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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Roman Coins ▸ Roman Mints ▸ SerdicaView Options:  |  |  | 

Serdica, Dacia Mediterranea (Sophia, Bulgaria)

Sofia was originally a Thracian settlement called Serdica, probably named after the Celtic tribe Serdi that had populated it. Around 29 B.C., Sofia was conquered by the Romans and renamed Ulpia Serdica. When Emperor Diocletian divided the province of Dacia into Dacia Ripensis (on the banks of the Danube) and Dacia Mediterranea, Serdica became the capital of Dacia Mediterranea. Serdica was of moderate size, but magnificent as an urban concept of planning and architecture, with abundant amusements and an active social life. Dates of operation: 272 - 282, 303 - 308 and 313 - 314. Mintmarks: SD, SER, SERD, SMSD.


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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In 277, Probus entered Rome to have his position as Emperor ratified by the Senate. He also began his campaign in Gaul, clearing the Goths and Germanic tribes from the province, and earning the title Gothicus.
RA87903. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 303 (also 2nd officina); RIC V-2 862; Cohen IV 574, SRCV III 12040 var. (obv. leg.), Choice EF, well centered and struck, much silvering, weight 4.604 g, maximum diameter 24.3 mm, die axis 0o, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 277 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS AVG, radiate bust left, wearing imperial mantle, eagle-tipped scepter in right; reverse SOLI INVICTO (to the invincible sun god), Sol standing in a facing quadriga, radiate, raising right hand commanding sunrise, whip and globe in left hand, cloak billowing out behind, KA•B• in exergue; ex Beast Coins; $90.00 (€76.50)
 


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

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Invincible Sol charging in a facing quadriga and raising his hand commanding the sun to rise, is one of our favorite reverses of the Roman Imperial series and Forum's recommended coin type for Probus. If you only plan to buy one Probus coin, it should be this type!
RB88007. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 882 var. (bust), Cohen VI 921 var. (radiate and draped), SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, Choice VF, well centered, much silvering, high-points flatly struck, weight 3.754 g, maximum diameter 23.6 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 280 - 281 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS INVICT AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse SOLI INVICTO (to the invincible sun god), Sol standing in a facing quadriga, radiate, raising right hand commanding sunrise, whip and globe in left hand, cloak billowing out behind, KAA in exergue; ex Praetorian (1/2002); rare; $80.00 (€68.00)
 


Probus, Summer 276 - September 282 A.D.

Click for a larger photo
In 277, Probus traveled west, defeated the Goths along the lower Danube, and acquired the title of Gothicus. The Goths came to respect his ability and implored Probus for a treaty with the empire.
RA87902. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 888 (R1); Cohen VI 927; Pink VI/1 p. 45; SRCV 12075 var. (obv. leg.); Hunter IV -, gVF, much silvering, edge slightly ragged, scattered minor porosity, weight 3.661 g, maximum diameter 22.4 mm, die axis 0o, 3rd officina, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, c. 277 A.D.; obverse IMP C M AVR PROBVS P AVG, radiate, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, spear in right hand over right shoulder, shield on left arm; reverse VIRTVS PROBI AVG (the valor of Emperor Probus), emperor riding left, raising hand, captive at foot before horse, KA•Γ (A appearing as H) in exergue; ex Beast Coins; rare; $70.00 (€59.50)
 







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REFERENCES

Gautier, G. "Le monnayage d'argent de Serdica après la réforme de Dioclétien" in RN XXXIII (1991).
Gysen, P. "Nouvelles données concernant l'atelier de Serdica sous le règne de Probus" in RBN CXLVI (2000).
Zanchi, P. "Quelques nouveaux antoniniens de Serdica" in SM 120 (November 1980).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, January 16, 2019.
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Serdica