North-western Thrace, in Roman times equivalent to the province of Moesia inferior,
played an important role in the early monetary history. Whereas the Greek settlement in the area goes
back to the 7th century BC, it is not until the Classical period that we see the first local coinages.
The minting activity of Roman cities in the region, such as Marcianopolis and Nicopolis ad Istrum,
falls into the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD.
Despite the considerable number of large port cities and beautiful harbours in the Greek oecumene and the enormous importance of lighthouses for navigation, images of lighthouses on coins are rare, with the exception of Alexandria’s—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. To our knowledge, coins of Istros are the only known Roman provincial coins that show a river god in combination with a lighthouse.
The Coin of this Month is presented by Ulrike Peter / Vladimir Stolba