AE25. 11.45g, 25.5mm
MINTED: MACEDON, Thessalonica, circa AD 198-217
REF: Varbanov 4410 (R3)
OBVERSE: AV K M AVP ANTΩNINOC, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right.
REVERSE: ΘΕCCAΛΟΝΙΚΕΩΝ, Nike advancing left, holding Kabeiros and palm branch.
Fine/Fair. Dark green, heavily encrusted patina.
An interesting feature on this coin is the Kabeiros held by Nike in her outstretched hand. The Kabeiroi were minor gods, dwarven sons of Hephaistos, the smith god. A cult of the Kabeiroi was known to have existed and flourished at Thessalonica.
In 316 BC, Cassander had wrested control of Macedon from Olympias, mother of the late king, Alexander the Great. Cassander executed Olympias and imprisoned Alexander's son and heir (Alexander IV), then set about leaving his mark on Macedon with actions that included the founding of the port-city of Thessalonica, which he named after his wife, Thessalonike, who was Alexander's half-sister.
During the Roman period, Thessalonica prospered economically and flourished culturally. Numerous festivals and games were held in the city, and in the mid 3rd century, it was granted the status of a Roman colony by Emperor Trajan Decius. During the Tetrarchic period, it was the seat of Emperor Galerius, who built a monumental arch and rotunda that still stand today, linked to his palace there.
Thessalonica is today the second largest city in Greece.
CARACALLA . MACEDON, Thessalonica . Nike holding Kabeiros
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