Featured Nikopolis ad Istrum

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by nicholasz219, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    @TIF First and foremost, those are both beautiful coins. Again I am tempted to leave my focus behind and just start adding more coins like yours here.

    Secondly, I would say I wandered into Nikopolis looking for coins of Septimius Severus as he/Julia Domna are my main focus or at least in the second century they are my main focus. I came across a coin or two at a show and once I started to figure out how to read the Greek and understand titles, consular legate names and what not I then started adding coins that were issued by SSev/JD. The other compelling factor is affordability. If you are buy bronze that isn’t an especially rare piece, prices are fairly low. Much lower than for comparable grade sestertii for example. Yet you can still get a 27mm Provincial which has plenty of room for detail and artistic expression. The Herakles and Serapis issues were sought out as was the river god issue.
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  3. Monstermommy

    Monstermommy Member

  4. Monstermommy

    Monstermommy Member

    Wonderful coins..I like the set with the crescent and three stars.I wonder how they lived ,and what that coin has been spent on??
    ominus1 likes this.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    For those new to consular legates, the above is a good resource. The page is a service of a coin dealer/friend of mine who has some very expensive items we don't see everyday. I became aware of Provincials through seeing his coins and believed for several years that I could not afford to collect them. The fact is that there are Provincials in all price brackets.
  6. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    That webpage is awesome... so many great coins. When I win the lotto...

  7. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

  8. Orange Julius

    Orange Julius Well-Known Member

    It's not much to look at... but I've always liked this little (16mm) Julia Domna because of the Kantharos (two-handled jug/cup) on the reverse.
    Julia Domna AE17 of Nikopolis ad Istrum. IOVLIA DOMNA CEB, draped bust right / NIKOPOLITWN PROC ICTRON, Kantharos (two-handled cup). Varbanov 2869; Moushmov 1031; AMNG 1484

    And the same story with this one... not in the best shape but I've always liked the city gate on the reverse... I've never had time to see if this structure still exists in ruin. Anyone know?
    Elagabalus AE21 of Nikopolis ad Istrum. AV K M AVP ANTΩNINOC, radiate draped bust right / NIKOPOLITWN PROC ICTPON, city gate with pointed arch and two flat towers. Varbanov 3827
    Ed Snible, Andres2, Orfew and 10 others like this.
  9. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    @dougsmit and @Valentinian Thank you both for the links to the pages of legates. Doug has shared the one page before and I am happy to see the dates of service listed on the Forvm page. I will be updating my coin holders appropriately today I think. I was kind of sad that I had not seen any date of issuance information on WW or other places that listed attribution numbers and other information.

    @Orange Julius I can see why you like both of those pieces, worn or not. They are great! The kantharos certainly has its charm and I was already a sucker for Julia Domna. The fort on the Elagabalus piece would have sucked me in too if I was offered the coin.
    Orange Julius likes this.
  10. Publius

    Publius Active Member

    Great thread @nicholasz219! I myself am recently focusing on the provincial coinage from Thrace and Moesia Inferior - interesting designs and (in general) affordable prices which makes it possible to acquire very well preserved coins. Here are some of mine:

    34h Septimius Severus, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moushmov 984.jpg
    Æ27, 11,11 g.
    Consular Legate - Aurelius Gallus
    Laureate head right.
    Eagle with wings spread, standing on a globe, holding wreath in its beak.

    34g Septimius Severus, Marcianopolis, Moushmov 397.png

    Septimius Severus, Marcianopolis Mint, Moushmov 397
    Æ18, 3,65 g., AD 193 - 211
    Laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
    Herakles standing left, strangling the Nemean lion.

    36a Caracalla, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moushmov 1112cf.png

    Caracalla, AD 198 – 217
    Æ18, 2,68 g., Nikopolis ad Istrum Mint
    Moushmov 1112cf
    Obv.: AV K M A ANTΩNIN
    Laureate, draped bust right.
    Legend around empty laurel wreath.

    36b Caracalla, Nikopolis ad Istrum, Moushmov 1115.jpg
    Æ16, 2,51 g.,
    Bare-headed, draped bust of young Caracalla right.
    Eagle standing left, head right with wreath in its beak.

    36c Caracalla, Augustus, AD 198 – 217  (Consular Legate (V) - Flavius Ulpianus).jpg
    Caracalla, AD 198 – 217
    Nikopolis ad Istrum Mint
    Consular Legate - Flavius Ulpianus
    Æ28, 12,52 g., Varbanov 3137
    Laureate, draped bust right.
    Tyche standing left holding rudder and cornucopia.
  11. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks for all this. From the links to consular legates I learned that none of these legates is identifiable with the few known authors of their time: Statius, Quintilianus or Ulpianus. Possibly they were family, but that's all.
    There is however a coin issued in Smyrna (about 77-79 AD) by the Roman poet Silius Italicus, when he was proconsul in Asia. I would like to acquire that coin very much (to be able to put it on his printed book), but it is very rare.
  12. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

  13. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    There are a number of architectural types from Nicopolis. This one came from the recent Triskeles auction associated with vcoins.

    110517LG copy.jpg
    The auction image was much greener. With the coin in hand, I digitally altered the photo to look more like it really is, dark brown.
    AVK OΠΠEΛ CE-VH MAKPINOC (Autok[rater] Opel[ius] Seve[rus] Macrinus)
    VΠ AΓPIΠΠA NIKOΠOΛITΩN ΠPO-CICTPΩ (Consular Legate, Agrippa, of Nikopolis, First city of CICTPΩ [I don't know how to translate that last part. Can you help?]

    Moesia Inferior, Nicopolis ad Istrum. Macrinus. A.D. 217-218. Æ (27 mm, 11.79 g, 12 h). Marcus Agrippa, consular legate. Laureate head of Macrinus right / City walls with closed gate and three towers. Hristova & Jekov; cf. Varbanov 3383. Brown patina. Lindgren II --. Lindgren III --. BMC Thrace --.

    Price and Trell, Coins and their Cities, is the book that discusses architectural types from the provinces and their conventions. One important artistic convention is that "above" often means "behind". So, here we see a gate and two towers at either side with a third tower, probably not in the middle, rather somewhere else on the wall, maybe even representative of additional towers on the far side of the city.

    Price and Trell has 522 enlarged photographs, many in color, most of only the one side, of walls, temples, arches, and other architecturally related types, including some Roman imperial types. It also has a long list of all cites except Rome and all their architectural types. Many are photographed, but not all. This one is type 58. It is not photographed, but a very similar reverse type from Augusta Traiana is. The book is not concerned with obverses, so if a reverse type was issued by more than one ruler you will just see its reverse once.

    If you like provincial coins and architectural types, you need Price and Trell.
    Alegandron, zumbly, randygeki and 9 others like this.
  14. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    Thanks, @Valentinian! I now have to look for Price and Trell as well!
  15. Jochen

    Jochen Well-Known Member

    Dear Valentinian!

    May I help you? The rev. legend is extended
    VP = VPATEVONTOC = (struck) when he was legatus Augusti pro praetore
    NIKOPOLITWN = (issued by the) people of Nikopolis
    PROC ICTRW = at the river Ictros

    Best regards
    Jochen (Co-Autor of Hristova/Hoeft/Jekov, Coinage of Nikopolis, 2018)
  16. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    @Jochen, welcome on this lively forum! It is here on CoinTalk that I really learned to love Provincial Roman coinage and understand it better.
  17. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Well-Known Member

    Welcome to CT @Jochen, I have spent many an hour drooling over your Macrinus provincials on FAC.
  18. PeteB

    PeteB Well-Known Member

    zumbly and TIF like this.
  19. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    You certainly did help. Thank you!
    Dividing it "PROC ICTRW" makes Istros (= Danube) clear. My division
    "PRO CICTRW" concealed it.
    Pellinore likes this.
  20. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    Where the letters break can get creative. An enjoyable sidelight of these coins is watching how the die cutters dealt with fitting the letters into the space available. It seemed there were no rules. Many just abbreviated by stopping when they ran out of space. Others put the surplus in the fields as here with the last two letters flanking the bust of Serapis (this die reversed the denomination E and the bust direction from the usual but cut the encircling letters normally).

    This Gordian III ran out of room and put the C tiny in exergue before stacking the river name in the field. There would have been more remainders had the cutter not used several ligate letters around the edge.

    This Philip II did a two letter paired stack before ending with a ligate pair.

    Continuing letters in exergue might require more than one line. On this Gordian III, the first line starts just right of the short groundline. The cutter realized he needed a lot of extra space and could not afford to waste any space.

    My favorite oddball is the Septimius assarion that ended the circle with ΠΡΟ and continued in exergue. Usually they would have started the exergial letters at the left but here the CIC is either inverted from the right as if it were continuing the circle but flipped the TPO to avoid it being upside down or reversed (boustrophedon) the entire exergue to read right to left with all letters bottom down. You can not tell top from bottom on CIC.
    A person could assemble a specialize collection of these coins based solely on variations of letter placement. I have not sought these out but do admit that I have bought a few coins that I happened upon just because of the letters. Call it an 'accidental specialty'???

    Sorry, my examples included a couple not from Nikopolis.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  21. nicholasz219

    nicholasz219 Well-Known Member

    @Jochen Thank you for jumping into the thread!

    @dougsmit Your coins are always welcome in my threads. Hopefully I’ll have some more threads here shortly.
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