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King Cassander of Macedonia founded Thessalonica in 315 B.C. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great. The Romans made Thessalonica the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia 168 B.C. In 50 A.D., the Apostle Paul founded the second Christian church on the European continent at Thessalonica and sent it his "Epistles to the Thessalonians." In 379 when the Roman Prefecture of Illyricum was divided between the East and West Roman Empires, Thessaloniki became the capital of the new Prefecture of Illyricum. The city remained important in the Byzantine Empire. [Dates of operation: 298 or 299 - c. 460 (closed during the reign of Leo I, 457 - 474). Mintmarks: COM, COMOB, OES, SMTS, TE, TES, TESOB, TH, THES, THS, THSOB, TS, T Christogram E.
Constantine the Great, Early 307 - 22 May 337 A.D.
Sear notes the VI following the officina letter may be a mark of value indicating six scrupula.RL76361. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VIIThessalonica 88 (R4), SRCV IV 16201, Cohen 119 (5 fr.), VF, nice green patina, well centered, some porosity, light cleaning marks, weight 2.342 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 320 A.D.; obverseCONSTANTINVS AVG, laureate head right; reverse D N CONSTANTINI AVG, VOT XX, TSΓVI in exergue, no wreath; very rare; $160.00 SALE PRICE $144.00
Vetranio, 1 March - 25 December 350 A.D.
The reverse of this coin is dedicated to harmony with the army. Nothing was more important to Vetranio. The soldiers had made him emperor; yet, as had been proven time and again, an emperor was always at risk that his soldiers would betray and assassinate him.RL84391. Billon maiorina, RIC VIIIThessalonica 135 (R2), Voetter 3, LRBC II 1663, SRCV V 18904, Cohen VIII 1, Hunter V 6 var. (A - B across field), F, dark green patina, light corrosion, reverse slightly off center, weight 6.244 g, maximum diameter 24.4 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 1 Mar - 25 Dec 350 A.D.; obverse D N VETRANIOP F AVG, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right; reverseCONCORDIA MILITVM (harmony with the soldiers), emperor holding two labara (vexillum standards decorated with Christ monogram), star above, A in left field, ∆ in right field, •TSA• in exergue; rare; $120.00 SALE PRICE $108.00
Constans, 9 September 337 - 19 January 350 A.D.
The Roman historian Eutropius says Constans "indulged in great vices," in reference to his homosexuality, and AureliusVictor stated that Constans had a reputation for scandalous behavior with "handsome barbarian hostages." Nevertheless, Constans did sponsor a decree alongside Constantius II that ruled that marriage based on "unnatural" sex should be punished meticulously. However, the decree may have only outlawed homosexual marriage. It may also be that Constans was not expressing his own feeling when promulgating the legislation but was rather trying to placate public outrage at his own perceived indecencies.RL77064. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIIIThessalonica 122, LRBC II 1649, SRCV V 18675, Cohen VII 13, Hunter V 56 var. (3rd officina), VF, traces of silvering, well centered, some die wear, some light corrosion, weight 5.017 g, maximum diameter 23.0 mm, die axis 180o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANSP F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassedbust right, A behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), Constans standing left on galley, Victory on globe in right hand, labarum (chi rhoChristogramstandard) in left, Victory seated in stern steering ship, A in left field, TSA in exergue; $115.00 SALE PRICE $104.00
Valentinian II, 17 November 375 - 15 May 392 A.D.
In 380, Rome's enemies the Germans, Sarmatians and Huns were taken into Imperial service; barbarian leaders began to play an increasingly active role in the Roman Empire.RL74501. Bronze half centenionalis, RIC IXThessalonica 62(a)1 (S), LRBC II 1864, SRCV V 20340, Cohen VIII 12 corr., VF, interesting turrets, tight and slightly irregular flan, weight 0.925 g, maximum diameter 14.2 mm, die axis 345o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, c. 384 - 28 Aug 388 A.D.; obverse D N VALENTINIANVS P F AVG, pearl diademed, draped, and cuirassedbust right; reverseGLORIA REIPVBLICE (glory of the Republic), campgate with two turrets, A left, TES in exergue; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
Licinius I, 11 November 308 - 18 September 324 A.D.
In 318, Constantine the Great was given the title BritannicusMaximus, for successful engagements in Britain. The details of the battles are unknown.RL79956. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VIIThessalonica 33, SRCV IV 15382, Cohen VII 222, gVF, much silvering, well centered on a tight flan, weight 3.740 g, maximum diameter 17.8 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 318 - 319 A.D.; obverse IMP LICINIVS AVG, laureate and cuirassedbust right; reverseVOT XX / MVLT / XXX / •TS•A•, within wreath; scarce; $110.00 SALE PRICE $99.00
Crispus, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 326 A.D.
On 1 March 317, Constantine the Great and co-emperor Licinius elevated their sons Crispus, Constantine II (still an baby) and Licinius II to Caesars. After this arrangement Constantine ruled the dioceses Pannonia and Macedonia, and established his residence at Sirmium, from where he prepared a campaign against the Goths and Sarmatians.RL79649. Billon reduced follis, RIC VIIThessalonica 20 (R4), SRCV IV 16702B, Cohen VII 109, F, full circles centering, dark green patina, weak centers, weight 2.822 g, maximum diameter 21.7 mm, die axis 180o, 3rd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 317 - 318 A.D.; obverse CRISPVS NOBILISSIMVSCAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right; reverse PRINCIPIA IVVENTVTIS (in honor of the Prince of Youth), soldier standing right, spear in right hand, shield on ground in left, •TS•Γ• in exergue; rare; $105.00 SALE PRICE $95.00
Licinius Junior, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 18 September 324 A.D.
VOT V MVLT X abbreviates Votis Quinquennalibus Multis Decennalibus, advertising that Licinius had completed his vows (prayers) to thank the gods on the fifth anniversary of his rule, and made more vows to the gods that they might help him achieve his tenth anniversary.RL83468. Billoncentenionalis, RIC VIIThessalonica 41 (R2), SRCV IV 15476, Cohen VII 75, Hunter V -, Choice VF, much silvering, weight 3.625 g, maximum diameter 17.5 mm, die axis 180o, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 318 - 319 A.D.; obverse LICINIVS IVN NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust right; reverseVOT V / MVLT X / CAESS / TS•A• in four lines within wreath; $100.00 SALE PRICE $90.00
Licinius Junior, Caesar, 1 March 317 - 18 September 324 A.D.
Thessalonica was founded around 315 B.C. by Cassander, King of Macedonia, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma. He named it after his wife Thessalonike, a daughter of Philip II and a half-sister of Alexander the Great. In 168 B.C. it became the capital of the Macedonia Secunda and in 146 B.C. it was made the capital of the whole Roman province of Macedonia. Due to its port and location at the intersection of two major Roman roads, Thessalonica grew to become the most important city in Macedonia. Thessalonica was important in the spread of Christianity; the First Epistle to the Thessalonians written by Paul the Apostle is the first written book of the New Testament.RL74510. Silveredfollis, RIC VIIThessalonica 79 (R2), Cohen VII 68, SRCV IV 15475, Hunter V -, VF, well centered, much silvering, scratches, weight 2.570 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, 1st officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 320 A.D.; obverse LICINIVS IVN NOB CAES, laureate, draped, and cuirassedbust left; reverseVIRTVS EXERCIT (courage of the army), vexillum inscribed VOT XX in two lines, two bound captives seated back to back at base, S - F flanking ensign, •TS•A• in exergue; rare; $95.00 SALE PRICE $85.50
Constantius II, 22 May 337 - 3 November 361 A.D.
The reverselegend can be translated, "Happy Times Restored" but we prefer to loosely translate it to the more current and lyrical expression, "Happy Days are Here Again!" RL74561. Billon heavy maiorina, RIC VIIIThessalonica 123, LRBC II 50, SRCV V 18136, Cohen VII 46, Hunter V -, Choice VF, well centered and struck, some silvering, porous, weight 4.428 g, maximum diameter 23.7 mm, die axis 180o, 4th officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 348 - 350 A.D.; obverse D N CONSTANTIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, draped, and cuirassedbust right, from the front, A behind; reverse FEL TEMP REPARATIO (happy times restored), soldier standing left, with right hand spearing horseman whose mount has fallen, shield on his left arm, shield on the ground right, A left, TS∆ in exergue; $80.00 SALE PRICE $72.00
Galeria Valeria, Augusta, June 293(?) - 311 A.D., Second Wife of Galerius
In 309, a plague, possibly related to anthrax, spread across the Roman Empire, causing a drastic decline in the population. Plagues and population decline were perhaps the greatest cause for the decline of Rome.RL84389. Billonfollis, RIC VIThessalonica 36, SRCV IV 14592, VF, well centered, dark patina, areas of corrosion, weight 5.182 g, maximum diameter 27.1 mm, die axis 0o, 2nd officina, Thessalonica (Salonika, Greece) mint, 308 - 310 A.D.; obverse GAL VALERIA AVG, diademed bust, shoulders facing, head right, wearing embroidered robe; reverseVENERI VICTRICI, Venus standing left, raising apple in right hand, raising drapery over shoulder with left hand, star left, B right, •SM•TS• in exergue; ex FORVM (2012); $70.00 SALE PRICE $63.00