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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.


Florianus, June or July - August or September 276 A.D.

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Florianus, the half brother of Tacitus, was proclaimed emperor in the Western provinces after the latter's death. In the East Probus was declared emperor and the two marched against each other. Before a decisive battle could take place, Florian was murdered by his own soldiers. He "wore the purple" for less than 3 months. The star on reverse may represent a comet that was visible from June to September 276 A.D.
RA88305. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 4493 (15 spec), BnF XII 1971, RIC V-1 111, Cohen VI 71, SRCV III -, Hunter IV -, Venèra -, Choice EF, well centered and struck, sharp detail, porosity, closed edge crack, weight 3.791 g, maximum diameter 22.2 mm, die axis 0o, 4th officina, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, 1st issue, Jul 276 A.D.; obverse IMP C M ANN FLORIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse PROVIDEN DEOR (the foresight of the gods), Providentia on left, standing slightly right holding two standards, Sol on left, raising right hand commanding sunrise, globe in left hand, star low in center, KA∆ in exergue; ex Nemesis Ancients; $225.00 (€191.25)
 


Aurelian, August or September 270 - October or November 275 A.D.

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Aurelian defeated the Alamanni, Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi. He defeated the Palmyrene Empire in the east and the Gallic Empire in the west, reuniting the Empire in its entirety. He was responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome. His successes were instrumental in ending the Crisis of the Third Century, earning him the title Restitutor Orbis or "Restorer of the World."
SL89709. Billon antoninianus, MER-RIC 2747, RIC V-1 290, Venèra 9995 - 10000, BnF XII 1031, Hunter IV -, NGC MS, strike 5/5, surface 3/5, silvering, scratches (4243955-014), weight 4.15 g, maximum diameter 24.1 mm, die axis 315o, 2nd officina, Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) mint, issue 8, phase 2, Nov 274 - Sep 275; obverse AVRELIANVS AVG, radiate and cuirassed bust right; reverse RESTITVT ORBIS (to the restorer of the world), woman standing right, presenting wreath to emperor standing left, scepter in left hand, star in center field, KAB in exergue; ex Heritage auction 231808, lot 64072; $140.00 (€119.00)
 


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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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 Friday, April 26, 2019.
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Serdica