew and 11 others like this.
  21. Jochen1

    Jochen1 Well-Known Member

    Macrinus & Diadumenian, AD 217-218
    AE 28, 12.14g, 27.51mm, 180°
    struck under governor P. Furius Pontianus
    Confronting busts of Macrinus, draped and cuirassed, laureate, r., and Diadumenian, draped, bare-headed, l.
    Herakles Farnese, bearded, nude, stg. r., r. hand behind back, resting with r. arm on club covered with lion's skin set in arm pit stg. on rocks (?)
    in l. field E
    ref. a) AMNG I/1, 753 (2 ex., St.Petersburg, Sestini)
    b) Varbanov (engl.) 1291 corr. (writes in error different obv. legend and describes bust wrongly)
    c) Hristova/Jekov (2013) No. (plate coin)
    d) Pfeiffer 254 (same dies)
    e) Megaw MAR5.29c (this coin)
    scarce, VF, black green patina
    ex coll. Lars Rutten


    This is the famous Herakles Farnese of Lysipp. The depiction of the rock is strange. Pick writes: "According to Sestini's description the club rests on four apples. This could be true for the ex. from St.Petersburg too." But on this specimen it is obviously neither a rock nor four apples. It looks like 4 balls of wool!

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